Fredericksburg Assault Lawyer
An assault occurs essentially anytime that someone puts another individual in a reasonable fear of bodily harm. Assault is defined as intentionally inflicting bodily injury on another person or engaging in an overt act with the intent to place another person in fear of bodily harm, and the charges can come with heavy prosecution.
Assault charges in Fredericksburg can come with serious penalties, and if you are facing charges, you will need a strong defense with the help of a skilled defense attorney. Contact a Fredericksburg assault lawyer right away who can fight for your rights.
- Simple Assault
- Assault with a Deadly Weapon
- Aggravated Assault
- Assault on an Officer
- Assault Enforcement
- Proving Assault
- Benefit of an Attorney
- Following an Assault Arrest
Defining Reasonable Apprehension of Immediate Harm
Reasonable apprehension of immediate harm or unwanted contact is classified by the presence of fear of being touched, fear of being hurt, and the alleged assaulter having the wherewithal or the ability to actually hurt an individual or harm that person. An example is if an able bodied person throws a punch at another person, or generally approaches another person in a way that instills a fear of being contacted. Even if no physical contact is made, it is still considered assault because the action taken, like the swing of the fist, puts the person who sees the fist coming toward them in fear that they are going to be contacted.
There is going to be a reasonable apprehension of harm if the person throwing the punch clearly has the ability to harm the person. An example of a situation where reasonable fear of being harmed does not exist would be if an infant swung its baby fist at someone. Even though the baby, at a technical level, could make contact with another person, there is no reasonable fear that harm could be caused.
Common Assault Charges
99% of the time charges are simple fights—somebody slapping, somebody punching somebody, some form of disagreement, and alcohol is normally involved, marijuana is normally involved, and when the layperson hears assault and battery your antenna goes up and one is thinking somebody beat up somebody but it is not a big deal. 90% of the time it is something small and one is going to see assaults and fights like club fights, bar fights, or spitting. Whenever somebody spits on another person there is likely an assault, they are nasty and they are not fun, but at the end of the day what one thinks of assault and what one sees practically are not nearly the same thing.
Say that someone spits on somebody because they do not like an individual so they spit on their foot and are charged with assault. A lot of times some of the more aggravated assaults with police officers where people are trying to effectuate an arrest and the person who is being arrested will be drunk and then hit the police officers’ lapel or their uniform and they will charge him with assault on a police officer, which raises the assault penalty from a class 1 misdemeanor to a class six felony with a mandatory six months in jail; with a regular assault, if a person has no record, the chance of him or her going to jail are minimal.
Assault vs Battery
Assault and battery are both class 1 misdemeanors, and they are usually charged simultaneously in Fredericksburg. Reasonable apprehension of bodily harm in situations where no contact is necessitated is the main condition of assault, but as previously mentioned, physical contact does not have to be made.
In cases of assault and battery, there is a reasonable apprehension of harm along with the actual infliction of harm. For instance, the threat to strike someone combined with the ability to do is only assault, but the threat to strike someone with the ability to do so followed by actually striking someone is assault and battery. Assault and battery both carry the same penalty, but because assault can exist without battery, the prosecution will often fall back on the Commonwealth definition of assault in situations where battery cannot be proven.
Self-defense is going to be the main defense to an assault in most cases and that is where somebody felt that they were under attack and that it was reasonable to defend themselves, essentially what that means is that the alleged victim of the assault was a participant in a fight or a mutually combatant situation where both parties are assaulting each other. Essentially what the basic legal element then becomes is there was a consent to the assault by the other party through the mutual combat— like a boxing match where both parties are allowing the other party to hit them in the face. That is usually the combatant situation. There is also the lack of intent if a person does not intend to harm the other person, this is accidental contact or incidental contact, that is not going to be an assault. Those are going to be the main defenses and arguments that a person is going to use to combat an assault.
Contacting an Attorney
The first thing a Fredericksburg assault lawyer can do to defend their clients from assault charges is, through a proper investigation, understand every fact of the case. Assault cases are driven heavily on two things: the facts and the intent. One needs a basic understanding of what the facts are, what the Commonwealth’s witnesses are going to say, and how they are going to come off with the judge so that a person can come back with their own evidence or with their own cross-examination.
If you or a loved one is charged with assault, contact a Fredericksburg assault lawyer immediately, because the moment you are charged with an assault, you are placed on the police’s radar. At this point, the police are simultaneously trying to arrest you and waiting for you to turn yourself in. A Fredericksburg assault attorney will not only be able to give you council that could potentially help you avoid spending time in jail once you have already been brought in; they can also provide guidance about what first steps to take when charged.
It is a common misconception that by contacting the person who allegedly took out the warrant, you will be able to talk your way out of assault charges and get them dropped before reaching court. An experienced assault lawyer in Fredericksburg is going to be able to instruct you about what the best course of action is to protect you as you wait for your court date, as well as when you actually get to court.