Aggravated malicious wounding is a felony in Virginia. It occurs when someone maliciously cuts, shoots, wounds, or stabs another person or causes bodily injury intending to disfigure, kill, maim, or disable them.
What’s the Difference Between Malicious Wounding and Aggravated Malicious Wounding?
Although malicious wounding and aggravated malicious wounding involve similar circumstances, the extent of the injury differs. Both occur when a person causes bodily injury to someone else by cutting, shooting, stabbing, or wounding them.
Aggravated malicious wounding involves more severe consequences for the victim. The offense is considered aggravated if it leads to severe injury and causes the victim to suffer significant and permanent physical impairment.
Aggravated Malicious Wounding of a Pregnant Woman
Virginia law also includes the aggravated malicious wounding of a pregnant woman. Someone commits this crime if they wound, shoot, cut, or stab any woman who is pregnant or causes them bodily injury with the intention of disfiguring, disabling, killing, or maiming or causing the involuntary termination of the pregnancy.
The victim must also be severely injured and caused to suffer permanent and significant physical impairment. The law considers an involuntary termination of pregnancy to be a permanent and significant physical impairment.
Sentencing for a Conviction of Aggravated Malicious Wounding
Aggravated malicious wounding is a Class 2 felony in Virginia. If convicted, sentencing can include a fine of up to $100,000 and life imprisonment or a term of at least 20 years.
Defending Against an Aggravated Malicious Wounding Charge
The defense strategy for your case will depend on the factors involved. Your defense attorney can review the evidence and determine which defense would be the best option to fight the charge you face. Common defenses include:
- Self-defense – You have a right to use necessary force to protect yourself from injury under specific circumstances. However, you must prove your actions were justified because you were trying to prevent imminent harm. The terms necessary and imminent are complex. The level of force you use must be proportionate to the attack or threat of harm against you.
- Lack of malice – The law requires a person to act with malice to be convicted of aggravated malicious wounding. You might be able to avoid conviction if you can establish your actions were accidental instead of intentional. A lesser charge with less severe penalties could apply.
- Injuries are not severe or permanent – An aggravated malicious wounding conviction requires the injury to be severe and cause significant and permanent physical impairment. The evidence might show the victim didn’t suffer permanent impairment.
- Innocent – A basic defense strategy is to prove your innocence. A solid alibi can establish that you were elsewhere when the crime occurred. There might be video surveillance showing you were at a restaurant or driving on the other side of town during the offense.
- Reasonable doubt – The prosecution must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. A skilled defense attorney could reveal inconsistencies in the evidence or weaknesses in the case to prevent the jury from convicting.
Fight for Your Future with Bain Sheldon
Facing a possible life sentence is scary. You should have an experienced defense team to advocate for you and pursue a favorable outcome in your case. No matter the circumstances, don’t try to handle your defense alone.
Bain Sheldon has represented Richmond clients since 2006. We care about you and the effects a criminal charge will have on the rest of your life. You can depend on us to explore all possible solutions to the issue at hand and fight for your freedom and future.
Take the first step toward defending yourself after an arrest for aggravated malicious wounding by calling us at 804-282-8625 for a free consultation today.