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SIMMS SHOWERS LLP Leesburg & Loudoun County Attorney
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What is the Meaning of Malicious Wounding Under Virginia Law?


Malicious wounding is a specific type of assault and battery crime under Virginia law. This criminal offense addresses highly dangerous behavior that carries a legitimate risk of serious injury or death. Malicious wounding only occurs in the most extreme situations, where the perpetrator intended to cause severe harm to a victim. Any perpetrator who commits this offense will likely face felony charges and can spend a significant amount of time in prison.

How Does Virginia Define Malicious Wounding?

Code of Virginia Section 18.2-51 establishes the definition of malicious wounding. A person commits this offense when they:

  • Cut, shoot, stab, wound, or otherwise cause physical injury to a victim in a malicious way; and
  • Intend to disable, disfigure, maim, or kill the victim.

It is vital to note that any type of bodily injury can qualify as malicious wounding under Section 18.2-51. This is true even if the perpetrator failed to complete the intended maiming, disfigurement, or killing.

What is the Virginia Penalty for Malicious Wounding?

Section 18.2-51 also outlines the Virginia penalty for malicious wounding. Under this section, malicious wounding is typically a Class 3 felony. This class of felony is punishable by imprisonment for five to 20 years and fines up to $100,000.

If a person violates Section 18.2-51 by acting unlawfully — but not to the level of maliciousness — it qualifies as a Class 6 felony instead. This class of felony is punishable by imprisonment for one to five years and fines up to $2,500.

How Does Virginia Define Aggravated Malicious Wounding?

Code of Virginia Section 18.2-51.2 provides the definition of aggravated malicious wounding. The aggravated version of this offense is highly similar to the regular version. The difference is that aggravated malicious wounding requires the victim to sustain a permanent and significant physical impairment. Minor physical injuries do not typically rise to the level of aggravated malicious wounding.

Additionally, there are special considerations for aggravated malicious wounding offenses involving pregnant women. If a woman suffers involuntary termination of her pregnancy as a result of a malicious wounding offense, it qualifies as a permanent and significant physical impairment. As a result, the perpetrator would likely face charges for aggravated malicious wounding.

What is the Virginia Penalty for Aggravated Malicious Wounding?

Section 18.2-51.2 also details the Virginia penalty for aggravated malicious wounding. This offense qualifies as a Class 2 felony in Virginia. This class of felony is punishable by imprisonment for 20 years to life and fines up to $100,000.

Do You Need Legal Help?

If you have legal questions about regular or aggravated malicious wounding in Virginia, it can be exceedingly productive to contact a trusted Leesburg criminal defense attorney. The attorneys at Simms Showers LLP feature the knowledge and skill required to mount a vigorous defense to criminal charges, including various types of malicious wounding. If you need legal help with criminal defense, contact us today for a free initial consultation.

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Simms Showers LLP is conveniently located two blocks from the Loudoun County Courthouse. Our criminal defense firm offers a free phone consultation for criminal or personal injury cases. Se habla español. Call Simms Showers LLP for quality legal counsel today at 703-997-7821 or contact us online.

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