Hampton Roads Assault Penalties

Most assault charges are going to be treated as misdemeanors. Depending on the circumstances of the assault, the individual could be facing a felony. Even if the defendant is facing a misdemeanor, it is still a criminal matter and the defendant should seek legal counsel. The Hampton Roads assault penalties are up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. The ramifications for an assault charge are serious, therefore, if you are facing charges, you should obtain an experienced and dedicated attorney.

Prosecutor’s Burden of Proof

In assault cases, the prosecutor must show that the defendant made threats of physical harm or violence towards another individual and that was not done in any sort of self-defense. If it is an assault and battery charge, then the prosecutor has to prove that the defendant made unwanted physical contact and that it was intentional with the other person. If it was not intentional, then it is not assault and battery. A knowledgeable defense attorney will know which arguments to raise against the state’s case.

Enhanced Penalties

As mentioned above, assault is a misdemeanor, however, the offense could be raised to a felony depending on numerous factors. For instance, if the defendant has a criminal history, then they could be facing enhanced penalties. Also, the person may face an aggravated assault charge if a weapon was involved in the offense.

Another example of how an individual could face enhanced Hampton Roads assault penalties is if the offense took place on school grounds or against people who are employees of a school. If the assault is against a healthcare provider or an officer, then that could be an aggravating factor. Also, if the offense is considered a hate crime, the person could be looking at enhanced penalties. For example, the assault was towards someone based on their race, religion, ethnicity, or national origin. If so, then the defendant would be charged with a Class 6 felony and not just a simple misdemeanor. A Class 6 felony carries a fine of up to $2,500 and/or jail time of no less than one year and no more than five years.

Deferred Options for Defendants

For simple assault and battery charges, there are no diversion programs or alternative sentencing options. For domestic assault and battery, which is when the assault was against a family or household member, there is a first-offender program where the judge will give the defendant an opportunity to keep the charge off their record. Pursuant to good behavior and anger management or community service, some judges will be willing to entertain a deferred program in these types of cases. However, this is something that the judges are not required to do for someone facing Hampton Roads assault penalties.

Importance of Contacting an Assault Attorney in Hampton Roads

If you have been arrested for assault, you are looking at a misdemeanor or possible felony charge that will stay on your record for the rest of your life if you are convicted. Hampton Roads assault penalties are serious and could cause you to face prison time and pay expensive fines. This is why it is important for individuals facing assault charges to reach out to a skilled defense attorney.