Virginia Law on Accord & Satisfaction: Va. Code § 19.2-151

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What is Accord & Satisfaction in Virginia?

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.

Va. Code § 19.2-151

What does this mean for you?

The statute allows a judge to dismiss a case upon payment of restitution to the hurt party. So if you are charged with an assault and battery, or other misdemeanors where there is a civil fine that is applicable (ex. Payment of medical bills), a judge can dismiss the criminal charges against you if you show that you have made the aggrieved party whole via restitution. It is perfectly legal but has to be signed off by the Commonwealth. Meaning a prosecutor has to agree to the agreement.

Which misdemeanors does an accord and satisfaction apply to?

Most commonly, assault and battery. But, like the statute says, it does NOT apply to any felony charges, any assault against a law enforcement official, and against your own family or household member. See our assault and battery page for an in-dept explanation on Virginia law on Assault.

Do you need an attorney?

Yes, this is a delicate agreement that relies on many different parties coming together for the end result of getting your case dismissed. It is a balancing act between your interests, opposing party’s interests, and ensuring that the prosecutor on your case will agree to it. Have an experienced criminal defense attorney take a look at the specific facts of your case to see if you could potentially have your charges dismissed via an accord and satisfaction.

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