What Is The Crime Of Aggravated Assault In Virginia?

aggravated assault

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What is Aggravated Assault?

When a person is charged with aggravated assault in Virginia, they may face either a misdemeanor or felony conviction depending on the facts of the crime. The punishment will depend upon the seriousness of the assault and who was assaulted.

When you’ve been charged with a first- or second-degree aggravated assault, if convicted, you’ll have a felony record for life. And though a third- or fourth-degree aggravated assault conviction is considered a misdemeanor in VA, the impact on your life and freedom will still be substantial. Whichever degree of aggravated assault you’ve been charged with, it’s imperative that you take it seriously.

Legal Definition Aggravated Assault

The legal definition of a first- and second-degree assault is when a person intended to cause or caused a serious bodily injury on another person involving a deadly weapon. If the assault was committed against a police officer, firefighter, emergency medical provider, or other designated public official, not only is it considered first- and second-degree assault, but if convicted, the penalties and punishment will be more severe.

Virginia Criminal Code § 18.2-57 defines aggravated assault as an unlawful attack by one person upon another for the purpose of inflicting severe or aggravated bodily injury. Usually accompanied by the use of a weapon or by means likely to produce death or great bodily harm.”

Legal Examples Of Aggravated Assault

  • Assault using a dangerous or deadly weapon.
  • Assault with explosives.
  • Wounding causing permanent crippling, mutilation or disfigurement.
  • Deliberate attempt to inflict disease by biting, spitting, scratching.
  • Poisoning.
  • Spiking drinks with date rape drugs.
  • Assault causing serious bodily injury.
  • Assault with an intent to kill.

Aggravated Assault Category in Virginia

The four categories of aggravated assault are defined as follows:

  1. Use of a firearm such as a revolver, semi-automatic pistol, shotgun, zip gun, rifle or any other gun used or threatened to use.
  2. Use of another dangerous weapon which could or does cause serious injury including mace, pepper spray, bat, club, brick, tire iron, explosive, acid, lye, poison, scalding, burning or scalding material.
  3. Use of a cutting instrument such as a knife, razor, machete, ax, clever, scissor, glass, broken bottles, ice pick, stiletto.
  4. Use of body parts such as hands, fists, feet or teeth.

Degrees Of Aggravated Assault

In Virginia, the specific circumstances of the offense will dictate how prosecutors proceed, and upon conviction, the type of penalties and punishment.  

FIRST DEGREE of Aggravated Assault

When the offense is committed with premeditated malice to intentionally commit serious bodily injury. 

SECOND DEGREE of Aggravated Assault

When a serious injury is committed without deliberation or premeditation.

THIRD/FOURTH DEGREE of Aggravated Assault

When the offender attempts to commit significant rather than serious bodily harm usually occurring in fist fights or similar incidents.

Consequences Of An Aggravated Assault Conviction

An aggravated assault conviction when the severe injury was caused to a victim is considered a felony that could lead to a lifetime prison sentence. Lesser penalties, including misdemeanors, are still serious and may cause you to lose your freedom. Even after you’ve served a sentence, you may still suffer the consequences. A criminal record involving a violent crime will make acquiring employment, securing housing, obtaining credit or qualifying for loans difficult and/or may prevent you from being admitted to a college or university. As well, if convicted and sentenced, even when you’ve paid the price to society, your reputation may be permanently damaged and family and social relationships lost or ruined.

Aggravated Assault Lawyers In Manassas, Prince William County, And Surrounding Areas

Whether it’s your first arrest or you already have a criminal record, the attorney team at Manassas Law Group know people make mistakes, and we treat every client respectfully without judgment or preconceived notions. We also know that just because you’ve been charged with a crime doesn’t mean you’ll be found guilty.

It is our goal to aggressively and strategically battle to have your case dismissed or, at the least, your charges reduced.  Our legal team will assess your unique situation and analyze the options available for a strong defense on your behalf.  As well, if the prosecutor offers you a plea deal rather than proceeding to trial, we’ll advise you on what’s in your best interest.

For generations of Virginians, the Manassas Law Group has provided skilled, effective representation for every type of complex criminal defense matters. With our decades of experience, we’ll guide you through the process and act as your vigilant advocate to resolve your case as fairly as possible with the intention of preserving your freedom.

Experienced Criminal Defense Attorneys in Manassas

When you involve an experienced criminal defense attorney as early in the process as possible, it gives them a chance to build a strong defense. If you wait, the opportunity to negotiate reduced or dismissed charges may be diminished or missed altogether—the sooner you contact the Manassas Law Group, your chance of a fair outcome is heightened.

And remember—just because you’ve been charged with aggravated assault doesn’t mean you will be convicted—in a Virginia criminal court, you are innocent until proven guilty. And the Manassas Law Group will aggressively work towards dismissal or reduction of your charges.

Our team of understanding criminal defense attorneys know being charged with such a serious crime is stressful and troubling. The Manassas Law Group criminal defense attorneys will help you understand your rights and explain how we can defend against the alleged aggravated assault offense for which you were arrested.

Contact The Manassas Law Group Today For A Free, Confidential Consultation

To begin the challenge of building a strong defense, the experienced Prince William County assault attorneys at the Manassas Law Group will meet with you personally for a free initial confidential consultation to discuss your case and identify your representation needs. Call us today at 703.361.8246 or send a confidential message on our website.