Battery is a serious criminal offense, and you should take the charge seriously. When charged with a crime, your life might change in unexpected ways whether you were wrongly accused or not. Your future earning potential can be cut in half. Employers are less likely to hire you. Family and friends will treat you differently than they did before your arrest. Even though our legal system is based on providing individuals with a fair trial because they are “innocent until proven guilty,” our society rarely provides the accused with this same privilege.
In order to reduce or eliminate these consequences, it is important to retain legal counsel. A Fairfax criminal defense lawyer can reduce fines, eliminate the chance of imprisonment, and help you move on with your life. Do not base this decision on money, because you will end up paying much more later if you hesitate to hire a lawyer now.
What Does The Charge Of Battery Mean?
Assault and battery are two distinct crimes, but they both fall under the same statute and are prosecuted the same way. Therefore a defendant will be penalized the same even if both crimes were committed together. In most cases, a defendant will be charged with both crimes. This is especially the case if a defendant commits battery.
Battery is the initiation of unwanted physical contact. The contact does not need to be violent, whereas assault is the threat of physical violence. If you “batter” someone in a violent way, you will, therefore, be charged with both assault and battery.
Battery can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the level of harm committed against the victim. When a defendant is charged with assault and battery as aggravated malicious wounding, it is a Class 2 felony. In this case, the person charged is accused of shooting, stabbing, or otherwise maliciously causing severe injury to another.
What Are The Penalties Of A Battery Charge In Fairfax, Virginia?
- Simple Assault. This crime, separate from battery, can result in one-year imprisonment and a fine up to $2,500.
- Assault and Battery. These crimes can result in one-year imprisonment and a fine up to $2,500.
- Aggravated Malicious Wounding. This Class 2 felony can result in a steep prison sentence of twenty years to life.
Any of these criminal offenses, when committed against a judge, law enforcement officer, firefighter, or medical personnel, will be charged as a Class 6 felony. This crime can result in six months of mandatory imprisonment after a 1 to 5-year prison sentence.
Any of these criminal offenses, when committed against an educator, will be charged as a Class 1 misdemeanor. This crime can result in one year imprisonment and a fine up to $2,500. In addition, there is a mandatory minimum sentence that includes 15 days in jail.
How Can A Fairfax Battery Defense Lawyer Help Defend You?
The potential arguments a Fairfax attorney can use to defend a charge of battery are similar or the same to those used to defend a charge of assault.
- Self-defense. In most cases, the defendant can claim self-defense. There are two types of self-defense. Justifiable self-defense means the altercation was started by another party, and the defendant is, therefore, neither responsible nor at fault for the battery charge. Excusable self-defense means that both parties were partially responsible for starting the altercation, but the defendant tried to back down or retreat before the altercation turned violent.
- Consent. This type of defense is used primarily in cases during which physical activity is both expected and understood. If charges of assault or battery stem from physical contact during a game of football or a boxing match, then legal counsel can sometimes justify the physical altercation by using a consent defense.
- Accidental Contact. If the defendant was involved in a physical altercation that began only after accidental physical contact was made, then this defense might prove adequate.
- Lack of Malice. Mitigating circumstances are sometimes important when charges like assault and battery with aggravated malicious wounding are lodged. If a defendant can prove that there was no malicious intent, then it goes a long way. This is especially true if the defendant had no motivation for the violent act.
Sometimes those who are charged with battery choose to waive their right to legal counsel. Assault and battery are serious charges with potentially lifelong consequences, and they should not be taken lightly. When you defend yourself, you essentially give up your right to bargain with the prosecution when pleading guilty to a crime. Pleading not guilty means you will end up in court, where it becomes impossible to adequately defend yourself without extensive knowledge of the law. If you are charged with either crime, then you need proper legal counsel.
Call A Fairfax Battery Attorney Now!
If you find yourself in court on a battery charge, then you deserve a respectable defense. A Fairfax Criminal Defense Attorney can protect and preserve your rights, keep you out of jail and prevent you from being ruined financially. Our Fairfax, VA Law Firm has protected clients from prosecutorial overreach for many years, and we have a proven record of responsibly and rigorously defending those we serve. Contact us for a free consultation today!