Violent crimes in Virginia can result in serious penalties, including lengthy prison sentences, high fines, and protective orders. While the penalties may be severe, there are defenses that can be raised to protect your rights. I have experience representing people charged with violent crimes. You can face these charges with the knowledge and confidence that your constitutional rights will be protected.
Aggravated Malicious Wounding
Aggravated malicious wounding occurs when a person:
- Cuts, or
another person causing injury, with the intent to:
- Disable, or
For the charge to be "aggravated" malicious wounding, the offender must also cause severe injury and permanent and substantial physical impairment.
If convicted, the charge is a Class 2 felony, with the following possible penalties:
- 20 years in state prison, up to a possible life term;
- A maximum possible fine of $100,000.
Stabbing/Shooting with Intent to Kill
When a weapon is involved in a crime, the consequences can be very severe. If a person, while in the attempt to commit a felony, unlawfully;
- Cuts, or
a person during the commission of a crime he or she is guilty of a Class 6 felony. The language of the statute is broad, so nearly any "wound" or harm caused in the commission of a felony may apply.
If convicted, you face the following penalties:
- Term of imprisonment for 1 to 5 years;
- Confinement in jail for up to 12 months; or
- A fine of not more than $2,500.
Strangulation is a serious violent offense. Strangulation occurs when a person impedes the blood circulation or respiration of another person by:
- intentionally, and
applying pressure to the neck of a person causing wounds or bodily injury. If a Virginia prosecutor cannot quite prove strangulation, you could be charged with attempted strangulation. Both strangulation and its attempt are Class 6 felonies.
If convicted you face the following possible penalties:
- 1 to 5 years in state prison, or
- Confinement in jail for up to 12 months, and
- A fine of up to a maximum of $2,500.
Assault & Battery
The charge of "assault and battery" is often referred to only as "battery" and occurs when a person unlawfully touches another person in a:
- insulting, or
- angry way.
Whether the battery occurs because of a fist fight, or the use of an object to cause the touching, the charge may apply. The contact does not have to be serious to be considered "offensive."
Assault, also called "simple assault" occurs when a person intentionally creates an apprehension in another person of an imminent harmful or offensive contact. Assault is the threat to commit a battery, and no actual contact has to have occurred.
Both offenses are charged as Class 1 misdemeanors, and if convicted you face:
- A maximum jail sentence of 12 months; and
- A maximum possible fine of $2,500.
Assault and battery against certain protected groups can carry enhanced and sometimes severe penalties. These groups include:
- Law Enforcement,
- Teachers or Health Care Workers,
- Rescue Squad Members, and
- Correctional Officers.
Assault & Battery Against a Family Member
Also called "domestic assault" or domestic violence, this crime occurs when a person commits an assault or battery against a family or household member. Family or household members include:
- A spouse, whether or not he or she resides in the same home as the alleged offender;
- A former spouse, whether or not he or she resides in the same home as the alleged offender;
- Parents, stepparents, children, stepchildren, brothers, sisters, half-brothers and half-sisters, grandparents and grandchildren, regardless of whether they reside in the same home as the alleged offender;
- Mother-in-law, father-in-law, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, brothers-in-law, and sisters-in-law who reside in the same home with the person;
- Any individual who has a child in common with the person, whether or not the person and that individual have been married or have resided together; or
- Any individual who cohabits or who, within the previous 12 months, cohabited with the person, and any children of either of them then residing in the same home with the person.
If convicted of a first offense you face:
- A jail sentence of up to 12 months;
- A maximum fine of up to $2,500.
If you commit the same offense multiple times within a 20 year period, the penalties quickly rise in severity.
Robbery occurs when a prosecutor can prove all of the following occurred:
- A taking;
- By violence, force, threats, or intimidation;
- Of personal property;
- From a person or in his or her presence;
- With the intent to permanently deprive the owner of his or her property.
The offense can be punished as robbery if a person committed the offense by:
- Partial strangulation;
- Striking or beating;
- Assault by placing a person in fear of serious bodily harm; or
- By threatening to present or actually presenting a firearm or other deadly weapon during the offense.
If convicted of robbery, you face:
- A minimum prison sentence of 5 years;
- A maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
Stalking occurs when a person intentionally engages, at least twice, in behavior or conduct which places another person if fear of death, criminal sexual activity, or bodily injury. Stalking behavior includes:
- Following another person against that person's will or without permission;
- Waiting at another person's place of work or home;
- Making threatening phone calls; or
- Unwanted and threatening online contact, such as social media.
A first-time conviction is a Class 1 misdemeanor, and the following penalties apply:
- Up to 12 months in jail;
- A maximum fine of up to $2,500; and
- A no-contact order between the offender and the victim or family member.
Subsequent offenses in a 5 year period will result in enhanced penalties.
Violation of a Protective Order
A protective order, commonly referred to as a "restraining order," is a type of command issued by a Virginia court which requires that one party not contact another. Typical conditions of a Virginia protective order include:
- No Contact Order;
- Territorial Limitations;
- Move Out Order;
- Firearms Restrictions.
Violations of protective orders can result in a finding of contempt of court, or a separate crime, but not both for the same conduct. If convicted of the separate criminal offense, you face:
- Jail time of up to 12 months;
- A fine of not more than $2,500.
For every additional offense within 20 years the penalties become more severe.
Malicious Bodily Injury to Law Enforcement
When a person maliciously injures a member of law enforcement, the penalties can be severe. Use of a deadly weapon creates a presumption of maliciousness, and any bodily injury caused to an officer can subject a person to this charge. The officer must be injured while in the course of his or her duties.
Penalties when the offense was committed maliciously include:
- 2 to 30 years in prison;
- A maximum fine of $100,000.
When not committed maliciously, the penalties include:
- 1 to 5 years in prison;
- A maximum fine of $2,500.
Consult a Virginia Violent Offense Attorney
A violent offense in Virginia carries severe penalties that will greatly affect your rights and freedoms. Experienced Virginia criminal defense attorney Bryan J. Jones can ensure that your constitutional rights are protected. Contact us today.