Accord and Satisfaction

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Virginia Accord and Satisfaction

If you have been charged with an Assault or similar misdemeanor, the possibility of an “Accord and Satisfaction” may arise. In short, an Accord and Satisfaction is a monetary settlement for certain charges that would also lend themselves to a civil action. Assault for example can lead to criminal charges, but also a civil suit for and damage the victim may have suffered. An Accord and Satisfaction is a way to resolve both of these legal actions, dismissing the criminal charge. From Va. Code § 19.2-151:

When a person is in jail or under a recognizance to answer a charge of assault and battery or other misdemeanor, or has been indicted for an assault and battery or other misdemeanor for which there is a remedy by civil action, unless the offense was committed (i) by or upon any law-enforcement officer, (ii) riotously in violation of §§ 18.2-404 to 18.2-407, (iii) against a family or household member in violation of § 18.2-57.2, or (iv) with intent to commit a felony, if the person injured appears before the court which made the commitment or took the recognizance, or before the court in which the indictment is pending, and acknowledges in writing that he has received satisfaction for the injury, the court may, in its discretion, by an order, supersede the commitment, discharge the recognizance, or dismiss the prosecution, upon payment by the defendant of costs accrued to the Commonwealth or any of its officers.

Negotiating an Accord and Satisfaction

Arranging an Accord and Satisfaction is not necessarily straight forward. For the types of charges that Accord and Satisfaction are available, there can also be some residual anger, emotions, and bad blood between the parties. An attorney can help cut through much of these to get to a reasonably outcome. Such an arrangement also requires careful scrutiny by your attorney to make sure you are not open to further legal action, civilly or criminally after agreeing to the Accord and Satisfaction, and to make sure that the agreement is such that you are properly discharged.

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