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When does assault turn into assault and battery?

On Behalf of | Jul 12, 2022 | Criminal Defense

You may have recently been out drinking and gone over your limit, which led you into a situation you may never have expected. The actions you may have taken led to an assault and battery acquisition.

But what led you to be accused of both assault and battery? Here’s what you should know:

Assault and battery are two different crimes

Virginia is one of the several states that consider assault a separate crime from battery – while other states may consider assault and battery as one and the same. What this means is, that just because you are charged with assault, doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have a battery charge.

For Virginia, assault (typically known as simple assault) is the attempt at threatening or putting someone in fear for their life without the use of any physical contact. This could mean threatening to punch someone, saying insults or revealing a weapon. Battery occurs when there is physical violence to another person, leading to harmful contact.  

Simple assault and battery can lead to incarceration and/or fines. Assault and battery penalties can be more extreme – leading to 20 years of prison or more — if there is an aggravated malicious wounding charge. 

Aggravated malicious wounding is the event that someone was physically harmed from cuts, stabs or shootings. These injuries would’ve been done if someone had the intent to hurt, disable or kill someone and succeeded in suffering wounds or permanent damage.  

You may need to know your options if you are facing charges

If you’re facing a legal battle because of your actions then you may need to know your options. Discuss your potential defenses before you speak with the police.