Simple Assault in Prince William County
Simple assault is defined in Virginia Code Section 18.2-57, as any action that the person knowingly and intentionally commits an act that places a person in reasonable fear or apprehension of bodily harm or injury. Simple assault is a common name for assault.
In Prince William County, as in the rest of Virginia, assault in most circumstances is a misdemeanor offense. There may be circumstances in which assault is elevated to a class six felony, such as, but not limited to, assault charges against law enforcement, judges, or when the victim is selected on the basis of race, religious conviction, or national origin.
If you are being accused of an assault charge in Prince William County, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced attorney who will fight for you and help guide you through the complexities of the legal system.
Different Types of Misdemeanor Assault
In Virginia, there are multiple types of misdemeanors for assault based on the specifics of the case. A simple assault conviction against an ordinary citizen is defined as a Class 1 misdemeanor. The charges are aggravated if the assault is perpetrated against an educator, medical practitioner, member of law enforcement, or is chosen based on religion, race, or national origin.
While assault against a school teacher or health care provider has more severe penalties if convicted due to the mandatory minimum sentence stated in Virginia statutes, the charge is still classified as a misdemeanor.
Simple assault against hospital workers, including doctors and nurses, remains a misdemeanor, but it also has mandatory penalties. Additionally, domestic assault is a simple assault on a family member and has other conditions not generally applied in another simple assault case.
Bench Trials or Jury Trials
In Virginia’s general district courts, you do not have the right to a jury trial right away. Most simple assault cases begin as bench trials, however, there are limited circumstances in which a simple assault case may go to a jury trial. This includes circumstances where the case is appealed after an adverse finding or the simple assault charge originates in the circuit court after a direct indictment.
Simple assault cases in Prince William County are heard in the General District Court, on the second floor, at 9311 Lee Avenue, Manassas, Virginia. This central location hears all criminal matters for Prince William County from Gainesville to Woodbridge and Dumfries to Bristow.
The penalties for a simple assault conviction include incarceration, fines, or both even as a misdemeanor offense. Individuals that are found guilty may also have difficulty securing jobs, promotions, security clearances, seeking housing, or other benefits due to their permanent criminal record.
Simple assault in Prince William County is a Class one misdemeanor that is punishable with up to 12 months in jail, up to $2,500 fine, or a combination of both. If the simple assault is perpetrated as a hate crime, the punishment shall include a minimum period of incarceration of six months, 30 days of which is a mandatory term of confinement.
Additionally, in Prince William County, simple assault against a school teacher is punishable by 10 days in jail, two days of which is mandatory. Additionally, simple assault against a hospital worker or other health provider is punishable with a minimum of 15 days in jail, of which two days are mandatory.