Fairfax Assault Lawyer
A conviction for a violent crime such as assault can permanently ruin your reputation and cost you your future and your freedom. Get the defense you need by working with a Fairfax County assault lawyer.
Assault is defined as an action or a threat of action that puts another person at immediate risk of bodily harm. Assault is a serious offense in Virginia, and if you’ve been charged with assaulting someone, you’re probably wondering exactly what you’re up against and what your legal defenses might be.
As assault is a criminal offense, the prosecution must prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that you committed a crime in order for you to be convicted. In other words, the burden of proof is stricter than it is in civil cases.
A Fairfax assault lawyer with Priale & Racine, PLLC will have the experience to build the powerful and compelling defense you need. Your assault attorney will work hard to get your charges reduced or dropped altogether.
Penalties for Assault in Virginia
Virginia law outlines the following penalties for simple assault (placing another person in imminent danger of bodily harm):
- Assault is classified as a Class 1 misdemeanor, punished by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. If a person commits assault against another person because of the other person’s race, class, gender, or religion, the offense becomes a hate crime, which can increase the seriousness of the penalties involved.
- If convicted of assault against a protected employee, a person is found guilty of a Class 6 felony and will face a mandatory minimum confinement time of six months. Protected employees include judges, correctional officers, police officers, firefighters, and emergency medical technicians (EMT).
- Assault with a firearm is treated as a Class 1 misdemeanor. If convicted, you could face up to twelve months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. However, if the assault occurred on the grounds of a school, it is treated as a Class 6 felony, punishable by either one to five years in prison or a twelve-month jail sentence, plus a fine of up to $2,500.
Assault is different from battery in that it isn’t necessary for someone to actually be harmed. It’s enough for someone to simply be threatened with imminent harm.
Examples of assault include running toward a person and yelling that the person is going to be killed, or someone motioning toward what appears to be a weapon on his or her person. Threatening someone over the phone would not be categorized as assault, as assault implies imminent risk of bodily harm.
Possible Defenses for Assault Charges
People are often wrongly accused of assault. An “assault” charge could result from something as simple as an unwelcome tap on the shoulder to another person.
Self-defense is a common legal defense for assault charges. In order to prove self-defense, your assault defense attorney must demonstrate to a jury that you faced a threat of harm, felt a real or perceived threat of harm, did not provoke the other person, and had no reasonable chance of escaping the situation.
In addition to self-defense, protection of either others or property is also a common defense in assault cases. Whatever your situation, it’s within your best interests to have a legal ally in your corner who is experienced in assault cases. Your assault lawyer will determine the best defense based on your unique case, with the goal of having your violent crime charge dismissed.
Contact a Fairfax County Assault Attorney
Facing an assault charge is scary, but it is possible to build a strong defense and regain control of your future. Contact an attorney with Priale & Racine, PLLC today by calling 703-272-3922 or by filling out our online contact form below. Your consultation is free and one hundred percent confidential.