Assault and Battery Charges in Virginia

Assault and battery is a very common charge in Virginia, but it is also one of the most misunderstood crimes in the Code.  It is classified as a Class 1 Misdemeanor, meaning that trial will take place in the General District Court.

If the charge involved a victim who is a family or household member (VA Code 18.2-57.2) the case will be adjudicated in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court rather than the General District Court.

A regular assault and battery charge will be brought under VA Code 18.2-57.

Two of the most common stories we hear when speaking with clients are either, “I tried to hit him but missed, how can I be charged with assault and battery?”  Or, “I tried to hit him and accidently hit someone else.  How can I be charged with assault and battery?

Under either scenario, the charge of assault and battery is appropriate.

The statute reads that, “Any person who commits a simple assault or assault and battery is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.”  Simple assault does not require that a physical touching occur.  It only requires that the Defendant intentionally put the victim in reasonable fear of an imminent harmful or offensive contact.

Under scenario number two, the doctrine of transferred intent allows for an assault and battery charge, even if the intended victim is never touched.  In this case, the defendant’s intent transfers from the intended victim to the actual victim.

The attorneys of Winslow and McCurry are very familiar with these type of charges and would be happy to discuss them with you.

If you have questions about an assault and battery charge against a family or household member in Richmond, Henrico, Chesterfield, Powhatan, Hanover or the surrounding counties, please contact the attorneys of Winslow & McCurry, PLLC at (804)423-1382 or email us at