Roanoke Criminal Attorney Handling Virginia Assault & Battery Charges
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 assault and battery 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 such charges. Contacting a lawyer immediately is the first step in making sure that your rights remain protected. Cerid Lugar is a Roanoke criminal defense attorney assisting those who have been charged with assault and battery. Cerid believes that everyone is entitled to the highest level of representation and she is honored to serve those in our area. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation. We also handle matters in Salem and other southwest Virginia areas.
Roanoke lawyer assisting Virginia defendants charged with misdemeanor or felony battery
A 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. An Assault or battery is generally charged as a misdemeanor in Virginia. A first offense can result in a sentence of up to twelve months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. If the offense was motivated by factors such as ethnicity, gender, etc., then the defendant can be accused of a hate crime and can face felony charges. The potential jail sentence for a felony case is elevated to five years. Tougher penalties also apply if the victim belonged to a certain class of individuals. Classes include law enforcement officers, school personnel, and other select individuals defined by statute.
Assault and battery cases begin with an arraignment where the defendant enters 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. Such charges often hinge on eyewitness identifications and/or statements made by the defendant to the police. If law enforcement violated the U.S. Constitution while collecting the identifications or statements, then it may be possible to have them excluded from Court. 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 the accused in fact committed the offense. An affirmative self-defense defense may need to be specially pled depending on the circumstance. Complicated legal issues often arise when litigating matters. It is, therefore, important to retain an attorney who is experienced in handling such matters.
Cerid Lugar is a Roanoke lawyer handling both misdemeanor and felony battery cases. At your initial consultation, Cerid will hear your side of the story and explain what it is you should expect from the process. She will quickly obtain all available evidence from the prosecution, interview relevant witnesses, and visit the scene of the incident if possible. If Cerid believes that law enforcement violated your rights, then she will file a Motion with the Court to exclude illegally obtained statements or eyewitness identifications. She will aggressively examine law enforcement at an evidentiary hearing and argue for exclusion of any incriminating evidence. If trial is necessary, then Cerid will ensure that your case is prepared to go forward. This includes presenting any viable claims of self-defense or evidence showing that, in fact, you were not the one who committed the offense. Our office will make sure you are prepared for trial and that your rights are protected throughout the process. Contact us today.
Lawyer staying in regular communication with Roanoke and Salem clients who face assault and battery charges
If you are charged with an assault and 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 the name of the legal trade, and our lawyer makes communicating with and serving her clients a priority. She promptly responds to messages and regularly meets with clients in our office so that questions may be answered. We are honored to serve those in Roanoke and we take this service seriously.
We also serve the cities of Cave Spring, Salem, the Botetourt County city of Hollins, the Bedford County cities of Bedford and Forest, the Franklin County city of Rocky Mount, and the Montgomery County cities of Blacksburg, Christiansburg, and Radford.