CRIMES AGAINST THE PERSON
Assault & Battery
Assault and Battery in Virginia derives from common law. While there is not a statute which sets forth the elements of an assault or battery, there is case law which provides a clear definition of assault and battery.
- Assault – is “an attempt or offer, with force and violence, to do some bodily hurt to another” Parish v. Commonwealth, 56 Va. App. 324 (Va. App., 2010).
- Assault requires an overt act and thus words alone can never be sufficient to sustain a conviction.
- Battery – is the “willful or unlawful touching of another” Parish v. Commonwealth, 56 Va. App. 324 (Va. App., 2010).
- The victim does not necessarily need to be physically injured. A harmful or offensive touching will constitute a battery.
Simple Assault and Battery is a Class 1 Misdemeanor, and a person convicted of simple assault and battery can receive the following:
- Up to twelve (12) months in jail; AND/OR
- Up to a $2,500 fine.
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