Assault and battery in Virginia is criminalized under Va. Code §18.2-57. However, there is a difference between an assault and a battery in Virginia. This post focuses on a Virginia battery.
Click here for more information on assault in Virginia.
Click here for more information on the difference between assault and battery in Virginia.
What is A Virginia Battery?
A battery in Virginia is basically an unwanted touching. To convict an offender of a Virginia battery, the Commonwealth must prove that the offender touched another person, without excuse or justification, and the touching was done in a rude, insulting, angry or vengeful manner. For purposes of a Virginia battery, the touching can even be accomplished by an object set in motion by the offender that touches another person. A common example is spitting on another person.
Penalty for Virginia Assault and Battery
Assault and battery in Virginia is a Class 1 misdemeanor and is punished with up to 12 months in jail and a fine up to $2,500. However, assault and battery can become a felony if the offender maliciously or without legal justification caused a wounding or bodily injury with intent to maim, disable, disfigure, or kill. These offenses can be charged as Malicious Wounding, Unlawful Wounding, Malicious Bodily Injury and Unlawful Bodily Injury.
For more information on a Virginia Malicious Wounding charge, click here.
For more information on Virginia Unlawful Wounding, click here.
For more information on a Malicious Bodily Injury charge in Virginia, click here.
For more information on Virginia Unlawful Bodily Injury, click here.
Virginia Battery Defenses
An offender may be able to establish a defense to a Virginia battery charge. Common defenses to a Virginia battery include lack of intent (an accidental touching), self-defense, public authority (a touching while making a lawful arrest) and consent. These defenses are not always available to every person charged with a Virginia battery and establishing one of these defenses depends on the facts of each case.