Prince William County Violent Crimes Lawyer
Leading Criminal Defense Attorneys for Violent Crime Charges in Prince William County, Virginia
Facing criminal charges related to a violent crime is an incredibly serious and daunting situation. These charges carry severe punishments, including lengthy prison sentences, hefty fines, and a permanent mark on your criminal record, all of which can have a negative effect on your personal and professional life for years to come.
With so much at stake, it’s crucial to have a criminal defense attorney on your side who has in-depth knowledge of the legal system and can fight vigorously to protect your rights and future. If you have been charged with a violent crime, the Prince William County criminal defense attorneys at Manassas Law Group are here to help.
What is Considered a Violent Crime?
Violent crimes in Virginia are classified as “crimes against the person.” In other words, violent crimes are criminal acts that involve the use of physical force or the threat of physical force against another person, usually resulting in harm, injury, or death. Some of these criminal offenses include murder, kidnapping, assault, domestic violence, and rape.
Types of Violent Crimes in Virginia
Virginia law outlines various violent crimes, many of which are separated into categories like homicide, kidnapping, assault, robbery, and criminal sexual assault. Below, we’ll go into detail about these various crimes as well as the penalties associated with them.
Under Virginia law, homicide is the unlawful killing of another person. Major homicide charges in Virginia include:
- Aggravated Murder (§ 18.2-31) – the willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing of another person in certain situations
- Punishable as a Class 1 felony
- First and Second-Degree Murder (§ 18.2-31) – other killings and intentional killings that don’t fall under the definition of aggravated murder
- First-degree murder – punishable as a Class 2 felony
- Second-degree murder – punishable by 5 to 40 years in prison
- Felony Homicide (§ 18.2-33) – the unintentional killing of another person in the commission of a felony crime that doesn’t fall under the definitions of aggravated murder or first-degree murder
- Punishable by 5 to 40 years in prison
Virginia law also outlaws abduction and kidnapping (§ 18.2-47), which is defined as the act of taking another person without legal justification or excuse, with intent to deprive them of their freedom or to hide them from their caregiver(s). It also includes the taking of another person without legal justification in order to force them into labor against their will.
The penalties for kidnapping vary depending on the circumstances surrounding the crime:
- Abduction of a Minor Child – Class 2 felony
- Abduction of a Minor Child or Other Household Member by a Parent Who Has Custody or Visitation Rights – Class 1 misdemeanor
- Abduction of a Minor Child or Other Household Member by a Parent Who Has Custody or Visitation Rights and Who Takes the Child Out of the State – Class 6 felony
- Abduction of Anyone Else – Class 5 felony
Assault and Bodily Woundings
A large number of violent crimes in Virginia are various forms of assault, including assault and battery, unlawful wounding, domestic violence, and aggravated assault. In general, assault is defined as any intentional act with intent to cause bodily harm to another person and a present ability to commit such harm to them. It also includes any act with intent to scare a person into believing they are in danger of suffering bodily harm. Below are some of the most common types of assault charges that we handle.
Assault and Battery
Under Virginia law, assault and battery (§ 18.2-57) is defined as any physical contact made with another person with the intent to cause them bodily harm. The law also defines simple assault, which occurs when someone threatens to cause physical harm to another person, or attempts to physically harm them but never makes contact with them. Both forms of assault and battery in Prince William County are punishable as Class 1 misdemeanors.
In Virginia, someone could face criminal charges of strangulation (§ 18.2-51.6) if they intentionally and unlawfully apply pressure to another person’s neck without their consent, impeding blood circulation or breathing, and causing injury. Strangulation is punishable as a Class 6 felony.
Unlawful Wounding (§ 18.2-51) is a form of aggravated assault. Someone can be charged with unlawful wounding if they intentionally injure another person by shooting, stabbing, cutting, or otherwise wounding them, with the intent to cause serious harm. If this act is done maliciously, it can be punished as a Class 3 felony. Otherwise, unlawful wounding is punishable as a Class 6 felony.
Malicious wounding (another form of aggravated assault) is another serious assault crime.
If someone intentionally injures another person by shooting, stabbing, cutting, or otherwise wounding them, with the intent to cause serious harm, and the act results in permanent or significant physical impairment, they could be charged with malicious wounding under § 18.2-51.2. In Virginia, malicious wounding/aggravated assault is punishable as a Class 2 felony.
Under Virginia law, robbery (§ 18.2-58) is the intentional taking of someone else’s property by violence or the threat of violence, with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of their property. Like with many other theft crimes in Virginia, the punishments for robbery vary depending on the circumstances surrounding the crime:
- Robbery Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury or Death – Class 2 felony
- Robbery With a Firearm – Class 3 felony
- Robbery With Physical Force or Another Deadly Weapon – Class 5 felony
- Robbery by Threat or Intimidation – Class 6 felony
Criminal Sexual Assault
Rape (§ 18.2-61) occurs when someone has sexual intercourse with another person against their will or under certain circumstances, such as through force, threat, or intimidation, or through taking advantage of the victim’s mental incapacity, or physical helplessness. Rape also includes sexual intercourse with a child under the age of 13, regardless of consent.
