Prince William County Assault Lawyer

Assault and battery is a crime that involves violence, whether it is injury to others or the threat of inflicting harm. Having an assault conviction that appears on a background check can be damaging when it comes to finding a new job or rental. Enlisting the help of a Prince William County assault lawyer may allow you to work toward a more favorable resolution in your case.

There are a variety of defenses that may be available in your assault and battery case, including self-defense. Speaking with a accomplished defense attorney may enable you to determine whether any defenses apply in your situation and make the decisions that are best calculated to benefit you.

Defining Assault in Prince William County

Traditionally, assault referred to making threats of harm, whereas battery referred to inflicting injury on others. According to Virginia Code § 18.2-57, assault and battery is a single offense that combines elements of both traditional assault and battery. When facing an assault and battery charge, consulting with an assault attorney in Prince William County may be helpful.

Assault can be a misdemeanor or a felony charge under Virginia law, depending upon the circumstances. In most cases, persons who face assault charges and have no prior convictions will face Class 1 misdemeanor charges. As a seasoned lawyer could explain, the level of the offense can increase in situations in which certain aggravating factors exist.

Assault Misdemeanor Charges

Generally, a Class 1 misdemeanor conviction may result in a jail sentence of zero days to one year, as well as payment of a $2,500 fine. Although the charge is still a misdemeanor, individuals may receive a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 30 days if the intention is to assault tigers based on their race, religion, color, or national origin.

Penalties also may be enhanced if the targets of the assault are school employees, doctors, or other medical professionals who are acting in their official capacities. In this situation, individuals may receive a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 15 days. As these forms of assault can result in enhanced penalties, it may be essential to seek out the advice of an assault lawyer in Prince William County.

Domestic Assault and Battery

While some states have separate criminal offenses related to domestic violence, Virginia includes them in regular assault and battery offenses. As a result, if an assault involves family members, household members, or intimate partners, a first-time charge is still a Class 1 misdemeanor. It should be noted that penalties for any domestic violence conviction may be different; for instance, those convicted of domestic assault will no longer be able to possess firearms.

Assault becomes a domestic assault when it involves any of the following family or household members:

  • Parent, stepparents, children, stepchildren, grandparents, grandchildren, and siblings
  • Current or former spouses
  • Individuals who live together or lived together within the last 12 months
  • Individuals who have a child together

If individuals are accused of domestic assault and have two or more prior domestic assault or battery convictions, whether in Virginia or another state, they can face felony charges. Since domestic assault may lead to further consequences, consulting an assault attorney in Prince William County could be beneficial.

When Assault Becomes a Felony Offense

If an assault and battery offense results in physical injury to others, the charge can increase to a Class 6 felony in some situations. For example, if individuals purposely target individuals due to their race, religion, color, or national origin, and bodily injury occurs, it is a Class 6 felony. A conviction for a Class 6 felony can result in a maximum prison sentence of five years.

Other circumstances can lead to felony assault and battery charges, as well. If the targets of the assault and battery are judges, magistrates, law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency service personnel, corrections officers, and various other officials or public employees who are acting in the course of their official duties, the charge also can become a felony. If convicted on this offense, persons can receive a mandatory minimum jail sentence of six months. Given the potential consequences of a conviction, individuals should reach out to an adept defense attorney immediately.

Talk to a Prince William County Assault Attorney

When you are facing criminal charges, you are likely to be experiencing a great deal of worry and concern about your future. Getting legal counsel from a Prince William County assault lawyer can provide you with the crucial guidance and advice that you need to weather your criminal proceedings successfully.

Focusing on your future includes taking steps to protect it. Obtaining legal advice can be essential to safeguarding your future.