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
- 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.