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Why intoxication can lead to assault charges against college students

On Behalf of | Feb 24, 2024 | Assault |

People sometimes call alcohol a social lubricant because it relaxes people. Those who have had a few drinks may become more convivial and boisterous. Disinhibition is one of the effects of alcohol. People may say things that they usually think but do not convey to others.

They may also let their emotions take over. Some people cry a lot when they drink. Others may become more confrontational. Alcohol has a strong association with interpersonal conflicts and fistfights. People who are usually relatively calm and amiable may become more volatile after drinking.

College students who have brains that have not yet fully developed and who are still developing a tolerance for alcohol are at particularly high risk of making mistakes while drinking. In some cases, college students may end up facing serious criminal charges because of what happens when they drink.

People’s intoxicated conduct can make others feel afraid

People often misunderstand the definition of assault in Virginia. Assault does not necessarily involve injuring another person. Instead, the definition of simple assault in Virginia is the intentional act of putting someone in a state of fear for their physical safety.

Assaults can occur without any direct physical contact between the two parties involved in an altercation. Someone under the influence of alcohol could very easily engage in conduct that technically constitutes assault. Both their actions and their words might lead to someone accusing them of assault and the state pursuing criminal charges.

Simple assault charges can relate to verbal threats. If someone states that they intend to physically injure someone else during a verbal argument and the other party believes that assertion, those claims may constitute assault under state law.

Someone’s physical behavior can also lead to claims of assault. Menacing someone can also put someone in a state of fear for their physical safety. Lunging at someone, looming over them to intimidate them during an argument or pulling a fist back as though to deliver a punch could all potentially constitute assault.

If there is video footage corroborating someone’s claim of physical or verbal intimidation or if there are witnesses who can validate their allegations, Virginia prosecutors might pursue assault charges against a college student who never even put their hands on the other party.

Ultimately, understanding the definition of simple assault can help people recognize why alcohol might lead to assault charges in Virginia. And seeking legal guidance can help those who have been accused of this kind of misconduct to respond as efficiently and effectively as possible.