In Virginia Beach, the crime of assault and battery comprises of a variety of incidents. Assault and battery can be any type of offensive or harmful touching. The range of potential acts varies from a punch during a barroom brawl to a slap in a domestic violence incident. Although both types of harmful touching violate Virginia law, the statutes governing the crimes treat each offense very differently.
Assault and battery charges can be difficult to defend. That is why you need a tough, seasoned, and effective Virginia assault and battery defense attorney to fight on your behalf. Virginia Beach assault and battery defense attorney Patricia Hardt, Esq. has the experience defending assault and battery cases you need to help you through this most difficult time. One advantage that Attorney Hardt has above other defense attorneys is that she was once a prosecutor assigned to prosecutor domestic violence crimes. Attorney Hardt’s experience as a prosecutor allows her to anticipate potential maneuvers by the prosecution and predict what the government might do next.
Types Of Assault And Battery Cases
In Virginia, assault and battery is a touching with justification. The touching must be willful and have some potentially harmful consequence. An assault and battery can also be a touching that is complete in a rude, hostile, or insulting way without legal justification or excuse. The barroom brawl is a good example of this kind of assault and battery. An assault and battery of this type is a Class 1 misdemeanor unless there is a racial or another discriminatory motive to the beating. In that case, the crime is a component then the crime is a Class 6 felony, and the minimum length of incarceration is six months in jail, with 30 days to serve as a mandatory sentence.
Another iteration of assault and battery may be found in domestic violence situations. The elements or components of the crime are the same as a traditional assault and battery except for the added element of a crime against a family member. The potential sentence is the same unless the accused has a prior history of domestic violence. If that is the case, then the potential penalty increases in severity from a Class 1 misdemeanor to a Class 6 felony. Therefore, the potential length of incarceration ranges from one year to five years in the Commonwealth’s prison. One year incarceration in jail is a possible alternative sentence.
The law gives a first offender the benefit of probation as an alternative to incarceration. Virginia law permits a person to be placed on probation in the community without a finding or plea of guilt for a first offense.
Enhanced Penalties for Assaultive Behavior
Domestic arguments can turn ugly and violent quickly. Many victims of domestic abuse are not only struck by their abusers, but they also strangle them. In Virginia, strangulation is a Class 6 felony. Virginia law defines strangulation as intentionally impeding the blood flow or air flow of another by applying pressure to the neck area.
Malicious wounding is another form of aggravated battery. Malicious wounding involves the specific intent to injure, kill, or maim a person with malice. Malice is the evil intent required to complete the crime. Virginia law recognizes the crime of lesser-included crime of unlawful wounding. Both of these crimes are Class 3 felonies and can be punished by imprisonment from five to 20 years.
However, Virginia law includes a charge of aggravated malicious wounding. To prove the accused guilty of that crime, the victim must have suffered a permanent and substantial physical injury. The latter crime is a Class 2 felony punishable by a term of incarceration ranging from 20 years to life.
Violation Of A Protective Order
A violation of a protective order is a serious crime. The crime is a Class 1 misdemeanor. However, the legislature established tough minimum mandatory penalties for subsequent offenses and for committing a violation of a protective order by stalking or by committing an assault and battery upon the protected person. Furthermore, the period of incarceration cannot be suspended. Additionally, the judge must extend the protective order for an additional two years after a conviction.
Where To Turn For Help
Virginia Beach assault and battery defense attorney Patricia Hardt, Esq. can help you if you are facing assault and battery charges. Attorney Hardt will draw upon her vast experience to devise the best strategy for your defense. Do not delay. Call Attorney Hardt today at 757-962-5588 to schedule a consultation. Do not trust your future to anyone else.