Speak with a proven Assault and Battery Attorney
At the Flynn Law Firm, we recognize how serious Assault and other crimes of violence charges are, and how they can affect you and your livelihood, especially in Virginia. They can cause problems with employers, education, and many of these charges have serious collateral consequences, such as the loss of a security clearance, or the right to own a firearm. You need a team that will fight for you every step of the way and that has experience in handling these types of cases.
Assault and Battery / Domestic Assault / Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer
In Virginia, Assault and Battery is combined into one statute under 18.2-57. In fact, many different related crimes are combined in that statute, with the penalties changing depending on different factors such as the intent of the person committing the assault (hate crimes based on race, religious conviction, national origin, etc.), or the identity of the alleged victim (spouse, family member, law enforcement officer, etc.).
Assault and Battery is often called “simple assault” when the combatant has no special relationship with the alleged victim, and the alleged assault is not motivated by any discriminatory motives. “Simple Assault” is a Class 1 Misdemeanor. “Domestic Assault,” (sometimes called “Assault on a Family Member”) is also a Class 1 Misdemeanor, but the alleged victim has to have a special relationship with the alleged perpetrator (spouse, sibling, roommate, significant other, close family member, etc.). On the other hand, Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer is a Class 6 Felony, with a mandatory minimum sentence of 6 months. Likewise, if the assault was conducted on the alleged victim due to their race, religion, color or nationality there is a 6-month mandatory minimum sentence, with at least 30 days of active incarceration.
It is really important to understand that an assault is not an assault because of the severity of the action. An assault can simply be an offensive, or unwanted touch. Typically, though, there has to be a “touching,” harsh words by themselves will not be sufficient. It could be a rude touch such as shoving someone out of the way. The same act that may be inoffensive in one context may in fact be criminal assault in a different context. The same nudge or shove that one gives their good friend or sibling, could be felonious assault on a law enforcement officer if committed against an officer. These cases are very fact specific, and will require careful preparation and review to determine the best way to defend against this charge, and to determine what (if any) defense we may use in the defense against these charges.
Unlawful Wounding / Malicious Wounding / Aggravated Malicious Wounding
Similar to Assault and Battery, Malicious Wounding is a charge whose severity relies upon the intent of the alleged perpetrator and the nature and severity of the injuries to the alleged victim. A Malicious Wounding occurs when someone acts with malice to injure someone else, and their intent at the time of the act was to kill, disfigure, maim or disable. This is a Class 3 Felony, which is a very serious crime, with very serious consequences.
In order to find one guilty, a Virginia prosecutor will have to prove beyond all reasonable doubt that the person was acting maliciously and with the required intent. Both of these can be proven with circumstantial evidence of the conduct surrounding the offense. The difference between Malicious Wounding and Unlawful Wounding is that Unlawful Wounding is done without malice. Similarly, the difference between Malicious Wounding and Aggravated Malicious Wounding contemplates the degree of injury to the alleged victim. Likewise, the difference Unlawful Wounding and Assault and Battery (a misdemeanor) also depends on the nature of the alleged injury.
Aggravated Malicious Wounding is a Class 2 Felony, Malicious Wounding is a Class 3 Felony, and Unlawful Wounding is a Class 6 Felony. These are very serious crimes, and carry very severe consequences if you are found guilty. You need an experienced attorney who will fight for you. If you or someone you care about has been charged in Virginia for Assault, or a related crime of violence, contact the Flynn Law Firm for a free consultation. We have 8 years of experience in handling these cases throughout Virginia, and look forward to assisting and serving you.
In 2012 Virginia made Strangulation a crime separate and distinct from domestic assault and the other assault related offenses. Strangulation is a very nuanced charge that requires some very specific facts in order for a prosecutor to move forward with. Often times there will be evidentiary issues that will make it challenging for a prosecutor to move forward. If you are accused of strangulation, it is critical that you do not speak with law enforcement!
In order to be found guilty of strangulation, a Virginia prosecutor must prove that (1) the person stopped or slowed the circulation of an alleged victim, (2) without their permission, (3) on purpose, (4) by applying pressure to someone’s neck, and (5) caused injury to the alleged victim.
Strangulation is a Class 6 Felony, and can have terrible consequences directly and indirectly to someone found guilty of such an offense. These cases can be very difficult for a prosecutor to prove, for a variety of reasons. You need an experienced attorney who will fight for you. If you or someone you care about has been charged in Virginia for Assault, or a related crime of violence, contact the Flynn Law Firm for a free consultation. We have 8 years of experience in handling these cases throughout Virginia, and look forward to assisting and serving you.
If you or someone you care about has been charged in Virginia for an assault related offense, contact the Flynn Law Firm for a free consultation. We are an African American law firm with 8 years of experience with these types of cases. Rex Flynn is licensed to practice in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. but practices primarily in Northern Virginia (Fairfax, Arlington, Falls Church, Alexandria, Prince William and Loudoun Counties). These charges are serious, you deserve to be represented by a criminal defense attorney that you trust and that will fight for you to the very end. Give us a call today for a free consultation.