Virginia Assault and Battery Lawyer
Assault & Battery cases can range from simple bar fights, confrontations, and domestic disputes to more serious offenses such as sexual battery or malicious wounding claims with a deadly weapon. The most common type of assault & battery offense is often considered as a simple assault. Such an offense is considered a class 1 misdemeanor criminal offense punishable by a maximum of 12 months in jail if convicted. In Virginia, the crime of assault and battery is actually two different types of offenses.
The crime of battery occurs when the defendant actually touches the victim without consent, which often inflicts some physical;however, the victim does not have to suffer an injury for their to be a criminal law violation.
The crime of assault can be committed by:
- performing an overt or physical act intended to cause physical harm while having the present ability to inflict harm, or
- performing an overt act intended to place the victim in fear of bodily harm and actually placing the victim in reasonable fear of harm.
A classic examples of assault would be the defendant running toward the victim while yelling “I am going to kill you” while motioning with something that looked like a knife and that the victim reasonably believed the defendant was wielding a knife.
Criminal Defense Attorney for Any Assault Allegation
If you have been arrested for Assault & Battery then you need a skilled, experienced Virginia Assault and Battery Lawyer. The Assault & Battery law in the Commonwealth of Virginia also protects a certain class of individuals making an Assault & Battery against one of these individuals a more serious felony offense if the defendant knows or has reason to know that victim is a protected individual. Protected include include:
- law enforcement officers
- correctional officers and employees
- firefighters, including volunteer firefighters, and
- emergency medical personnel.
A domestic Assault & Battery offense is also another very common type of Assault & Battery and is prohibited according to Va Code Section 18.2-57.2. A domestic Assault & Battery is an Assault & Battery that is committed against a family or household member. It is also a misdemeanor unless the defendant has prior convictions for domestic assault & battery. Family and household members include spouses, former spouses, parents, children, grandparents, grandchildren, siblings, in-laws who live in the same house, people who have children together, and people who live together or have lived together in the past year.
In some instances depending on the evidence, aggravating factors, and prior convictions, an assault and battery can be prosecuted as a felony under various different provisions of Virginia law, such as sexual battery, unlawful wounding or malicious wounding. Judges and prosecutors do not take allegations of assault and battery lightly, and will do everything in their power under the law to ensure that a person who commits an assault & battery is brought to justice. We can help you understand the allegation you are facing and the possible defenses of your case, which may include self-defense, mutual combat or lack of intent to name a few.
We examine the facts and circumstances surrounding your arrest, as well as the evidence the prosecution will attempt to use against you at trial, and assist in recognizing and preparing defenses for trial. A skilled Virginia Assault & Battery Attorney who regularly defends these types of cases to represent your best interests and present your best defense.
Self-Defense & Defense of Others in an Assault & Battery Case
Defenses available in assault and battery cases can vary depending on the facts and circumstances of the case. Self Defense & Defense of Others are the primary viable defenses to Assault & Battery cases unless there is some other procedural defense such as identification or other fundamental error. Self-defense is probably the most common defense used in assault and battery cases. In order to establish self-defense, an accused must generally show:
- a threat of unlawful force or harm against them;
- a real, honest perceived fear of harm to themselves (there must be a reasonable basis for this perceived fear);
- no harm or provocation on their part; and
- there was no reasonable chance of retreating or escaping the situation.
The doctrine of self-defense has a number of limitations. Self-defense does not allow one to use as much force as he wants to defend himself. The force used in self-defense must be reasonable when compared to the threat posed by the other individual. Also, even if all the elements outlined above are met, an individual defending himself may still be found guilty of assault and battery if the victim was physically no match for the defendant in the first place, which could be due to size, age, etc.
The Defense of Others is very similar to that of self-defense, with the only difference being that the individual must have an honest and real perceived fear of harm to another person. The limitations that apply to self-defense apply similarly to defending others, and the accused must have had reasonable grounds for their perceived fear in order to establish this defense.
Sexual Battery Jury Trial NOT GUILTY DISMISSAL
Riley & Wells Attorneys-At-Law represented a client who was arrested for Sexual Battery. Our client maintained his innocence from beginning to end. A conviction for sexual battery is not only obviously a criminal offense, but it often leads to a term of incarceration, and due to recent changes in the law, registration on the Sex Offender database. The primary issue came down to what is referred to as the credibility of the witnesses. Our client exercised his right to trial by jury. After a day long trial, the jury returned a verdict of NOT GUILTY. Our client was relieved to be able to move on with his live and to have been cleared of the incident.
Do not give up hope and protect your rights by contacting us today!