Norfolk, VA Assault and Battery Criminal Defense Lawyers
Our law firm puts your best interests first
Have you been arrested and charged with assault and battery in Norfolk or Newport News? Or perhaps you’re dealing with an assault charge in Virginia Beach or another community in the Hampton Roads, VA area.
Whatever the circumstances of your assault and battery charge, it’s critical that you fully understand your legal rights. If you are charged and convicted of assault and battery in Virginia, you could face very serious consequences, including significant jail time.
Our Norfolk, VA criminal defense attorneys at Welch & Wright, PLLC know what’s at stake. That’s why we want to help. Our highly skilled trial lawyers regularly represent individuals charged with assault and battery in court in Virginia. As a result, we thoroughly understand the laws that apply to such charges and how the criminal justice system works in such cases.
What is assault and battery?
Virginia Code 18.2-57 is the primary law in the Commonwealth of Virginia concerning assault and battery. However, just because assault and battery is included in this same code does not mean that assault and battery are the same things.
From a legal perspective, assault means that someone engaged in a deliberate act designed to cause bodily harm or instilled fear that they might cause bodily harm. As a result, someone can be charged with assault even if they did not touch the victim.
In Virginia, battery charges involve intentionally touching someone or unlawfully touching them. A person who touched someone else does not have to cause an injury in order to be charged with battery; technically, the touching just needs to be unwanted.
Penalties for assault and battery
The penalties in the Commonwealth of Virginia for an assault and battery conviction vary widely depending on the circumstances of the incident and can include:
- Basic assault and battery – Up to 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine. (Virginia Code 18.2-57)
- Assault and battery of a family member – Sometimes called domestic assault and battery or domestic violence, such charges often involve serious injuries to a family member and can result in a wide range of penalties, including possible prison time (sometimes up to 12 months in jail) and/or prohibiting the family member charged with the assault and battery from having any contact with the family member who filed the charges.
- Assault and battery based on someone’s religion or ethnicity – Sometimes referred to as a hate crime, the penalty is Up to 12 months in jail and a fine of $2,500. (Virginia Code 18.2-57 (A)) The penalty increases to up to 5 years in prison if the victim sustains a serious bodily injury as a result of the assault and battery. (Virginia Code 18.2-57 (B))
- Assault and battery of a police officer or government employee – Up to 5 years in prison, with a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 6 months. (Virginia Code 18.2-57 (C))
- Assault and battery of a teacher or school employee – 15 days to 12 months in jail. (Virginia Code 18.2-57 (D))
Common legal defenses for assault and battery
If you have been charged with assault and battery in Virginia, there are many different ways your criminal defense attorney can mount a legal defense on your behalf, including proving:
- You did not threaten or touch the victim.
- There is no evidence that you threatened or touched the other person.
- You were acting in self-defense.
- The incident never took place.
You have rights. We can help
Don’t simply assume there’s nothing you can do if you have been charged with assault and battery in Virginia. You have legal rights. And it’s our job to make sure your rights are respected. That’s why our Norfolk, VA criminal defense attorneys want to meet with you. We can answer your questions, explain your options, and develop a legal strategy tailored to your case.
Get the Norfolk law firm that gets results. Contact us and schedule a free case evaluation with one of our experienced Virginia criminal defense lawyers focused on winning your case. We handle complex legal cases in Norfolk, Newport News, Virginia Beach and throughout the greater Hampton Roads area.