Assault and Battery

Prince William County Assault and Battery Lawyer

Award Winning Criminal Defense Attorneys for Assault and Battery Charges in Prince William County, Virginia

In Prince William County, assault and battery charges are serious criminal offenses that require a comprehensive understanding of Virginia law. At Manassas Law Group, our dedicated team of Prince William County criminal defense attorneys is ready to provide you with dedicated legal support and representation in your Prince William County assault and battery case. Our team of  experienced, award winning criminal defense lawyers are committed to protecting your rights and your future. Call us today for your free, confidential consultation.

Don’t face criminal assault and battery charges alone. Call The Manassas Law Group at (703) 361-8246 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Prince William County assault and battery attorney

Prince William County Assault and Battery Attorney

What is Assault and Battery?

Assault and battery, while related, are distinct criminal charges. Assault involves a threat to harm someone, creating fear of harm or offensive contact, and doesn’t require actual physical contact. Battery, however, is non-consensual physical violence or contact that may or may not result in bodily injury. That’s right – you can be charged with and convicted of assault and battery even if the other person has no injuries!

Assault vs. Battery

The main distinction between assault and battery lies in physical contact. Assault is characterized by creating a fear of harmful or offensive contact without actual physical contact, focusing on the threat or perceived potential of harm. In contrast, battery requires intentional, non-consensual physical contact, regardless of bodily injury. 

This difference in criminal law, as assault and battery are separate offenses, does not change the legal consequences.  Assault is charged for the threat of harm, while battery is based on the occurrence of physical contact. Both charges are Class 1 Misdemeanors, meaning that they are punishable by up to twelve (12) months in jail and up to a $2,500 fine.

Virginia Code § 18.2-57

Virginia Code § 18.2-57 addresses assault and battery offenses, outlining the legal definitions and consequences for these actions. Under this Virginia criminal code, simple assault or assault and battery is charged as a Class 1 misdemeanor. Conviction for this can result in penalties, including up to 12 months in jail and/or a maximum fine of $2,500. 

This Virginia law also specifies enhanced penalties for assaults against certain protected classes. If an assault is committed because of the victim’s race, religion, color, gender, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, or national origin, it is treated more severely. In such cases, a mandatory minimum jail sentence is imposed. If the assault leads to bodily injury and is motivated by bias against these protected characteristics, the offense is elevated to a Class 6 felony, carrying stricter penalties, including a mandatory jail term. 

Prince William County Assault Lawyer

Types of Assault and Battery Charges in VA

There are many forms of assault and battery offenses in Virginia, each with its own set of legal implications and penalties. The most common battery and assault charges are listed below. 

Simple Assault and Battery

As previously mentioned, simple assault and battery are defined under Virginia Code Section § 18.2-57. Simple assault refers to an attempt or threat of harm that creates a reasonable fear of injury in another person without the necessity of physical contact. Battery involves actual physical contact, where force is applied intentionally and without the consent of the victim, regardless of whether it causes injury. 

Domestic Assault and Battery

Domestic assault and battery in Virginia, as outlined in Virginia Code §18.2-57.2, is a significant offense involving violence, force, or threat leading to physical harm or fear of harm among family or household members. This category includes spouses, ex-spouses, cohabitants, and those with a shared child. 

A domestic violence offense is usually charged as a misdemeanor but can increase to a felony for repeat offenses or severe injuries. If you’re facing domestic assault charges, contact the Prince William County domestic violence attorneys to learn more about your legal options. 

Aggravated Assault/Unlawful Wounding/Malicious Wounding

Aggravated assault charges go by different names under Virginia law including Unlawful Wounding, Malicious Wounding, and Aggravated Malicious Wounding. All three different charges involve an assault that results in serious bodily injury. The difference between the offenses is level of intent: if the assault was committed with the intent to maim, disfigure, disable, or kill, the defendant can be charged with Malicious Wounding or Aggravated Malicious Wounding. 

Unlike simple assault, which is a misdemeanor, Unlawful Wounding, Malicious Wounding, and Aggravated Malicious Wounding in Virginia are all treated as felonies. This distinction is often due to the use of a weapon, the degree of injury caused, or the specific status of the victim (such as a law enforcement officer). The punishment for an aggravated assault conviction is considerably harsher than for simple assault, including the possibility of lengthy prison sentences and substantial fines. 

Malicious Wounding

Malicious wounding is a grave criminal offense defined under Virginia Code §18.2-51. This criminal charge occurs when an individual intentionally causes bodily harm to another with the intent to maim, disfigure, disable, or kill. The term “malicious” indicates that the act is done with malice or ill will, distinguishing it from unintentional or accidental harm. If the injuries are more severe and cause permanent or significant physical impairment, the offense is considered aggravated malicious wounding, which results in even harsher penalties. 

