Self-defense is a countermeasure that involves defending the well being of oneself or another from harm. The use of the right of self-defense as a legal justification for the use of force in times of danger is available in many jurisdictions but interpretations vary widely. The right of self-defense is the right for persons to use reasonable force, for the purpose of defending one’s own life or the lives of others, including, in some circumstances, the use of deadly force. When you are defending yourself, you do not want to cross the line and be accused of a violent crime or malicious wounding.
What is malicious wounding?
Malicious wounding is an assault and battery case where the victim was badly hurt or injured. In the state of Virginia, malicious wounding is charged as a Class 2 or Class 3 Felony, depending on certain aggravating factors. To convict a person of malicious wounding the prosecution must prove that:
- The defendant shot, stabbed, cut, wounded, or caused bodily injury to another person.
- The defendant intended to maim, disfigure, disable, or kill the other person at the time the act was committed.
- The act was done with malice.
- The victim was severely injured and suffers permanent physical impairment as a result of the act (for a Class 2 Felony)
- If any person maliciously shoots, stabs, cuts or wounds any other woman who is pregnant, or by any other means causes bodily injury, with the intent to maim, disfigure, disable or kill the pregnant woman or to cause the involuntary termination of her pregnancy, and if the victim is thereby severely injured and is caused to suffer permanent and significant physical impairment (involuntary termination of the pregnancy is deemed a severe injury and a permanent and significant physical impairment) (for a Class 2 Felony)
Malice is defined as a state of mind that results in the intentional doing of a wrongful act without legal excuse or justification. This is at a time when the actor’s mind is under the control of reason. Malice may result from any unlawful or unjustifiable motive including anger, hatred, or revenge. Malice may be inferred from any deliberate, willful, or cruel act against another, however sudden.
Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney
If you were simply defending yourself but are being charged with malicious wounding, it is in your best interest to seek legal representation. You can contact the offices of Shannon & Associates, P.C., for a consultation online or by calling (757) 228-5529. Please do not waste another minute.