Many cases that result in someone being charged with assault occur because of a dispute where it is not obvious who was the instigator or aggressor. Unfortunately, this is a serious matter and comes with potentially life-changing consequences if you are convicted or plead guilty.
Because of the seriousness of this crime and the potential consequences it carries, it is important to learn as much as possible about the charge.
What does the law say?
A simple assault charge is considered a Class 1 Misdemeanor in Virginia. If, however, the assault was committed against a member of a certain group of people, it could lead to an even more serious felony charge.
Assault doesn’t require that you touch someone
You may believe you can only be charged with this crime if you are in a serious altercation with someone. This isn’t the case. You can be arrested for assault for missing a punch or spitting at someone or even just making a threat. Assault is in effect making someone feel they are in immediate danger. If you actually make physical contact you could end up facing more serious battery charges as well.
One way to argue this charge is that it was self-defense. Determining if this is the case can be difficult. The authorities will consider what you did in the situation and if you took steps to de-escalate it.
How to handle a Virginia assault charge
Knowing what to expect is beneficial if you are charged with assault in Virginia. This will help you determine the type of defense that may be most effective for your case and situation. However, keep in mind that if you are arrested and charged with this crime, you face real, serious, and potentially life-changing consequences.