What Is Malicious Wounding in Virginia?
Malicious Wounding in Fairfax, Virginia is defined by Va. Code 18.2-51:
If any person maliciously shoot, stab, cut, or wound any person or by any means cause him bodily injury, with the intent to maim, disfigure, disable, or kill, he shall, except where it is otherwise provided, be guilty of a Class 3 Felony. If such act be done unlawfully but not maliciously, with the intent aforesaid, the offender shall be guilty of a Class 6 Felony.
What this means more practically, is that Malicious Wounding is a type of felonious assault. And while you may think that the injuries would need to be pretty serious to warrant such a serious charge, that is not typically the case. The statute mentions “shoot” “stab” and “cut” but this is not necessary. Any wound can lead to a Malicious Wounding charge, even simple bruising.
Malicious Wounding is a Class 3 Felony, while Unlawful Wounding is a Class 6 Felony. A Class 3 Felony carries a sentence of 5-20 years. A Class 6 Felony carries a possible sentence of 1-5 years. The main difference between these charges will be intent.
Aggravated Malicious Wounding requires the same proof as Malicious Wounding, but with the added element that the Victim is severely injured and caused to suffer permanent and significant physical impairment. Aggravated Malicious Wounding is a Class 2 Felony, which carries a sentence of 20 years – Life.
What is the process for a Malicious Wounding charge in Fairfax County, Virginia?
Your Malicious Wounding case will likely begin in the Fairfax County General District Court. This is where you will have your arraignment, initial bond hearing, and your Preliminary Hearing. The Preliminary Hearing a hearing in the General District Court that looks a lot like a trial. However, at this hearing the Commonwealth will put on some, but not all of their evidence. The purpose of this hearing is to determine is there is Probable Cause for the charge against to. While this is a very low standard, it is a good opportunity to learn more about the Commonwealth’s case. Typically, plea discussions also occur around the time of the Preliminary Hearing.
After the Preliminary Hearing, you case will proceed to trial in the Circuit Court, where you can elect for a Jury Trial. You attorney will review the evidence in your case, to determine your best defenses, and will argue any appropriate motions prior to trial.
Malicious Wounding is a serious charge. It is important to hire a lawyer who will learn about the facts of your case, evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your case, and properly advise you about the best approach to your case.
Hire a Malicious Wounding Attorney in Virginia.
Our Client-Focused Criminal Defense Team is prepared to help defend your Fairfax County Malicious Wounding charge. We will take the time to learn about you and your case. Contact Us to learn how we can help you.