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Virginia Infected Sexual Battery Lawyer

In Virginia it is a crime for a person who knows that he or she is infected with a sexually transmitted disease (STD) to expose another to infection. According to Virginia Code Section 18.2-67.4:1, criminal exposure may occur if one is exposed to the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), the virus that causes Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), syphilis, and Hepatitis B. To learn about other sex crimes in Virginia, visit this page.

Either of the following offenses can be charged as Infected Sexual Battery in Virginia. Depending on the circumstances, the penalties can vary widely:

  1. If someone knows he or she is infected with the previously listed diseases and engages in fellatio, sexual intercourse, cunnilingus, analingus, or anal intercourse with another person with the intent to transmit the infection, he or she may be charged with a Class 6 felony. If convicted, the penalty ranges from one to five years in prison or a discretionary jail term of up to 12 months, and/or a fine of up to $2,500.
  1. If someone who knows he or she is infected with the previously listed diseases and engages in fellatio, sexual intercourse, cunnilingus, analingus, or anal intercourse with another without having disclosed the existence of the infection to this other person beforehand, they may be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor, which can result in up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500.

Infected Sexual Battery Can Trigger Other Charges in VA

Those who willfully expose others to HIV, Hepatitis B, or syphilis may be charged with other serious crimes in the Commonwealth, including allegations of malicious wounding. Malicious wounding applies to suspects who intentionally cause injury to another person with the intent to kill or seriously injure the victim. Therefore, if a defendant knows that he or she has a life-threatening or serious STD, the Commonwealth’s Attorney may choose to argue that the defendant’s exposure of his or her illness to a sexual partner was done purposefully and with the intent to seriously injure or kill the other person. In extreme instances the greater charge of aggravated malicious wounding may be pursued. Penalties for both crimes include:

  • Malicious wounding is a Class 3 felony. It is punishable by five to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $100,000.
  • Aggravated malicious wounding is a Class 2 felony. It involves a prison sentence of 20 years to life, and up to $100,000 in fines.

Donating HIV Infected Blood

Infected Sexual Battery Lawyer in VirginiaAnyone who donates or sells, attempts to donate or sell, or who consents to the donation or sale of blood, body fluids, organs, and/or other tissues, and who knows the donor is – or was – infected with HIV, or who has been properly instructed that such fluids, organs, or tissues may transmit the HIV virus, can be charged with a Class 6 felony. Upon conviction, they may be sentenced to one to five years in prison — ora discretionary jail term of up to 12 months if the court so chooses — and/or a $2,500 fine. See Virginia Code Section 32.1-289.2.

The Virginia Criminal Code states that when suspects are arrested for this offense, or a number of other sex crime-related offenses, the Commonwealth’s Attorney can request that the defendant submit to testing for HIV or Hepatitis B or C per Virginia Code Section 18.2-62. If the defendant refuses the request, the prosecutor may ask for a court order requiring that the suspect be tested. The statute requires confirmation of any positive results and that any positive results remain confidential except for disclosure to the sexual assault victim.

If you have been so charged, one defense strategy is to argue that you did inform your partner of your infected status prior to sexual contact. Consensual sex between adults who have disclosed their HIV status to one another, for example, is not a crime according to the Virginia Code.

Contact a Skilled Defense Attorney

Anyone who is criminally charged for any alleged STD transmission in Virginia should contact a well-qualified criminal defense attorney immediately. These charges are extremely serious and carry the possibility of grave consequences. Merely explaining your side of the story will not suffice. Thomas Soldan Attorney at Law can help you understand the charges that you are facing and outline the best criminal defense strategy given the facts of your unique case. Call the firm’s Virginia law offices today to schedule a free, initial consultation.

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