Some juveniles in Virginia get themselves into situations that violate the law and can lead to long-term consequences that can affect them for the rest of their lives. These situations can stem from immaturity, a misunderstanding, or simply acting without thinking. Regardless of the reason, negative implications can result. Assault and battery offenses are examples of behaviors that a high school student might engage in. No matter the situation, this is against the law and can result in the young person being arrested and charged. Knowing how to lodge a defense when this happens is a key to dealing with it.
The law says that attempting or threatening to injure another person, along with having the ability to do so is assault. This can occur without the accused doing any harm or even touching the other person. Battery occurs when there is actual and intentional physical contact that is done without permission from the victim. If there are criminal charges, the penalties for assault and battery can be severe. When the victim is selected because of his or her national origin, color, religion or race, it will be a Class 6 felony.
If there is battery committed against a person who the accused knows is a person of authority at the school or a school employee, and he or she was performing job duties at the time, it will be a Class 1 misdemeanor. This includes teachers, principals, assistant principals or any other full or part-time worker.
People under the age of eighteen who are arrested on charges of assault or battery need to be fully aware of how the juvenile law system addresses these issues. Making the wrong decision in pleading guilty or failing to craft a strong defense can be a major problem in the short term and long term. This is why those accused of school violence should speak to a lawyer as soon as possible.
Source: VirginiaRules.com, “Assault/Battery Offenses,” accessed on March 14, 2016