Springfield Assault Lawyer
A criminal conviction for an assault charge can affect your life in more ways than you can anticipate. The conviction could change your life, from being required to serve jail time, losing your job, and even being required to inform future employers of a conviction during interviews. An experienced local attorney who understands the local policies can help you through this process.
While most criminal defendants are concerned with the potential for jail time, defendants potentially face criminal service requirements, probation time, or court costs. In addition, defendants are often required to pay restitution and court costs. It is critical that you speak with a Springfield assault lawyer to discuss your rights, learn about your options, and plan a strategy to defend your case.
Virginia Assault Laws
Generally, assault is defined as the unlawful attempt to inflict bodily harm upon another. Assault is commonly confused with battery, and the two crimes are commonly charged together.
The assault charge refers to the creation of a threat of harm, while the battery charge refers to the unlawful use of force upon a person, which results in injury or offensive touching. An easy way to distinguish assault and battery is to think of an assault as the threat and battery as the touching after the threat.
In Virginia, the legislature has set forth the crime of assault in Chapter 4 of Title 18.2-57 of the Virginia Code. The penalties for committing an assault and/or battery are harsher depending upon the nature of the crime.
The penalty is more severe if the individual targeted for the assault was selected based upon race, religious conviction, color, or national origin; or if the individual selected was a judge, a magistrate, or a law-enforcement officer.
Hiring a skilled assault defense attorney in Springfield should be the first step towards taking action in a criminal case. An experienced assault attorney can devote the time necessary to work a person’s case to the fullest.
A Springfield assault lawyer can review a defendant’s case, discuss possible outcomes, create a litigation strategy, speak to key witnesses, demand that certain discovery (documents) be produced in connection with the charge, and draft written motions based upon the facts of the case (where applicable).
Being charged with a crime is just the beginning of a criminal court case. The prosecutor must have both a procedural and substantive basis for maintaining the criminal lawsuit. Additionally, a defendant may raise one or more defenses in response to the crime charged. Types of defenses include:
- Consent (the action was based upon mutual agreement or past history)
- Insanity (whether a defendant knew the nature of the crime or understood right and wrong)
- Mistake of fact (must be reasonable)
- Self-defense (the defendant had reasonable fear of facing imminent danger of bodily harm, and, as a result, used only the amount of force reasonably calculated to protect from the perceived harm)
- Mistaken identity (the wrong person is charged with the conduct)
Contact an Assault Attorney
If you or someone you know is being charged with assault, contact a Springfield assault lawyer today. Legal cases are often complicated, and retaining a private attorney is often one of the most important first steps in preparing for a trial. Cases can be confusing depending on the surrounding facts and circumstances.
A Virginia defense attorney can discuss the different types of assault charges and how they apply to your case, including simple assault, aggravated assault, and domestic violence law. If you have questions or concerns, call today for an initial case consultation.