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Lutins & Pilgreen, PC - Family, Criminal law
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Facing assault and battery charges for a fight? Defend yourself

When you saw your friend walking down the street, you quickly ran up to them to stay hello. The person they were walking with turned suddenly and started acting aggressively towards you. You had no idea what they were doing, but when they took a swing at you, you dodged and ended up striking them several times.

Your friend watched in shock and couldn’t stop any of this from happening, but she saw that you were attacked. Despite that, you ended up facing assault and battery charges for the fight after officers arrived. You were only defending yourself.

Virginia has harsh penalties for those accused of, and convicted for, assault and battery. You didn’t realize that the man who attacked you was a law-enforcement officer out of uniform, but that has added another layer to your case. As a result of his job and the unusual circumstances, you face a Class 6 felony instead of a Class 1 misdemeanor for a simple assault. If you’re convicted, you could end up in prison for six months or longer.

What do you need to do to prove that you were a victim, not the aggressor?

It can be hard to prove that you’re the victim after you’ve been accused of being the person who assaulted someone else. However, in this case, you would potentially have the word of your friend to help you. There are other factors too, such as if you have injuries, the location of the injuries you or the other person have and your backgrounds.

If you work with an attorney, the goal will be to show that you did not intentionally target the other person and that you did not know them or that they were a police officer. Doing that first could help you get the charges reduced significantly.

There may be other things that can help you as well, such as who made the call to 911, witness statements from the scene and other findings. If you’re the one who suffered more injuries, that fact could help your case in the end.

An assault charge has the potential to affect you by resulting in penalties like imprisonment or heavy fines, but if you work with your attorney, you may be able to defend yourself. This is a complex situation, but as the victim of an attack, you deserve to have someone on your side to fight for you.

J. Emmette Pilgreen IV
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