2006 Code of Virginia § 18.2-57 - Assault and battery

18.2-57. Assault and battery.

A. Any person who commits a simple assault or assault and battery shall beguilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor, and if the person intentionally selects theperson against whom a simple assault is committed because of his race,religious conviction, color or national origin, the penalty upon convictionshall include a term of confinement of at least six months, 30 days of whichshall be a mandatory minimum term of confinement.

B. However, if a person intentionally selects the person against whom anassault and battery resulting in bodily injury is committed because of hisrace, religious conviction, color or national origin, the person shall beguilty of a Class 6 felony, and the penalty upon conviction shall include aterm of confinement of at least six months, 30 days of which shall be amandatory minimum term of confinement.

C. In addition, if any person commits an assault or an assault and batteryagainst another knowing or having reason to know that such other person is ajudge, a law-enforcement officer as defined hereinafter, a correctionalofficer as defined in 53.1-1, a person employed by the Department ofCorrections directly involved in the care, treatment or supervision ofinmates in the custody of the Department, a firefighter as defined in 65.2-102, or a volunteer firefighter or lifesaving or rescue squad member whois a member of a bona fide volunteer fire department or volunteer rescue oremergency medical squad regardless of whether a resolution has been adoptedby the governing body of a political subdivision recognizing suchfirefighters or members as employees, engaged in the performance of hispublic duties, such person is guilty of a Class 6 felony, and, uponconviction, the sentence of such person shall include a mandatory minimumterm of confinement of six months.

Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to affect the right of anyperson charged with a violation of this section from asserting and presentingevidence in support of any defenses to the charge that may be available undercommon law.

D. In addition, if any person commits a battery against another knowing orhaving reason to know that such other person is a full-time or part-timeteacher, principal, assistant principal, or guidance counselor of any publicor private elementary or secondary school and is engaged in the performanceof his duties as such, he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor and thesentence of such person upon conviction shall include a sentence of 15 daysin jail, two days of which shall be a mandatory minimum term of confinement.However, if the offense is committed by use of a firearm or other weaponprohibited on school property pursuant to 18.2-308.1, the person shallserve a mandatory minimum sentence of confinement of six months.

E. As used in this section:

"Judge" means any justice or judge of a court of record of the Commonwealthincluding a judge designated under 17.1-105, a judge under temporary recallunder 17.1-106, or a judge pro tempore under 17.1-109, any member of theState Corporation Commission, or of the Virginia Workers' CompensationCommission, and any judge of a district court of the Commonwealth or anysubstitute judge of such district court.

"Law-enforcement officer" means any full-time or part-time employee of apolice department or sheriff's office which is part of or administered by theCommonwealth or any political subdivision thereof, who is responsible for theprevention or detection of crime and the enforcement of the penal, traffic orhighway laws of this Commonwealth, and any conservation officer of theDepartment of Conservation and Recreation commissioned pursuant to 10.1-115, and game wardens appointed pursuant to 29.1-200, and such officeralso includes jail officers in local and regional correctional facilities,all deputy sheriffs, whether assigned to law-enforcement duties, courtservices or local jail responsibilities, auxiliary police officers appointedor provided for pursuant to 15.2-1731 and 15.2-1733 and auxiliary deputysheriffs appointed pursuant to 15.2-1603.

"School security officer" means an individual who is employed by the localschool board for the purpose of maintaining order and discipline, preventingcrime, investigating violations of school board policies and detainingpersons violating the law or school board policies on school property, aschool bus or at a school-sponsored activity and who is responsible solelyfor ensuring the safety, security and welfare of all students, faculty andstaff in the assigned school.

F. "Simple assault" or "assault and battery" shall not be construed toinclude the use of, by any teacher, teacher aide, principal, assistantprincipal, guidance counselor, school security officer, school bus driver orschool bus aide, while acting in the course and scope of his officialcapacity, any of the following: (i) incidental, minor or reasonable physicalcontact or other actions designed to maintain order and control; (ii)reasonable and necessary force to quell a disturbance or remove a studentfrom the scene of a disturbance that threatens physical injury to persons ordamage to property; (iii) reasonable and necessary force to prevent a studentfrom inflicting physical harm on himself; (iv) reasonable and necessary forcefor self-defense or the defense of others; or (v) reasonable and necessaryforce to obtain possession of weapons or other dangerous objects orcontrolled substances or associated paraphernalia that are upon the person ofthe student or within his control.

In determining whether a person was acting within the exceptions provided inthis subsection, due deference shall be given to reasonable judgments thatwere made by a teacher, teacher aide, principal, assistant principal,guidance counselor, school security officer, school bus driver, or school busaide at the time of the event.

(1975, cc. 14, 15; 1994, c. 658; 1997, c. 833; 1999, cc. 771, 1036; 2000, cc.288, 682; 2001, c. 129; 2002, c. 817; 2004, cc. 420, 461; 2006, cc. 270, 709,829.)

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