There are many different crimes related to assault and battery that are considered felonies. If you or a loved one has been charged with any of the following, please contact us for a free confidential consultation. It is our strong recommendation that you speak with an experienced defense attorney as soon as possible.
Violent Crimes Not Related to Sexual Assault
- Unlawful Wounding
- Malicious Wounding
- Aggravated Malicious Wounding
- Robbery (A theft occurring simultaneously with an Assault)
- Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer
- Domestic Assault 3rd Offense
- Malicious Wounding by Mob
- Manslaughter and Involuntary Manslaughter
Sexual Assault Felonies
- Sexual Assault upon a Minor
- Animate Object Penetration or Inanimate Object Penetration
- Forcible Sodomy
Potential Penalties for Domestic Violence in Virginia
In Virginia, domestic violence (also called family violence) occurs when a person commits an act against a family or household member. This can be both through the use of physical and/or psychological abuse. The act can involve violence, force, or threats, and results in physical injury or places the family or household member in fear of injury or harm. Both stalking and sexual assault can constitute family abuse.
The specific criminal statute that addresses domestic violence in Virginia is “assault and battery against a family or household member.”
The following are defined as family or household members for purposes of Virginia domestic violence laws:
- Spouse, regardless of residence
- Ex-spouse, regardless of residence
- In-laws who live in the same home
- Persons who have a child in common, regardless of residence
- Those who have cohabitated in the past year and their children
Domestic assault and battery against a family or household member are generally charged as a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by up to 12 months in jail and/or fines of up to $2,500. However, three or more convictions in a 10-year period elevate the crime to a Class 6 felony, punishable by 1 to 5 years in prison, or in the discretion of the judge/jury, up to 12 months in jail and/or fines of up to $2,500.
Violent Crime Frequently Asked Questions
I’ve been charged with shooting in an attempt to commit a felony. What penalties might I face if I am convicted?
Virginia law reads, “It shall be unlawful for any person to use or attempt to use any pistol, shotgun, rifle, or other firearm or display such weapon in a threatening manner while committing or attempting to commit” various kinds of felonies.
Violation of this section shall constitute a separate and distinct felony and any person found guilty thereof shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of three years for a first conviction, and to a mandatory minimum term of five years for a second or subsequent conviction. Such punishment is separate and apart from and shall be made to run consecutively with, any punishment received for the commission of the primary felony.
In other words, using a gun in the commission of a crime will add a minimum of three years to the sentence you received for the actual crime itself.
Can discharging firearms at home or indoors be considered a crime?
Yes. Intent plays a role in what the crime would be, but Virginia has a large number of laws that seek to balance the constitutional right to bear arms with the public interest in preventing gun violence.
If a person discharges a firearm inside a building or at a building that is occupied by at least one person so as to endanger the life and health of the person inside, this is a felony. Intent deems what felony it is.
If the person discharged the firearm maliciously, or, with the intent to do harm, then the offense is a Class 4 felony. Penalties range from two to 10 years in prison and a possible fine of up to $100,000. If the malicious discharge of the firearm causes the death of any person, this is murder in the second degree, unless it was deliberate and premeditated, which then makes it first-degree murder.
If the person discharged the firearm without malice, or, the intent to harm another, then the individual is guilty of a Class 6 felony. Penalties for conviction range from one to five years, although the penalty can be reduced by a judge or jury, especially if it is combined with a fine of up to $2,500. If the unlawful, but non-malicious, shooting results in the death of a person, the individual is guilty of involuntary manslaughter, a Class 5 felony.
How can I get my criminal conviction expunged from my record?
The state of Virginia doesn’t allow for the expungement or sealing of criminal conviction records unless the person is granted an absolute pardon for a crime they did not commit. In cases where the person was arrested but not charged with a crime, or if the person was charged but not convicted, the related criminal record may qualify for expungement. If this occurs, the record will no longer be visible to the general public, including potential employers. This typically would allow the person to say they were never arrested or convicted of a crime.
If you were not convicted of a crime, your criminal record may be expunged for three reasons:
- You were charged with a crime but acquitted at trial.
- The charges against you were dismissed.
- Your name or other identification was used in the commission of a crime without your knowledge or consent.
If you were convicted of a crime, your criminal record could be expunged only if you were convicted of a crime you did not commit, and you later were granted an absolute pardon.
Schedule a Free Appointment Today
All of the above charges are very serious. If convicted of some of the above offenses, a defendant can serve up to life in prison. Before you speak to a law enforcement officer, talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney first.
Schedule a free appointment with the Gordon Law Firm, PC, as soon as you learn that you or a loved one may be accused of one of these offenses. Our attorneys can be reached online or by phone at 703-218-8416.