Winchester Assault & Battery Attorney
Assault and battery allegations are never taken lightly in the state of Virginia. However, depending on the circumstances of those allegations, the charges you face can either be that of a misdemeanor or a felony. A misdemeanor charge, though still possibly detrimental to a professional career or reputation, and still punishable by up to a year in jail, is a much lesser penalty than a felony charge, which will follow an individual throughout the rest of their lives even after incarceration. No matter the allegations brought against you, if you have been charged with assault and battery, you need immediate, experienced legal counsel, contact our Winchester assault & battery attorneys today.
Assault and Assault and Battery Defined Under Virginia State Law
There are various types of assault and assault and battery, as well as accompanying penalties that go along with them. Assault is the act of intimidation, either through words or actions, that puts a reasonable person in fear for their safety. There is no actual physical contact between the defendant and victim for a simple assault charge to be pressed. Battery, on the other hand, requires physical contact, such as a punch, kick, or shove. No injury needs to have occurred for battery to have occurred. Additionally, an attempted but failed battery, such as someone attempting to strike another with a fist but missing, is an assault. A simple assault or assault and battery is a Class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia, according to state statutes 18.2-57. A Class 1 misdemeanor is punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of $2,500, according to statutes 18.2-11. However, the charges become more complicated if the victim was a judge, police officer, or certain other protected individuals. Likewise, if the assault and battery was inflicted on a victim because of a protected trait, such as their race, religion, color, or national origin, the crime is upscaled to a Class six felony, punishable by a minimum six-month term of confinement and a maximum of five years in prison.
Proving Assault or Assault and Battery Occurred
Assuming the defendant has experienced legal counsel, it is not always easy for the prosecution to be successful in charging someone with assault or assault and battery. There needs to be clear evidence that the defendant did the act with an intent to cause harm or cause offensive contact, that the alleged victim believed that the defendant had the capability of carrying out said actions, and that the defendant did have an ability to cause harm or offensive contact. For example, if the defendant threatened someone over email, while that could be a crime of sorts, it would not be considered assault because there is no possible imminent physical threat or unwanted physical contact that could occur. Battery that leaves no physical marks and is unwitnessed by others can be difficult to prove as well. If you have been charged with assault or assault and battery, you need immediate legal assistance. The Winchester assault attorneys of Simms Showers LLP implement a strategy based on years of successful trial experience and dedication to our clients. We will help have the charges reduced and sentencing diminished, or the charges thrown out altogether.