Arlington Assault Attorney
Virginia laws pertaining to assault and battery include the act of battery as well as the intention of assault, meaning that the threat of violence or even a friendly prank that goes horribly wrong can still earn you an assault charge. Assault is characterized by the attempt or threat to cause harm to another, whereas battery is considered the actual physical act of harming someone. Although these are technically two separate acts, they are combined under one statute in the Virginia code. This particular statute is unique to the area, although variations of it exist in other states. In Arlington, Virginia, being cited with a simple assault charge could mean a penalty as extreme as facing time in jail, even if the person you are charged with assaulting left the incident virtually unscathed. Assault charges should be taken seriously given the harsh penalties associated with a conviction. If you have been accused of assault, an experienced Arlington assault lawyer can help provide you with legal advice and in-depth information regarding the charges. For help with other criminal charges in Arlington, click here.
Assault and Battery Charges
There are several different types of assault in Virginia:
- Simple Assault
- Assault and Battery
- Aggravated Assault
- Assault against a Police Officer
- Domestic Violence (Assault of a Family Member)
The Virginia criminal code classifies simple assault as well as assault and battery as Class 1 misdemeanors. Even just the threat of physical contact can be perceived as assault if the accused intended to cause bodily harm. Since assault in Virginia is the charge of making physical threats with the intention and/or ability to carry through with those threats, fighting this particular charge can be tricky. For example, an escalated argument in a bar could result in assault charges for any and all parties involved. In order for an individual to be found guilty of assault, evidence that the threat was physically possible at the time of the incident must be proven.
Battery constitutes harmful, physical contact with another person. In instances where the threat of physical harm was followed by a course of action, the accused will most likely be charged with assault and battery, a charge that regularly maintains harsher sentencing than simple assault. In instances where neither party followed through with a course of action, the accused will most likely be charged with assault or assault with the intent to commit battery.
Possible Penalties for Assault Charges in Arlington
When facing legal issues, it is important to bear in mind that a charge is an accusation made by law enforcement officials. Just because you are charged with a criminal offense does not necessarily mean that you will be found guilty in a court of law. It is important to take charges seriously, however, as you do risk severe penalties if you are convicted. Some of the possible penalties for a misdemeanor conviction of an assault charge in Arlington, Virginia include:
- A jail sentence of up to 12 months
- Probation, including court-ordered classes or community service
- Fines of up to $2,500
- Loss of ability to carry a firearm
Any of the above penalties could have a lasting impact on an individual’s life. Even penalization by having to pay an expensive fine can be crippling for the average citizen. Non-payment could lead to a probation violation and further penalties while timely payments could mean compromising other important bills such as rent, mortgages, and car payments. Some of the possible long-term consequences of an assault conviction include:
- Repossession of your home or car
- Job Loss
- Wages Lost
- Family Tension
- Restriction of freedom
If you have been charged with assault in Arlington, Virginia, it is important to be well-informed about the charges you are facing and the accompanying penalties upon conviction. An experienced Arlington assault attorney has the local experience necessary to be able to provide you with thorough legal information and sound advice. Contact his Virginia law office today for a free consultation.