Unlawful Wounding

Unlawful wounding is referenced at the end of Virginia Code Section §18.2-51. The law states that if the assault is done unlawfully but without malice, it’s considered unlawful wounding instead of malicious wounding. This distinction is crucial in legal terms, as it impacts the severity of the charges and potential penalties. This charge is often applicable in cases where there is intent to harm but not to the degree of causing grave or life-threatening injuries. 

Hate Crimes

Hate crimes in Virginia are addressed under Virginia Code §18.2-57, which penalizes criminal acts based on race, religious conviction, color, or national origin. This law encompasses a range of offenses, including assault, battery, and trespassing, among others, that are motivated by bias or prejudice against a particular group. 

Assaulting a Law Enforcement Officer or Other Protected Person

Assaulting a law enforcement officer or other protected persons in Virginia can result in serious criminal assault charges due to the protected status of the victims. Under Virginia Code §18.2-57(C), this offense includes assaulting not only police officers but also firefighters, emergency medical personnel, correction officers, judges, teachers, health care workers, and other specified public safety workers. 

Prince William County Assault and Battery Charges

What are the Penalties for Assault and Battery in Virginia?

The penalties for assault and battery offenses in Virginia vary based on the severity of the crime and the harm inflicted on the other person. They range from misdemeanor assault charges to felony charges. Listed below are the various battery and assault charges one could face if convicted: 

  • Simple Assault and Battery: Considered a Class 1 misdemeanor, resulting in a maximum jail sentence of one year and $2,500 in fines. 
  • Domestic Assault and Battery: These charges are also categorized as a Class 1 misdemeanor. However, if the offender has three or more domestic violence convictions within ten years, the crime is elevated to a Class 6 felony. This felony offense can result in up to five years in prison. 
  • Malicious Wounding: This assault charge is a Class 3 felony and results in a 5-20 year prison sentence and fines costing up to $100,000. If the assault is considered aggravated malicious wounding, the penalties are elevated to a Class 2 felony, which results in a prison sentence of 20 years to life and $100,000 in fines. 
  • Unlawful Wounding: This criminal offense is considered a Class 6 felony, resulting in up to 5 years in prison and $2,500 in fines. 
  • Hate Crime: Depending on the severity of the crime, hate crimes can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony. If the offense does not result in bodily harm, it’s penalized as a Class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia. However, if the alleged victim suffers injuries, the crime is elevated to a Class 6 felony. 
  • Assaulting a Police Officer or Other Protected Person: These assault cases are considered Class 6 felonies and carry a mandatory minimum sentence of six months. 

Why Choose Manassas Law Group For Your Prince William County Assault and Battery Case

When charged with assault and battery in Virginia, securing legal counsel from an experienced team of attorneys like those at the Manassas Law Group is essential. Our understanding of the state’s complex laws and potential for severe penalties enables us to effectively navigate plea bargains, evidence, and trial challenges. 

Our Prince William County assault and battery attorneys use their extensive experience to devise strong defense strategies, potentially reducing charges or achieving dismissals. This dedicated legal assistance is vital in lessening the long-term impacts of such charges on one’s career and reputation. Still not convinced? Here are a few more reasons why Manassas Law Group is the firm to call:

  • Local Experience – Our firm has extensive experience in managing criminal cases in Prince William County. This experience means that we have a deep understanding of Virginia’s legal landscape, including local Prince William County court practices and the specific intricacies of Prince William County’s criminal justice system. This insight is crucial when dealing with the complexities of assault and battery cases, where every choice can have a profound effect on the final result.
  • Proven Success – MLG is backed by a history of successful cases, amazing client reviews, and both national and local awards. Our attorneys have earned countless awards including: Martindale Hubbel Client Champion, Avvo Top Attorney, Avvo Client’s Choice Award, SuperLawyers Rising Star, and 2022 Prince William County Trial Attorney of the Year (voted on by the Prince William County judges).
  • Personalized Defense Strategies – We understand that every case is different in a number of ways. As such, our defense strategies are customized to align with your specific facts and circumstances. This tailored method guarantees that we provide the most aggressive and effective defense possible.
Prince William County Assault and Battery Lawyer

Call a Prince William County Assault and Battery Lawyer at MLG Today for a Free Consultation

In facing the complexities and potential consequences of assault charges in Prince William County, the importance of experienced and dedicated legal representation cannot be overstated. The criminal defense team at Manassas Law Group offers just that – a blend of expertise, commitment, and personalized attention to each case.

Your Prince William County assault and battery lawyer at MLG is ready to provide a free consultation, offering a space to understand your situation and outline the potential paths forward. Don’t navigate this challenging time alone  Time is of the essence in any criminal defense case. Call a Prince William County assault lawyer at Manassas Law Group today at (703) 361-8246. We will assess the details of your case, explain your rights, and outline a defense strategy to protect your future.

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We offer a free case evaluation for new clients seeking criminal defense help. Call our Prince William County office today.

Call 703-361-8246