Crimes Of Violence
Crimes of violence can be the most straightforward or the most ambiguous of cases. These are generally divided into a few categories. The most common is simple Assault and Battery, which is defined as any unwanted touching done in rudeness or anger without legal justification. While that may seem intuitive, when analyzed mechanically, this can lead to some very unintuitive results.
The most common felony crimes of violence are (in order of severity) Unlawful Wounding, Malicious Wounding, and Aggravated Malicious Wounding. In short, Unlawful Wounding is when one wounds another with the intent to permanently maim or disfigure the other person. Malicious Wounding is Unlawful Wounding but with malice aforethought; and Aggravated Malicious Wounding is Malicious Wounding where the defendant succeeded in permanently disfiguring or maiming the victim.
Unlawful Wounding is a class 6 felony, meaning the maximum prison sentence is five years, with no minimum. Malicious Wounding is a Class 3 Felony, meaning it is punishable by imprisonment of 5-20 years and a $100,000 fine. Aggravated Malicious Wounding is a Class 2 felony, meaning it is punishable by imprisonment of 20 years to life.
Domestic Assault & Battery, or Assault and Battery on a Family or Household Member, is a misdemeanor, but with some unusual aspects. While the victim does not have the ability to drop criminal charges in Virginia, it is a rare scenario where a prosecutor will pursue a standard Assault & Battery case in a situation where the victim does not care to go forward, this is not true in a domestic case. The victim is often threatened and coerced by the prosecutor to testify against the defendant. Another peculiarity of this offense is that a conviction will permanently disqualify the defendant of his gun rights. In this regard, the misdemeanor conviction is harsher than a felony because gun rights lost as a result of a felony can be restored. Not so with a misdemeanor Domestic A & B in Virginia.