Are Assault with Deadly Weapon Charges Felonies in Virginia

two police officers arresting a man

Many people assume Virginia prosecutors give assault charges when people harm others, but that’s not true. Assault charges stem from threats or attempted physical attacks by someone against someone else, but do charges increase when a deadly weapon is used? In this blog post, a Richmond criminal defense attorney examines if assault scenarios with deadly weapons result in felony charges.

Assault Charges in Virginia

In Virginia, assault charges stem from threats of violence against a person. In many situations, the presence of a deadly weapon will increase the potential penalties of a criminal charge, but regarding assault charges, a deadly weapon does not increase penalties. Therefore, what circumstances do increase assault charges?

Prejudiced Assault

If someone, “intentionally selects the person against whom an assault and battery resulting in bodily injury is committed because of his race, religious conviction, color or national origin, the person is guilty of a Class 6 felony.” Therefore, assault charges that result from prejudice can result in felony charges.

Accused of Assault?

Assault charges sometimes stem from misinterpreted statements; unfortunately, the law does not consider jokes or fake threats when charging someone for assault. However, an assault attorney can fight on your behalf by questioning the legitimacy of the “threat,” whether the threat was made in defense, and whether you had the means to carry out the threat.

If you or a loved one is charged with assault, having an experienced attorney on your case is crucial. Call (804) 207-5735 now for a free consultation with attorney Vaughan Jones.

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