Assault charges may initially seem like a minor offense, but the impact a conviction could have on your life is undeniable. It would be best if you took action to protect your reputation and liberties.
Get an aggressive and experienced Manassas assault lawyer at the Law Offices of Michael A. Pignone to take your case and build a powerful defense you can feel confident in when you negotiate with the district attorney or present your case at trial. Contact a Manassas assault attorney at our office for a confidential case evaluation and learn more about which defenses suit your case.
Manassas Assault Charges
Assault can be considered a wobbler offense. This means depending on the details of the case, it could be charged as a misdemeanor or felony. Under Virginia Code Section 18.2–57, assaults include any offense threatening to cause bodily harm. It does not necessarily mean the alleged victim must have been harmed, but that the defendant threatened to cause physical injury, and the alleged victim reasonably believed they were in danger.
Those facing misdemeanor charges might face as few as 12 months in a Prince William County jail and fines not exceeding $2,500. However, if you are charged at the felony level, you might face as much as five years in a Virginia state prison and fines not exceeding $100,000.
You can rely on your criminal defense lawyer to scrutinize the evidence against you and determine which defenses will likely produce the most favorable outcome. This might be working out a plea agreement with the district attorney or presenting a powerful defense.
What Are The Differences Between Felony and Misdemeanor Assault?
The difference between misdemeanor and felony assault charges is the potential sentences you will face if convicted. Assault can include various criminal offenses. Some can be charged as misdemeanors, while others can be charged as felonies.
Generally, if there are aggravating factors or the defendant has a history of criminal charges or convictions, they are more likely to be charged with a felony offense. However, first-time crimes and those involving mitigating factors are more likely to be charged as a misdemeanor.
Some of the different types of charges your Manassas assault lawyer can defend include the following:
- Aggravated malicious wounding
- Assault and battery of protected groups
- Assaulting an educator
- Assaulting a police officer or law enforcement officer
- Assault with a significant injury
- Domestic assault to a household member
- Hate crimes
- Reckless endangerment
- Robbery or burglary accompanied by an assault
- Unlawful wounding
These are just a few examples of alleged assault charges you could face if you are arrested. Your Manassas criminal defense attorney will help you understand the extent of the charges and review your legal options to determine whether they can get your felony-level assault charges reduced to a misdemeanor or dropped altogether.
What are the Penalties for Assault Crimes in Manassas, VA?
Assault crime convictions carry a wide array of penalties. Your consequences will be based on the type of Virginia assault charge you are convicted of.
For example, someone charged with assault of an educator or law enforcement officer might face class one misdemeanor charges. This is punishable by a mandatory minimum of two days in a Prince William County jail and up to $2,500 in fines.
However, someone convicted of aggravated malicious wounding would be charged with a class two felony which is punishable by fines not exceeding $100,000 and as much as 20 years in Virginia state prison. Criminal penalties aside, multiple collateral consequences could turn your life upside down. Some of these include:
- Being disqualified from federal student aid
- Temporary or permanent loss of firearm rights
- Loss of voting rights while incarcerated
- Loss of eligibility for government-funded programs, including food stamps or housing assistance
- Child visitation or custody problems
- Difficulty finding gainful employment opportunities
- Being passed over for job opportunities or promotions
- Suspension or revocation of your professional license
If you hope to avoid these devastating consequences, you must take action to defend yourself. With help from a Manassas assault lawyer, you can prepare a strong defense.
Top Questions to Ask When Hiring a Manassas Assault Attorney
Some of the top questions you should be prepared to ask when selecting the right assault lawyer in Manassas include:
- Do you have experience handling misdemeanor assault cases?
- Do you have experience handling felony assault cases?
- Why should I hire a private criminal defender instead of working with a public defender?
- How long have you been working as an assault lawyer and criminal defense attorney?
- How would you approach my assault defense?
- How much will it cost to hire an assault lawyer to defend me?
- Which assault laws will impact my case?
Why You Need to Choose a Manassas Assault Lawyer at the Law Offices of Michael A. Pignone
Choosing the right Manassas assault lawyer to advocate for you at trial is vital. Make sure you select an assault attorney you can rely on to exercise all options in negotiating a plea bargain and building a powerful defense strategy that is likely to produce a favorable outcome in your case.
Reach out to the Law Offices of Michael A. Pignone to discuss your potential defense options further. Our firm offers confidential case reviews to individuals facing assault, misdemeanor, and felony charges across Manassas and Virginia. You can get one when you call our office or fill out our secured contact form today.