Assault and Battery

Assault and battery charges in Virginia can result in serious penalties. Therefore, if you’ve been charged with assault and battery in the state of Virginia, you should seek legal assistance as soon as possible. At Walker Jones, PC, our criminal defense lawyers have years of experience defending clients against assault and battery charges. Therefore, when you come to us for help, we will put our ample experience to work for you, mounting an aggressive defense on your behalf.  


Many people are under the impression that assault and battery are the same crime. This is incorrect, however. Assault and battery in Virginia are separate crimes. Assault in Virginia, also called “simple assault,” does not require any physical contact whatsoever. Specifically, to be found guilty of assault in the state of Virginia, the prosecutor must prove the following:

  • You acted with the intent to cause an offensive contact or harm another person
  • The victim believed that you had the ability to cause an immediate offensive contact or harm
  • You had the ability to cause offensive contact or harm 


As opposed to assault, battery, which is also called “assault and battery,” involves physical contact. Specifically, the crime of battery in Virgina is harmful physical contact or an actual offensive touching. In addition, battery requires intent. In other words, battery must be an intentional touching, not accidental contact. 

Penalties for Assault and Battery

Simple assault and assault and battery are both misdemeanors that are punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. However, if these crimes are committed against certain classes of individuals, the penalties can increase. For example, if these crimes are directed towards any of the following parties, then penalties may increase significantly:

  • Law enforcement
  • School officials
  • Health care providers

Further, a person who commits an assault and battery that is classified as a hate crime faces increased penalties. 

Additional Consequences of Assault and Battery Charges

In addition to the penalties discussed above, a criminal conviction in Virginia can have other consequences. For example, individuals who are convicted of assault and battery in Virginia may have difficulty finding employment, securing suitable housing, obtaining certain loans, or securing other benefits.


If you’ve been charged with assault and battery in Virginia, you may have several defenses available. The most common defense in assault and battery cases is self-defense. To assert a self-defense claim, you must prove to the court that you used reasonable force to prevent what you reasonably believed was an imminent attack. To justify the use of a deadly weapon in self-defense, you must prove that you reasonably believed you were at risk of serious bodily injury or your life was in danger at the time of the attack.

Contact a Virginia Criminal Defense Lawyer 

If you are facing assault and battery charges in the state of Virginia, you need a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney in your corner. At Walker Jones, PC, we understand the serious consequences that accompany assault and battery charges. Therefore, when you contact us for assistance, we will analyze your case, plan your defense, and do everything we can to obtain a successful result for you. Please contact us as soon as possible to schedule a consultation with a criminal defense lawyer.