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Vienna Assault & Battery Lawyer

Aggressively Defending Clients in Northern Virginia for 25+ Years

In most states, including Virginia, assault is considered a crime of violence. As such, an assault conviction can result in life-altering consequences. A conviction for assault can result in the accused having a lifelong criminal record, losing their firearms rights, losing/having difficulties in finding employment, and the losing their freedom. A conviction will also result in serious impacts to one’s reputation.

If you or someone you love has been accused of or charged with assault or battery in Virginia, reach out to the experienced criminal defense team at Portner & Shure, P.A. Our Vienna assault and battery attorneys will sit down with you, listen to your story, and discuss possible defense strategies based on your unique situation. We have more than 30 years of experience and a record of successfully representing clients in assault and battery matters in Virginia courts.

Call Portner & Shure, P.A. today at (703) 291-3263 or contact us online to request a free, confidential consultation.

Virginia Assault & Battery Laws

People often confuse the crimes of assault and battery, but these are actually two distinct offenses. Virginia law defines assault as an intentional act that places another person in fear of imminent harmful or offensive contact. Assault does not involve physical contact. Physical contact is covered by the crime of battery. Virginia law defines battery as an intentional nonconsensual harmful or offensive contact.

Simple assault and battery is a class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia and carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail and/or a fine of $2,500.00.

If the victim was attacked because of their race or religion, it is considered a class 6 felony and carries a minimum jail sentence of 6 months and a maximum prison sentence of 5 years and/or a fine of $2,500.00. If the victim was a law enforcement officer or first responder, the crime is considered a class 6 felony and carries a minimum jail sentence of 6 months and a maximum prison sentence of 5 years. If the victim was an educator or healthcare provider, it is considered a class 1 misdemeanor and carries a minimum jail sentence of 15 day and a maximum jail sentence of 1 year.

When battery results in serious injury, it is treated more harshly. Specifically, an assault with a gun or knife that caused a serious injury, or when a serious injury was intended with a gun or knife, is a class 3 felony. The maximum penalty for this is 20 years and/or a fine of $100,000.00. If the act was performed without malicious intent, it is considered a class 6 felony.

Finally, if an assault was performed with the intent to disable or kill, and the victim suffered significant injuries and impairments, it is considered a class 2 felony. The maximum penalty for this is a life sentence and/or a fine of $100,000.00.

Defenses to Assault & Battery in Virginia

In all criminal cases, the accused has the right to be presumed innocent. Accordingly, the state has to prove an accused individual’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. In order to identify what—if any—defense may be available in a specific case, an attorney will need to conduct a careful review of the facts.

There are two sides to every story. Self-defense is a common defense used in assault and battery cases. Self-defense is an affirmative defense, meaning the accused individual carries the burden of raising it and to put forth evidence to prove the defense. Self-defense is available when the victim reasonably believes that force is necessary to protect themselves from an imminent use of unlawful force by another person. An accused individual must prove this defense by a preponderance of the evidence, i.e., 51%.

Along with self-defense, several other defense, such as consent and lack of intent, are available. A review of the evidence may reveal that the state has insufficient evidence to prove that the accused intended to harm or place a victim in imminent fear of harm.

Why Hire Portner & Shure, P.A.?

At Portner & Shure, P.A., our Vienna assault and battery defense attorneys have been fighting for the rights of the accused for more than 30 years. We are proud of our reputation for aggressive advocacy and personalized, client-focused service. Over the years, we have earned numerous five-star reviews from past clients on Google and Facebook, as well as many awards and accolades from prestigious legal organizations.

If you or someone you care about is facing assault or battery charges in Northern Virginia, reach out to our firm right away for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation. Call (703) 291-3263.


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