Fauquier County Assault Attorney
If you have been arrested or charged with assault in Fauquier County, Virginia, you are likely searching for a well-qualified Fauquier criminal defense attorney who has not only successfully defended other clients against such a charge in Fauquier County, but who also understands how many assault cases can stem from simple misunderstandings or arguments that simply spun out of control. You will want a Fauquier County assault lawyer who is able to listen to your side of the story and understand all of the factors that led to the alleged incident in order to provide you with the strongest-possible defense. Assault is a relatively common charge and there are a number of scenarios and acts that fall under the assault definition. Simply put, assault in the Commonwealth of Virginia is defined as:
- An overt physical act which is meant to cause physical harm against another person, and;
- The threat or use of force that causes the person to develop a reasonable fear of imminent harm or contact.
See Code of Virginia, Title 18.2, Chapter 4, under Section 18.2-57.
Simple assault in Fauquier County
Depending on the details leading up to the alleged assault, you could face either misdemeanor or felony charges. Penalties can vary. Simple assault and simple assault & battery is a Class 1 misdemeanor and may result in up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. We should note, however, that those convicted of a first-time misdemeanor assault charge and who have no prior criminal history may qualify for probation and a much smaller fine. If some cases the court may opt to have the individual attend alcohol, drug abuse, or anger management treatment programs. In some cases, more serious assault charges are can be reduced to simple assault if the person charged has compelling evidence and can show they did not intend for the crime to occur. Ask your Fauquier County assault lawyer, for further details on this.
Felony Assault Charges in Fauquier
Assault cases, however, can escalate quite quickly if not properly defended against. Assault when a weapon is involved is a felony charge and can result in serious punishment. Other felony assault charges include:
- Malicious wounding
- Assaulting a police officer, law enforcement officer, firefighter, judge, or teacher
- Assault by firearm
- Domestic or intrafamily violence (felony)
If someone is charged with assault they may find that other charges are levied, or tacked on to their case. Additional penalties may apply in such instances.
Malicious Wounding and ADW
“Malicious Wounding” involves the act of shooting, cutting, stabbing, or using a weapon with the specific intent to, “injure, maim, disable, disfigure or kill.” Many times, the argument self-defense is presented in assault cases. This is due to the fact that many assaults stem from mutual fights. If you are convicted of malicious wounding in Fauquier County, you face a felony mark on your record and the potential for several years in prison to life in extreme cases.
- Unlawful Wounding – a Class 6 felony punishable by five years in prison;
- Malicious Wounding – a Class 3 felony punishable by 20 years in prison;
- Aggravated Malicious Wounding – a Class 2 felony that can result in 20 years to life in prison.
The chart below gives you an idea of the penalties faced by those who are convicted of the Assault with a Deadly Weapon.
|Maximum Fines||Felony Charge||Maximum Jail Time|
|$100,000||Class 3 Felony||20 years|
|$100,000||Class 4 Felony||10 years|
|$2,500||Class 5 Felony||10 years|
|$2,500||Class 6 Felony||5 years|
Assault on a Police Officer, Judge, Teacher
Assaults against certain people are even more serious felonies if the defendant knew that victim was a “protected employee, such as a judge, police officer, firefighter, emergency medical technician, and most teachers and public school employees. They are Class 6 felonies that carry a minimum six month jail sentence.
Hate Crimes Carry Enhanced Penalties
If a “hate crime” results in bodily injury to a victim who was chosen because of her or his race, religion, color, or nationality and the victim suffered actual bodily injury, the accused faces the possibility of a Class 6 felony, which brings the possibility of one to five years in prison. Even if the judge or jury hearing the case decides to reduce the penalties, those so convicted must serve a six-month mandatory minimum sentence. That means that they will not be eligible for early release, parole, or probation. See Section 18.2-57 of the state code.
A Fauquier County Assault Attorney Can Help
If you, or a family member or loved one, are facing assault charges in Warrenton, we have a team of attorneys ready to vigorously defend you against the charges you face. Call a Fauquier County assault lawyer to schedule a no-cost case evaluation and learn more about the firm’s connections to the Fauquier County court system and extensive criminal defense experience.