Assault and Battery

Virginia Code Books

The attorneys of Crowley Peritz Law are Fairfax Assault and Battery lawyers who serve all of Northern Virginia including Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William, Arlington and Alexandria. We understand that if you have been charged with Assault and Battery there can be serious consequences for your record and your job, as well as the real possibility of going to jail. Having the right team in your corner can make all the difference. Contact us today to begin creating a customized defense and restoring your piece of mind.

Assault and Battery Defined

Assault and Battery is a class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a $2500.00 fine. Though they are both covered by the same code section and have the same punishment, Assault and Battery are actually two different offenses.

Assault occurs when a person is placed in reasonable fear of bodily injury. Assault also includes an act intended to cause bodily harm where the perpetrator has the present ability to inflict that harm. A battery is any unwanted touching of another person that is done in rudeness, anger, or insultingly. The touching has little to do with how much force is used, and everything to do with the intention behind it. The touching can be accomplished using a body part (a hand or foot for example) or an object (such as swinging a bat or even throwing a projectile).

The same act can result in both Assault and Battery or just one of them. If a defendant angrily swings a stick at someone else as they face each other, and hits the other person on the arm, it is both Assault and Battery. It is Assault because the victim sees the stick coming and feels reasonable fear that he is about to be struck. It is a battery because it is an unauthorized touching done in anger. But change the facts slightly and the outcome is different. If the victim is struck from behind and never sees the blow coming, it is only battery because the victim never has a chance to experience fear of being hit before it occurs. If on the other hand the victim moves out of the way and is never touched, it is only assault. In this case he sees the stick coming, feels fear, and moves, but never experiences the unwanted touching.

Practically speaking, a defendant is found guilty if the government can prove either Assault OR Battery. If it proves them both it generally only results in a single conviction. It is rare, though possible, for a defendant be charged and with and convicted of both. Our Assault and Battery Lawyers serving Fairfax and all of Northern Virginia will tailor your defense to fit the facts of your case and your personal situation.

These types of cases are heard by a General District Court.

Assault and Battery on a Family or Household Member

For this type of charge, in addition to providing all of the elements of Assault and Battery (discussed above) the government must also prove that the victim was a “family or household member.” Family or household members include (1) a spouse or former spouse regardless of where they live, (2) immediately family members (parents, children, siblings) including steps relations, half relations, as well as grandparents and grandchildren regardless of where they live (3) in-laws who reside in the same home as the defendant, (3) anyone the defendant has a child in common with even if they were never married or even lived together OR (4) any person the defendant “cohabits” with, or has cohabited with in the last 12 months (cohabiting is essentially living together similar to a spousal relationship) and their children if they are still residing together. As Fairfax Domestic Assault and Battery Lawyers we see these cases come up in all kind of relationships, even ones where the people involved no longer live under the same room (and in some cases never did).

Assault and Battery on a Family or Household Member is also a class 1 misdemeanor punishable by 12 months in jail and a $2500.00 fine. It is also common for a Court to limit, or even prohibit, contact between the defendant and alleged victim while the case is going on as well as afterward as a condition or probation, pursuant to a Protective Order, or both. It is common for alleged victims or police to request a Protective Order in these types of cases.

These cases are heard by the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court.

Consult With Our Fairfax Assault and Battery Attorneys

We are available to discuss your case whenever you need help, including nights, weekends, and holidays. Consultations are always free, and we will take as long as needed to understand your case, your personal situation, and begin implementing a plan for your defense. Contact us to get on the road to fighting for your future.

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