Fredericksburg Aggravated Assault Lawyer
An aggravated assault is going to be a simple assault with an additional element. There are two additional elements that you normally see with aggravated assault. An assault on a law enforcement officer or an assault on an individual based on race, religion, color, or national origin makes a simple assault a class six felony assault.
The implications of an aggravated assault charge are life-altering. Felony charges mean the loss of opportunities, loss of future employment opportunities, and incarceration. If you face aggravated assault charges, contact a capable assault lawyer who can fight for you. A Fredericksburg aggravated assault lawyer can work hard to mitigate any penalties you may face and can use their knowledge and experience to craft a solid defense.
Knowledge and Intent in Cases
There are the same elements in an aggravated assault case involving knowledge or intent as in a simple assault case. However, with the two new aggravated assaults, there is going to be the additional elements of intent that must be proven by the Commonwealth. With the assault on law enforcement officer, there is still the intent to touch an individual who does not want to be touched and yet they intend to harm them with the touch.
However, at the same time with the assault on a law enforcement officer, the assault must be done on somebody who is a law enforcement officer, some health care professions are also protected under this, but for the most part it is just law enforcement officers and one has to know that the person is a law enforcement officer. It cannot be a security officer or a security guard, a layperson would not look at that individual and know them to be a law enforcement officer.
They must also prove that not only was the person in fact a law enforcement officer in the active performance of their duties but that the accused knew that the accuser was, in fact, a law enforcement officer and they can prove that through the course of wearing their police uniform, displaying a badge of authority, wearing a police vest as police, or telling them, that they are a police officer or they are effectuating an arrest on a person.
Cases Involving Involuntary Intoxication
The facts will change situation by situation but ultimately they have to be able to show that either a person knew or a reasonable person should have known that the person who they were assaulting was a law enforcement officer. Voluntary intoxication or being drunk out of one’s mind is not a defense to not knowing that they were a law enforcement officer.
Involuntary intoxication is completely different, so essentially it is an affirmative defense and so if someone is intoxicated they must show that they were involuntarily intoxicated, they did not drink anything and that they were drugged, that they were roofied or whatever the case may be; they have to show it and if they show that then that will negate the intent on the other side. A person cannot just say that they drank too much because they are going to arrest that person and charge them. A skilled Fredericksburg aggravated assault lawyer can look at the evidence and pursue involuntary intoxication as a possible defense.
Serious Bodily Injury Defined
In an aggravated assault, there is no definition for serious bodily injury because that is not an element of the crime. In certain actions such as malicious wounding or something along those lines, they are going to the definition of what a wound is. That can be any bruising, bloodying, breaking of the skin or any visible injury under the skin. That can all be defined as a wound.
In Virginia and in Fredericksburg, as far is assaults are concerned, serious bodily injury is not an element, they do not need to prove it and to consider it bodily injury that is how you get in with the spitting, there is not going to be any serious bodily injury with spitting but spitting can still be classified as an assault.
In assault cases injuries do not have to be catastrophic, there may not be an injury, a person can assault somebody by thumping them on top of their head. The assaulted person does not have to have injuries but they had to have been touched.
Value of an Attorney
The stigma of having committed aggravated assault, either by assaulting an officer or committing a hate crime, can limit someone’s opportunities in the future. Furthermore, the charges could result in a felony conviction, which would lead to incarceration. Aggravated assault charges can do irreparable damage, so if you have been charged with aggravated assault, contact a Fredericksburg aggravated assault lawyer who can work diligently to build your defense.