Conviction of an assault charge can deeply affect your personal and professional future. If the charges against you escalate to the level of a felony, the penalties of a conviction will be especially harsh.
There are options available to you for building a strong defense that can give you the best chance at clearing or reducing the felony charges hanging over you. When you understand exactly when assault and battery is a misdemeanor and when it becomes a felony, you and your defense team can plan accordingly as you strive for a favorable outcome.
When does Virginia law consider assault to be a misdemeanor?
Virginia legal code defines assault as a Class 1 misdemeanor when an individual threatens another person or acts with the intent to inflict harm upon that person. Assault and battery is a similar crime that entails actually touching another person in an aggressive manner. The penalties for a misdemeanor assault conviction include up to 12 months of jail time and a maximum fine of $2,500.
When does Virginia law consider assault to be a felony?
When an act of assault results in bodily injury to the victim, the charges can escalate to a Class 6 felony under Virginia law. Additionally, an individual with a prior assault conviction can receive felony charges for a subsequent instance of assault even if it does not result in bodily harm. The penalties for a felony assault include imprisonment for up to five years or longer, as well as a fine up to or exceeding $2,500.
Virginia law considers assault to be a felony when someone acts with the intent to harm another and succeeds in doing so. If you receive a felony assault charge, it is important to build a strong defense with help from your legal team.