Assault 101

Assault 101

“A peanut walked down an alleyway. It was a salted.” Many people don’t quite know exactly what assault it. People throw around the word flippantly without understanding its true meaning. Here are a few things you might want to know about assault. Assault: Putting a person in fear of a battery That’s right. You do not have to even touch someone to be charged with and convicted of assault.  All that is required is that someone else fears that you are going to touch them in a harmful or offensive way. Here are some situations that might be considered assault: Raising a fist to someone Charging at someone on a bicycle or in a car or Approaching someone with a weapon. There is one situation that cannot be considered assault: Words alone. The words must be accompanied with threatening action to be considered assault. What happens if I’m convicted of assault? If the Judge determines that there is sufficient evidence to convict you of Assault, the range of punishment can be anywhere from: having the matter taken under advisement ordering no contact with the victim twelve months in Jail a $2,500 fine. Why do I always hear “Assault and Battery”? Remember the definition of assault? Assault: Putting a person in fear of a battery The definition of battery is usually called “assault and battery”, and it is an unwanted, harmful or offensive touching. Battery is taking Assault one step further.  It is the actual touching or hitting of another person. Here are some situations that might be considered assault and battery: Raising a fist to someone and hitting them...
What is a Guardian Ad Litem?

What is a Guardian Ad Litem?

If you’re in the middle of a court case that involves a minor child, it is possible that the Courts appoint or suggest that you hire a Guardian Ad Litem. You may have been appointed a Guardian Ad Litem for your minor child and wonder: What is a Guardian Ad Litem? Let’s break it down for you with exactly what the Virginia Judicial System says:   “Guardian ad litem (GAL) literally means ‘guardian for the suit.’ A guardian ad litem in Virginia is an attorney appointed by a judge to assist the court in determining the circumstances of a matter before the court. It is the fundamental responsibility of the guardian ad litem to provide independent recommendations to the court about the client’s best interests, which can be different from advocating for what the client wants, and to bring balance to the decision-making process. The GAL may conduct interviews and investigations, make reports to the court, and participate in court hearings or mediation sessions.” (Virginia Judicial System)   Who is a Guardian ad litem? There is a process that lawyers must go through to become qualified as a Guardian Ad Litem. This includes shadowing other GALs and regular trainings. You can trust these attorneys are acting in the best interest of their minor client. David W. Steidle and Brittany C. Furr are both Guardians Ad Litem and are ready to help with your case! Contact the Steidle Law Firm today to learn more about representation for your minor child! What do GAL’s do? (Specifically when representing children) Talk to the child about their case in terms they understand. The...
The Misdemeanor Process

The Misdemeanor Process

Criminal and Traffic charges generally fall into two categories: misdemeanors and felonies.  Felonies are more serious and are punishable by imprisonment in the State Prison.  Misdemeanor penalties can range from a simple fine to up to one year in the local Jail.  There are 4 classes of misdemeanors in Virginia, which define the severity of the charge.  Class 1 misdemeanors are more serious, while Class 4 misdemeanors are less serious. Misdemeanors include: traffic offenses such as reckless or improper driving criminal offenses such as assault and battery petit larceny abusive language over the telephone A misdemeanor conviction can cause a person a lot of headache, if not land you in jail.  It can cause you to lose your job and make it very difficult for you to get a good job in the future.  If you or someone you know is charged with a Misdemeanor Offense, you need the help of an experienced defense attorney.  Contact the Steidle Law Firm today! The Six Stages of a Misdemeanor Summons or Warrant Arraignment Discovery Trial Preparation Trial Post Trial Let’s break down each stage for you. Stage 1:  Summons or Warrant Anyone can go to the magistrate’s office and take out a warrant for a criminal or traffic offense.  Sometime people take these charges out for spite.  If someone has taken out a charge against you, there may be some defenses of which you are not aware.  You need to contact the firm, as we have tried thousands of misdemeanor trials and can help you in any situation. A police officer, if he has probable cause to believe an offense took place can give you a summons on the scene...
Sexual Crimes

Sexual Crimes

Disputes involving sexual intercourse and sexual content can be very embarrassing and damaging to your reputation as well as putting you in jail.  Misperceptions and miscommunication involving sex is very common in today’s world.  Every situation is different and if you are charged or think you are going to be charged with a sex crime, you need my help. The Sexual Crimes Glossary: Sexual Assault is the unlawful and offensive touching of someone on their private parts with the intent to arouse oneself sexually.  Sometimes merely touching someone’s buttocks is not enough for a conviction. Prostitution or Solicitation of Prostitutes – Performing sexual acts for money or paying or attempting to pay someone for sex.  Prostitution is one of humanity’s oldest professions and is highly controversial.  In Nevada, controlled prostitution is legal but in Virginia, any type of prostitution is a crime. Prostitution is a Class 1 Misdemeanor and is punishable by Jail and Fines.  It can be very embarrassing and typically is a misunderstanding. Rape – Both men and women can be charged with rape.  Usually it is his word against hers.  Rape is a very serious allegation and there are many defenses to a Rape charge. Statutory Rape is unconsented sex with a minor below the age of 18.  If the child under age 13 is the victim, the State of Virginia dictates he or she shall be guilty of rape. Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor charge can arise from having consensual sex with someone who is between 16 and 17 years old.  A charge such as this can cause a lot of embarrassment and cause someone to lose...
Prenuptial Agreement

Prenuptial Agreement

Prenuptial Agreements: What are they and why do you need one? A prenuptial agreement is a written contract created by two people before they are married. A “prenup” typically lists all of the property each person owns (as well as any debts) and specifies what each person’s property rights will be after the marriage. Prenuptial Agreements are not for the ultra-wealthy.  Why do you need one?  There could be several reasons!  For example you could be protecting the inheritance of property for children from another marriage, it will clarify possession if in the event of a divorce and it could give you protection from debts incurred prior to your union.  This list could go on! When you agree to file a valid prenuptial agreement, a court will honor a document that is clear, understandable and legally sound.  Contact the Steidle Law Firm to draft your prenuptial agreement...