The Commonwealth defines"simple assault" and "battery" in the same statute, but these are distinctly different acts. While most incidents of Assault and Battery are misdemeanors, some are charged as felonies if the victim qualifies for a special classification. If you have been charged with Simple Assault or Assault and Battery in Virginia, an aggressive criminal defense attorney from S.L. England, PLLC, can build the strongest defense for you.
In Virginia, a person commits Simple Assault when they cause another person apprehension of imminent physical harm, such as by making threats while in a position to carry out those threats. Simple assault also occurs from a failed attempt at battery. It does not involve the use of weapons or physical contact with the victim.
If the Simple Assault was due to the victim's race, religion, color, or national origin, Virginia law mandates a minimum of 30 days confinement.
In most cases where Simple Assault is not a hate crime, it is a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and up to a $2,500 fine.
Assault and Battery
A person commits Assault and Battery when they have intentionally harmful physical contact with another person.
Teachers and school employees cannot be charged with Assault and Battery for using force to maintain order on school property or at school events.
Some Assault and Battery victims fall into a special classification that makes the crime automatically a Class 6 felony with a mandatory minimum of six months confinement. These include judges or magistrates; law enforcement officers; correctional officers; EMTs; and firefighters. Additionally, health care workers in hospitals and emergency rooms have a separate special classification, and battery against them is a Class 1 misdemeanor with a mandatory minimum of two days confinement. To qualify for special classification, the victim must be acting in their line of duty at the time of the assault.
If a person commits Assault and Battery against another based on the victim's race, religion, color, or national origin, this is a Class 6 felony with a mandatory minimum of 30 days confinement.
In most cases when the victim does not fall into a special classification, Assault and Battery is a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in ail and up to $2,500 in fines. If the battery causes bodily injury to the victim, this is a Class 6 Felony punishable by one to five years in prison and a fine up to $2,500.
Have You Been Charged With Assault and Battery in Virginia?
Whether you have been charged with misdemeanor or felony Assault and Battery, the experienced attorneys at S.L. England, PLLC, can navigate the criminal justice system while building the strongest defense for you. Our attorneys understand that you may have been acting in self-defense or that the physical contact with the other person was unintentional. Virginia law is very clear that the act must be intentional. If you have been charged with Assault and Battery in Virginia or Washington, D.C., call us today at (202) 489-0720 or contact us online.