Often coupled with assault is the serious charge of malicious wounding. If a person loses their temper and uses a weapon or another object to injure someone, they can face an additional felony charge. The seriousness of which is dependent upon victim’s injuries. Malicious wounding requires that the prosecution prove intent in order to secure the most serious conviction.
Malicious wounding is a Class 3 felony if the prosecution can prove that the person had “intent to maim, disfigure, disable, or kill” the victim. It can become a Class 2 felony if the victim suffers “permanent and disfiguring” injury due to the wounding. This means that the government must set out to prove that a defendant was specifically trying to inflict serious injury on a person. Without that vital element, they cannot secure a conviction.
The state does allow for a lesser penalty if the state feels that action was done unlawfully but without malice. That malicious wounding is a Class 6 felony and if often referred to as “unlawful wounding”. While both charges are serious, a Class 2 felony carries with it a potential for life imprisonment while a Class 6 felony has a maximum of 5 years in prison.
Whether it is a Class 2, Class 3, or Class 6 felony, you will want to secure a malicious wounding lawyer for legal assistance right away. They can start to formulate a defense right away that could potentially take many years off a sentence. And if the state attempts to charge you with the most serious of malicious wounding penalties, proving intent will be vital to their case. Without that important element, the jury may return a not guilty verdict.
There are some defenses that can be offered to help get this charge reduced or even dropped. One such defense is self defense. If it can be shown that you were in the course of defending yourself or another, the prosecution may choose to omit this charge. Because people have a right to reasonable self defense and because this would show that you were not trying to injure someone, a self defense claim can be very powerful at trial. A malicious wounding attorney can review your specific case and determine whether this is a viable defense for your particular charges.
If you are facing charges in connection with a malicious wounding, contact the Law Offices of Patrick N. Anderson and Associates in Virginia. With 34 years of successfully representing people charged with all types of criminal and traffic offenses, we are one of Virginia’s leading criminal law firms. We want to help you get the representation you deserve. We treat each client as part of our family and will get started on your case today.