Assault & Battery
What is assault? The crime of assault is a threat with the means to carry out a battery that put the victim in reasonable fear of offensive touching, harm, or danger. The victim must fear that the harm is imminent, as opposed to some time later (i.e. threats over the phone would not count as assault under Virginia statute).
What is battery? The crime of battery occurs when the defendant actually inflicts physical injury on another. For example, kicking someone in the chest and breaking someone’s ribs is battery. Battery also includes being injured by an object set in motion by the defendant, such as a whip or a defendant’s dog. The difference from assault is that basic assault does not require actual touching.
There are 3 types of Assault & Battery cases in Virginia. They are:
Aggravated Assault – An unlawful attack from one person to another where a weapon is displayed or used in a threatening manner. Aggravated assault is also defined as an unlawful attack which results in injury such as loss of consciousness, broken bones, and cuts.
Simple Assault – This type of assault also involves an unlawful attack; however, simple assaults do not involve weapons or bodily injury.
Intimidation – To cause someone to be in fear of bodily harm by use of threatening vocabulary or conduct. Intimidation cases do not involve the display of weapons, an attack, or stalking.
What are the maximum penalties for Assault & Battery in Virginia?
Assault and/or Battery is a Class 1 misdemeanor which is punishable by a maximum jail sentence of 12 months A $2500.00 fine
If the battery was intentionally based on the victim’s race or religion and bodily injury resulted to the victim, then charge is elevated to a Class 6 felony, which is punishable by a prison sentence of not less than 1 year and no more than 5 years, and/or a maximum fine of $2500.00; or is punishable by a maximum jail sentence of 12-months and/or a maximum fine of $2500.00.
If the assault and/or battery was committed against a law enforcement officer, then the charge is elevated to a Class 6 felony, which is punishable by a prison sentence of not less than 1 year and no more than 5 years, and/or a maximum fine of $2500.00; or is punishable by a maximum jail sentence of 12 months and/or a maximum fine of $2500.00.
Virginia’s “Three Strikes Law” – Any criminal previously convicted of two separate violent crimes will automatically be sentenced to life in prison for the third conviction of any violent crime.
Why should I consult an attorney? Assault & Battery offenses by their very nature are considered violent crimes. Victims and their families, along with prosecutors, judges, and ultimately juries tend to react in an emotional matter when determining guilt. For this reason alone, hiring an attorney with experience and familiarity with the local jurisdiction will be your biggest asset.
If you have been charged with an Assault & Battery offense, contact The Paracha Firm immediately for no-fee consultation.