Most people in Virginia will get into arguments from time to time. These arguments may take place between friends or relatives, or they may involve complete strangers. Usually, these arguments only involve words hurled at one another, and nothing more. However, other times an argument can escalate into threats of physical violence or an actual physical attack. When this happens a person in Virginia might be charged with assault or battery.

In Virginia, the crime of simple assault takes place when someone attempts to commit a battery or attempts to make a person fear that they will face imminent physical harm. A person can be charged with simple assault even if they never even touch the alleged victim.

Battery, on the other hand, involves offensive or harmful contact with the alleged victim. If the harm is severe, it may constitute the more serious crime of aggravated malicious wounding. For example, if a person maliciously wounds another or otherwise causes another to be physically injured and the person had the intention of disfiguring, disabling or killing the alleged victim and the victim is severely injured and significantly physically impaired, this may constitute aggravated malicious wounding.

If a person in Virginia is convicted of simple assault or assault and battery, they may face up to one year in prison and/or a fine of as much as $2,500. If a person in Virginia is convicted of aggravated malicious wounding, they may face an incarceration sentence of 20 years to life.

As this shows, the crimes of assault, battery and aggravated malicious wounding are very serious. Due to the serious penalties that follow a conviction, it is important that a person is not wrongfully convicted of one of these crimes. Therefore, formulating a solid defense strategy is essential in protecting one’s rights and interests.