Fairfax County Violent Crimes Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with Unlawful Wounding (Va. Code 18.2-51), Malicious Wounding (Va. Code 18.2-51), Malicious Wounding by Mob (Va. Code 18.2-41), or Aggravated Malicious Wounding (Va. Code 18.2-51.2) in Fairfax County or Northern Virginia, not only are you facing a felony charge, but you are facing one of the most serious of all felony charges.
If you have been arrested for any form of unlawful or malicious wounding (maiming), you need to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Even the least serious of these crimes is punishable by up to 5 years in jail. As the gravity of the offense increases, the amount of jail time also increases. For example, Malicious Wounding is punishable by 5 to 20 years in prison and Aggravated Malicious Wounding is punishable by 20 years to life in prison - which is the equivalent of first degree murder.
As noted, defending cases such as these can be difficult. However, there are certain tactics that can and must be followed in defending serious cases involving malicious and unlawful wounding. When years of incarceration, including the possibility of life in jail, are what is at stake, it is very important that you seek representation from an experienced criminal defense trial attorney to ensure that your rights are effectively protected. Given the seriousness of these crimes, anyone charged with any form of malicious or unlawful wounding should only consult with a lawyer that has previously handled such cases. The loss of freedom and other consequences from such a conviction can be catastrophic and life-changing. Given what is at stake, you must be sure that any attorney you hire has the experience, trial skills, judgment, and reputation to obtain the best possible resolution of the matter.
Manikas Law LLC will ensure that he charges against you are fully investigated and all evidence is obtained and marshaled in your favor. As a former prosecutor in the largest jurisdiction in Virginia, Kyle G. Manikas has handled many cases involving all forms of malicious and unlawful wounding, including numerous aggravated malicious wounding and malicious wounding cases. In these cases, witness accounts and evidence from third parties that can aid in your defense must be obtained before such evidence is destroyed or lost, or memories fade. Our firm will perform a sound analysis of all evidence and provide essential trial strategies to present you with the best possible defense.
While there are many defense lawyers, there are only a handful of defense attorneys with the trial and negotiating skills and experience to handle cases of this level. Who you hire could be one of the most important life decisions you make.
To discuss your case with Kyle G. Manikas, a former prosecutor and Fairfax County and Northern Virginia criminal defense attorney that has handled many malicious and unlawful wounding cases, or to schedule a free consultation, contact our law office at 703-873-7473 or 888-503-8075, or contact us by e-mail.
What is Malicious and Unlawful Wounding?
The general Virginia malicious/unlawful wounding law (Va. Code 18.2-51) states that if a person "maliciously shoots, stabs, cuts, or wounds any person or by any means causes him bodily injury, with the intent to maim, disfigure, disable, or kill" he shall be guilty of malicious wounding. However, the statute goes on to say that if the accused does the act "unlawfully but not maliciously," he shall be guilty of unlawful wounding instead.
One of the main differences between assault and battery and malicious/unlawful wounding is the mental state required. To obtain a conviction for malicious or unlawful wounding, the prosecutor must prove that the accused intended to "maim, disfigure, disable, or kill" the victim. This is a substantial burden. It is a burden that many jury members have difficulty with. In an assault and battery case, the prosecutor must only show the intent to do a harmful or offensive act (such as spitting on someone in a rude manner). It is not necessary that one specifically intend to shoot, stab, cut, or wound. One must only do these things maliciously, which includes extremely reckless actions. A malicious wounding becomes an unlawful wounding if an accused is provoked or acts in the heat of passion.
The other requirement of a malicious or unlawful wounding case is a shooting, stabbing, cutting, or wounding that cases bodily injury. Generally, a malicious or unlawful wounding does not require a breaking of the skin. Nor does it require the use of a weapon, although it often does. In fact, use of fists, feet, teeth, knees are within the phrase "by any means."
A malicious wounding becomes an aggravated malicious wounding when the alleged victim is "severely injured and is caused to suffer permanent and significant physical impairment."
What is the Penalty for Malicious and Unlawful Wounding?
Malicious Wounding and Malicious Wounding by Mob are a Class 3 felony punishable by a minimum of 5 years in jail and a maximum of 20 years in prison, and a fine of up to $100,000.
Unlawful Wounding is a Class 6 felony punishable by up to 5 years in jail and a $2,500 fine.
Aggravated Malicious Wounding is a Class 2 felony punishable by a minimum of 20 years in jail and a maximum of life in prison, and a fine of up to $100,000.
People often want to know, "What is the average jail time a person receives for a conviction of malicious or unlawful wounding?" However, the answer is highly case specific and cannot be generalized. The answer in any given case will depend on the Virginia Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a person's prior criminal history, as well as a variety of other factors. A person with prior criminal convictions will receive more jail time than a person who has no prior criminal record. However, the Virginia Sentencing Guidelines are not mandatory guidelines. In other words, the judge is free to ignore the guidelines. If the crime is particularly egregious, the judge can impose additional jail time above and beyond what the guidelines recommend. Similarly, the judge can impose less jail time than the guideless recommend. Therefore, it is extremely important to have an experienced and respected defense attorney to defend and present your case.
To discuss your case with Kyle G. Manikas, a former prosecutor that has handled many malicious and unlawful wounding cases, or to schedule a free consultation, contact our law office at 703-873-7473 or 888-503-8075, or contact us by e-mail.
Other Forms of Malicious Wounding
•· Malicious Wounding by Mob (Va. Code 18.2-41) - "Any and every person composing a mob which shall maliciously or unlawfully shoot, stab, cut or wound any person, or by any means cause him bodily injury with intent to maim, disable, disfigure or kill him, shall be guilty of a Class 3 felony." (See above for penalty).
•· Malicious Wounding of a Law Enforcement Officer, Correctional Officer, or Firefighter (Va. Code 18.2-51.1) - A malicious wounding committed on a police officer, deputy, trooper, or other law enforcement officer or firefighter is punishable by imprisonment by 5 to 30 years in prison. 2 years of this sentence is a mandatory minimum - 100% of this must be served. If the resulting conviction is an unlawful wounding of a law enforcement officer of firefighter, the offense is punishable by up to 5 years in prison with a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 1 year.
•· Malicious Wounding by Caustic Substance (Va. Code 18.2-52) - Using acid, explosives, fire, pepper spray to commit a malicious wounding is punishable by 5 to 30 years in prison. An unlawful act is punishable by up to 5 years in jail. There is also a provision covering the use of tear gas (Va. Code 18.2-312) and radiation and biological substances (Va. Code 18.2-162 and 18.2-52.1).
•· Malicious Wounding in the Commission of a Felony (Va. Code 18.2-53) - This code section creates a separate criminal offense where any person shoots, stabs, cuts or wounds another person in the commission of, or attempt to commit, a felony. This crime is a Class 6 felony punishable by up to 5 years in jail and a $2,500 fine.
•· DWI Maiming (Va. Code 18.2-51.4) - provides that any person who, as a result of driving while intoxicated, drives in a manner so as to show a reckless disregard for human life, unintentionally causes the serious bodily injury of another person resulting in permanent and significant physical impairment shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony (punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment and a $2,500 fine).
Contact An Experienced Malicious & Unlawful Wounding and Maiming Defense Attorney
If you have been arrested for any form of malicious or unlawful wounding, or maiming, in Northern Virginia, contact a former prosecutor and experienced criminal defense lawyer at Manikas Law LLC. Kyle G. Manikas has substantial experience in handling malicious and unlawful wounding cases.
To schedule a free consultation or to discuss your case by phone, contact our law office at 703-873-7473 or 888-503-8075, or contact us by e-mail.