Arguments between persons are ordinarily civil, and once the dispute has ended, the parties separate and cool off. In some instances, however, the matter escalates to physical confrontation. Law enforcement can become involved in the situation, and, depending on the facts of the case, various charges may be filed.
One Virginia man is currently facing felony assault charges after an alleged altercation with another man in the hallway of an apartment building. According to police reports, officers arrived after receiving a telephone call, and they found the men fighting. They broke up the pair, and called in an ambulance to check on one party. After examining the man, the medics determined that he would not need medical treatment.
During the succeeding day, however, that man complained of back pain purportedly linked to the confrontation the night before. He was transported via ambulance to the hospital, where he received treatment.
The other man was originally taken into custody on misdemeanor assault charges, but based on additional information, law enforcement raised that charge to felony assault. The first man has since been charged with assault and battery as well.
While the law is clear about what constitutes an assault and what is required to turn a misdemeanor assault into a felony offense, fitting the facts to those definitions can be difficult. Instances of alleged mutual fighting can often turn into cases where one person's word is pitted up against the other's. Defendants have the opportunity to challenge the accuser's testimony to reveal any potential inconsistencies in the alleged factual record.
Source: WTVR.com, "Officer busted on felonious assault charges," Nick Dutton, Sept. 18, 2012
• Our firm handles situations similar to the one described above. If you would like to learn more about our practice, please visit our Virginia Beach criminal defense page.