Assault and Battery, VA Code § 18.2-57
Virginia Code §18.2-57 codifies the offense of simple assault and battery as a class 1 misdemeanor, with several specific enhancements to the penalties assessed for specific behavior. Assault and Battery are actually two separate and distinct crimes.
An assault occurs when an assailant either (1) engages in an act intended to inflict bodily harm and has the present ability to inflict such harm or (2) engages in an act intended to place the victim in fear or apprehension of bodily harm and creates such reasonable fear or apprehension in the victim. Therefore, even if you did not actually make contact with the alleged victim, if you intended to make contact, you could be found guilty of assault. A battery is more specific in that it is the actual infliction of harmful or offensive contact with another that is done intentionally or in anger.
There are several enhancements to the penalties for assault and battery which can escalate the misdemeanor assault to a felony assault or an assault with a mandatory minimum jail sentence.
A necessary element to both assault and battery is intent to make contact with the alleged victim. Intent may be proved by circumstantial evidence, as long as such evidence excludes all reasonable hypotheses of innocence flowing from it. Circumstantial evidence of intent may include the conduct and statements of the alleged offender, and the jury may infer that the defendant intended the natural and probable consequences of his/her acts. In other words, if you did not intent to make contact with the alleged victim, there can be no assault or battery.
In addition to lack of intent as a potential defense to assault and battery, self defense or the defense of another is also another commonly used defense raised against the charge of assault and battery. To the extent that your responding action is commensurate with aggression being faced by you or another, then an argument can be made that you acted reasonably and were justified in your actions.
Finally, Virginia Code §19.2-151 offers other defenses related to satisfaction and accord whereby the alleged victim advises the Court that he/she has been made whole and has received "satisfaction for the injury." In that case, the Court may dismiss the charges.
If you or someone you know in the Northern Virginia Area has been charged with assault and battery and needs the representation or legal advice of an experienced lawyer, call Noorishad Law, P.C. today at 703-542-4500, or complete the "schedule an appointment" form to meet with Mr. Noorishad to discuss your particular case.
Unlawful Wounding, Va. Code § 18.2-51
Unlawful Wounding (Va Code 18.2-51), is the defined as a person unlawfully shoots, stabs, cuts, or wounds any person or by any means causes him bodily injury with the intent to maim, disfigure, disable, or kill, shall be guilty of a Class 6 Felony, which is punishable by up to 5 years in jail or a $2,500.00 fine. The Commonwealth of Virginia must prove two elements to secure a conviction of a defendant for unlawful wounding: (1) the defendant shot, stabbed, cut, wounded, or caused bodily injury to another person, and (2) the defendant intended to maim, disfigure, disable or kill the other person at the time he committed the act.
Malicious Wounding, Va Code § 18.2-51
Malicious Wounding (Va Code 18.2-51), is the defined as a person maliciously shoots, stabs, cuts, or wounds any person or by any means causes him bodily injury with the intent to maim, disfigure, disable, or kill, shall be guilty of a Class 3 Felony, which is punishable by 5 to 20 years in jail and a fine of up to $100,000.00. The Commonwealth of Virginia must prove three elements to secure a conviction of a defendant for malicious wounding: (1) the defendant shot, stabbed, cut, wounded, or caused bodily injury to another person, (2) the defendant intended to maim, disfigure, disable or kill the other person at the time he committed the act, and (3) that the act was done with malice.
Rape / Sexual Battery
In Virginia, Rape (Va. Code § 18.2-61) is defined as having sexual intercourse with the victim either (1) against the victim’s will, by force, threat or intimidation, or (2) through the use of the victim’s mental incapacity or physical helplessness, or (3) with a child under the age of 13.
A violation of rape carries with it, very significant consequences. If found guilty of rape, the accused faces confinement in a state correctional facility for anywhere between 5 years to life. There are several penalty enhancements associated with having sexual intercourse with a child under the age of 13 that include a minimum mandatory sentence of life.
There are specific nuances in the Code which deal with evidence that can be introduced in a rape trial, including the Virginia Rape Shield Statute (Va. Code § 18.2-67.7). These nuances must be considered with an experienced Virginia defense attorney in order to formulate a defense strategy which best suits the particular defendant.
Mr. Noorishad has experience in defending rape and sexual battery cases in Virginia. If you or a loved one has been charged with rape in Northern Virginia, please call Noorishad Law, P.C. today at 703-542-4500, or complete the "schedule an appointment" form to meet with Mr. Noorishad to discuss your particular case..