In the state of Virginia, assault and "assault and battery" (or battery) crimes can include simple assault and battery, aggravated battery, aggravated assault, and aggravated malicious wounding. The penalties for any of these assault and battery crimes usually depend on the seriousness of the threat, the severity of the injuries inflicted, and other circumstances.

If you are under investigation or have been accused of assault and battery in Lynchburg, Virginia, seek the help of a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney immediately to protect your rights. Gordon Peters can fight aggressively on your side to ensure that you get fair treatment.

E. Gordon Peters, Jr., Attorney at Law, proudly serves clients in the Blackstone and Lynchburg areas of Virginia. Call today to schedule a consultation.

What's the Difference Between Assault and Battery?

Assault and battery are usually used together. Although the same Virginia law criminalizes both assault and battery (Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-57), however, these two terms are not the same.

In Virginia, an assault occurs when an individual performs a physical act that intentionally causes physical harm, inflicts bodily injury, or fear of bodily harm on another person (Va. Code Ann. § § 18.2-52, 18.2-57).

Conversely, Virginia court describes battery (assault and battery) as an intentional or harmful physical contact with another person. For instance, when you kick someone in the face and break the person's nose, you have committed a battery offense.



Types of Assault and Battery Charges and Their Penalties

The crimes of assault (threatening to hurt someone physically) and battery (causing physical harm or bodily injury) may be charged as misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the circumstances. The types of assault and battery include:

Simple Assault and Battery

According to Va. Code Ann. Section 18.2-57, any person who commits a simple assault or battery (assault and battery) is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. Penalties can include up to a year of incarceration, up to $2,500 in fines, or both.

Aggravated Malicious Wounding

Aggravated malicious wounding (Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-51.2) can be described as the malicious stabbing, shooting, wounding, or cutting of another person with the intent to hurt, injure, disfigure, harm, disable, or kill the person. Such acts often result in serious injuries or significant and permanent physical impairment. Aggravated malicious wounding is a felony, punishable by fines of up to $100,000, up to 20 years in prison, or both.

Other Assault and Battery Charges

Other assault and battery offenses that can be charged as felonies include hate crimes, assaults against certain employees (educators, judges, law enforcement officers, etc.), domestic violence, and batteries by prisoners. These are class 5 or 6 felonies and may result in a penalty of up to five years in prison, up to $2,500 fine, or both, depending on the surrounding circumstances.

Possible Defenses for Assault and Battery Charges

Possible defenses for assault and battery offenses include:

  • Self-defense or defense of others

  • Accidental contact

  • Consent

  • Lack of malice

Virginia's assault and battery laws can be complicated. If you are facing assault and battery charges, don't face it alone. Talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you understand the charges against you and determine your best defense strategy.

Why You Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer

Trying to defend your assault and battery charges by yourself can put you at risk of suffering the maximum penalties. If convicted, you may be facing severe consequences, including thousands of dollars in fines, several years in jail or prison, and a permanent criminal record. If you are arrested and charged with an assault and battery offense, you need to retain an aggressive criminal defense attorney immediately. Gordon Peters can help you navigate the Virginia criminal justice system and pursue the best possible outcome.


Let an experienced criminal defense attorney defend your rights, and fight aggressively on your side. For more than 17 years, Gordon Peters has been providing strong legal representation for clients in Lynchburg, Blackstone, Amherst County, Bedford County, Campbell County, and other areas in Virginia, in their assault and battery cases. Gordon can offer you the aggressive representation and legal advocacy you need. Call E. Gordon Peters, Jr., Attorney at Law, to schedule a case evaluation today.