Punishment for rape is up to the court’s discretion and can result in five years to life in prison, except in certain circumstances. For example, if the offender was over the age of 18 at the time of the offense, and the victim was under the age of 13, they face a minimum prison sentence of life in prison.
Sexual battery (§ 18.2-67.4) occurs when an accused individual sexually abuses another person against their will, through force, threat, intimidation, or deception. Sexual abuse is defined as any act committed with intent to sexually molest arouse, or gratify someone where:
- Someone touches the clothed or unclothed private parts of another person without their consent
- Someone forces another person to touch the clothed or unclothed private parts of themselves or another person without their consent
- Someone causes or assists a child under the age of 13 in touching the clothed or unclothed private parts of themselves or another person
In Virginia, sexual battery is punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor.
Penalties for Violent Criminal Charges in VA
The penalties for violent crimes can vary depending on the specific criminal charge, as well as the circumstances surrounding the criminal act. Below are the general punishments for certain types of violent criminal offenses, from the most severe to the least severe.
- Class 1 Felony – life in prison and a fine of up to $100,000
- Class 2 Felony – 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000
- Class 3 Felony – 5 to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000
- Class 4 Felony – 2 to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000
- Class 5 Felony – 1 to 10 years in prison, up to 12 months in jail, and/or a fine of up to $2,500
- Class 6 Felony – 1 to 5 years in prison, up to 12 months in jail, and/or a fine of up to $2,500
- Class 1 Misdemeanor – up to 12 months in jail, and/or a fine of up to $2,500
While these are the general punishments for most violent crimes, certain crimes have specific minimum and maximum prison sentences, depending on the nature of the crime. It’s also important to note that felony charges come with additional punishments. For instance, having a felony offense on your criminal record can revoke your right to vote and make it more difficult for you to find housing and work outside of prison, among other things.
The Importance of Hiring a Criminal Defense Lawyer for Violent Crime Charges
If you have been charged with a violent crime in Prince William County, VA, it’s important to seek legal representation from an experienced Virginia criminal defense attorney in the area. A criminal lawyer will thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding the alleged crime. From there, they can gather evidence, interview witnesses, and identify weaknesses in the case against you.
A skilled defense lawyer can also negotiate with prosecutors to seek a favorable plea agreement, if possible. During trial proceedings, a criminal defense lawyer will present arguments, cross-examine witnesses, and challenge the prosecution’s evidence to cast doubt on the allegations against you.
Ultimately, hiring a criminal defense lawyer for violent crime charges will provide you with the best chance of having a fair trial and achieving the most favorable resolution possible given the circumstances.
Why Choose Manassas Law Group for Your Prince William County Violent Crime Case?
If you’re facing a criminal conviction and you’re looking for an experienced criminal defense attorney in Prince William County, look no further than the Manassas Law Group. With a deep knowledge of the Prince William County criminal justice system and a proven track record of achieving positive results for our clients, our experienced attorneys have the knowledge, skills, and dedication to effectively advocate for your rights and best interests.
At Manassas Law Group, we understand the unique dynamics of the Prince William County area and the intricacies of the Virginia criminal justice system. Our attorneys have invaluable local experience which enables us to navigate through complex criminal proceedings with ease. We are familiar with the local courts, prosecutors, and judges, which allows us to tailor our defense strategies to the specific nuances of the jurisdiction.
With a track record of success in handling a variety of criminal cases, Manassas Law Group has established itself as a trusted advocate for residents of Prince William County facing serious criminal allegations. Our team of experienced attorneys has achieved numerous favorable outcomes for our clients, including dismissals, acquittals, and reduced charges. When you hire a Virginia criminal defense lawyer on our team, you can rest easy knowing your case is in capable hands.
Personalized Defense Strategies
At Manassas Law Group, we recognize that every violent crime case is unique, and we believe in providing personalized defense strategies tailored to the individual circumstances of each client. With our in-depth understanding of criminal defense law, we can provide our clients with skilled, knowledgeable, and aggressive legal advocacy tailored to their situation.
Call the Experienced Prince William County Criminal Defense Lawyers at Manassas Law Group Today
Being accused of a violent crime often means facing felony charges, which carry lengthy prison sentences and hefty fines. Not only that, but having a felony on your record can negatively affect your chances of moving on with your life after prison. If you’re facing a criminal charge in Prince William County, VA, we at Manassas Law Group are here to provide you with the experienced legal counsel you need to succeed.
We cover a range of crimes in Prince William County and Manassas, Virginia, including white-collar crime, domestic violence, driving under the influence, and more.