People in our society have the right to be free from physical harm. When someone violates this right and allegations suggest the intent to harm another, then the accused may be charged with this assault and battery crime. A conviction for such an offense can result in jail time, fines, a permanent record, and the inability to pass a background check. It is important to understand that you have options if you face these charges.
Contacting a Roanoke criminal defense lawyer right away is the first step to take to ensure that your rights remain protected. At Lugar Law PC, we assist those who have been charged with assault and battery, and we believe that everyone is entitled to the aggressive, thorough representation throughout the entire criminal justice process.
Understanding Assault & Battery
Battery occurs when someone makes contact with another in a way which is harmful or offensive. An assault is when someone fears that a harmful touching is to occur. Most assaults and battery go together and are charged under the same criminal law code. The terms ?assault? and ?battery? typically are used interchangeably, but there is a legal distinction between the two.
Assault or battery crimes are generally charged as misdemeanors in Virginia. A first offense can result in a sentence of up to 12 months in jail, fines of up to $2,500. If the offense was motivated by factors such as ethnicity, gender, etc., then you can be accused of a hate crime, and face?felony charges as a result. If convicted of a felony, you face up to five years in prison. Tougher penalties also apply if the victim belonged to a certain class of individuals – including law enforcement officers, school personnel, and other select individuals defined by VA law.
The Court Process for Assault and Battery Cases
Assault and battery cases begin with an arraignment where you?enter a plea of ?guilty? or ?not guilty.? A trial date is most often set at arraignment should an attorney already be involved. If not, an attorney advisement date will be set. The prosecution will provide the defense with the arrest reports, witness statements, and other evidence which is required to be disclosed under?Brady v. Maryland.
Assault and battery charges often hinge on statements made by the defendant to the police. If law enforcement violated the U.S. Constitution while collecting statements, then it may be possible to have them excluded from the case. Depending on the facts of the charge, an exclusion can help gain a dismissal or an acquittal. If a dismissal is not possible, and a resolution cannot be reached, then the matter will proceed to trial. The prosecution will be required to show that you did, indeed, commit the offense. Complicated legal issues often arise when litigation occurs. It is, therefore, important to retain an attorney who is experienced in handling such matters.
Attorney Cerid Lugar handles both misdemeanor and felony battery cases. When you retain her as your attorney, she will quickly obtain all available evidence from the prosecution, interview relevant witnesses, and visit the scene of the incident – if possible. If she believes your rights were violated, then she will file a motion to exclude illegally-obtained statements or identifications. She will aggressively examine law enforcement at an evidentiary hearing and argue for exclusion of any incriminating evidence. If a trial is necessary, then attorney Lugar will ensure that your case is prepared to go forward??
Contact Lugar Law PC Today
If you are charged with assault and/or battery, then you could face serious consequences. The last thing you need is to be concerned with your legal assistance and quality service. Client service is of great importance at Lugar Law PC. Attorney Lugar promptly responds to messages and regularly meets with clients in the office so that questions may be promptly answered.