Unlocking the legal complexities of assault and battery charges in Virginia State Law is crucial, as it can directly impact life in significant ways. By understanding these offenses, you can better protect yourself and your loved ones. Uncover essential insights with this article, including:
- The difference between assault and battery,
- How these charges can be enhanced, and
- Penalties you may face if convicted.
What Is Assault And Battery Under Virginia State Law?
Laws surrounding assault and battery charges in Virginia are addressed in Virginia law code section 18.2-57. But before delving further, let’s define these terms. Put simply, battery refers to offensive touching that occurs without someone’s consent and encompasses many actions, from a push or a casual bump to more brutal acts like punching or striking.
On the other hand, assault refers to causing someone a reasonable sense of fear or apprehension regarding potential violence or physical harm. More specifically, it involves the act of threatening someone while simultaneously being capable of carrying out that threat.
What Enhances An Assault And Battery Charge In Virginia?
Although often viewed as similar, assault and battery charges in Virginia have clear distinctions. Assault is generally considered a misdemeanor, while battery encompasses offensive physical contact. Malicious wounding and aggravated malicious wounding are enhanced charges of assault.
Malicious wounding, covered under code section 18.2-51, elevates assault to a felony offense. This charge comes into play when someone intentionally uses a firearm, knife, or other means to inflict injury, aiming to maim, disfigure, disable, or even kill the victim. As such, it represents a more severe physical attack compared to misdemeanor assault.
Aggravated malicious wounding takes things a step further. This charge arises when the injuries inflicted upon the victim are not only significant but also permanent in nature.
What Are Penalties For Battery And Assault Convictions?
Assault and battery are both Class One misdemeanors in Virginia carrying a penalty of up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500, or a combination of both.
For more information on Assault & Battery Charges In Virginia, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (804) 621-0854 today.