Protect Your Rights on Assault and Battery Charges in Virginia
Assault and Battery charges in the Commonwealth of Virginia can carry some serious penalties. Do you know what constitutes an assault charge? What if you are charged for an altercation in another jurisdiction? What is the difference between ‘assault’ and ‘battery?’ The experienced attorneys at Maddy & Nester, PLLC can help protect your rights on assault and battery charges in Virginia.
Defining Assault and Battery as Serious Charges in VA
Assault is defined as the threat of bodily harm that reasonably causes fear of harm in the victim. Battery is the actual physical impact on another person. Both assault and battery, individually or together, comprise serious charges. There are different degrees of assault that may be imposed as charges on a suspected perpetrator. First-degree assault and/or battery, often includes the use of a weapon. This is called “aggravated assault” and is classified as a felony punishable by time in prison. Second-degree assault is also a felony. Third-degree assault and battery is a misdemeanor, but both second- and third-degree charges can carry a jail sentence.
Touching, Threatening, and Violence in Assault Charges
If the victim has not actually been touched, only threatened, or if someone has attempted to touch them, the crime is categorized as assault. If the victim has been touched in a painful, harmful, violent, or offensive way by the person committing the crime, it can be categorized as battery. Something as insignificant or minor as touching someone can qualify as battery providing it is interpreted as painful, harmful, or offensive to the victim.
Other Types of Assault and Prior Offenses
There can be other types of assault charges entered against a perpetrator, or variations of assault and battery, that are included, such as: rape or statutory rape; assault on a minor or juvenile; assault on a peace officer; assault with intent to murder; gang-related assault; even ethnic intimidation may be viewed as a form of assault or threat made to another person. Again, these serious charges are classified as felonies that carry jail time and fines. These punishments are often increased if the person has prior offenses on their record.
Contact us for a consultation and expert advice on assault and battery charges in Virginia.