Accord and Satisfaction (Criminal Defense)

Charles J. Nucciarone, Esquire
February 18th, 2020
By: Charles J. Nucciarone, Esquire

Associate Charles Nucciarone recently represented a client accused of a simple assault and battery under Virginia Code Sec. 18.2-57, a misdemeanor offense. In addition to examining the law and the facts of the case for potential defenses, Mr. Nucciarone also turned to Virginia Code Section 19.2-151. That code section refers to what criminal defense attorneys commonly refer to as an “Accord and Satisfaction.” Under that code section, in a criminal case where the charge is a misdemeanor and one for which there is a civil remedy, the complaining witness may acknowledge, in writing, that he or she has received “satisfaction” for the injury form the defendant, the court may then dismiss the charge against the defendant.

In short, for a defendant’s case to be dismissed pursuant to “Accord and Satisfaction,” the charge must be (1) a misdemeanor and (2) one for which a civil remedy exists. Further, the charge must not be “committed (1) by or upon any law-enforcement officer, (ii) rioutously . . . (iii) against a family or household member in violation of Section 18.2-57.2, or (iv) with intent to commit a felony.” Va. Code Sec. 19.2-151. Finally, the complaining witness, or victim, must agree and represent to the court that he or she has received “satisfaction,” which is often in the form of monetary compensation. Determining “satisfaction” can often be a lengthy and difficult task that involves the defense attorney negotiating with the complaining witness until an agreement is reached.

In Mr. Nucciarone’s recent assault and battery case, he was successfully able to negotiate an agreement with the complaining witness and the charge against his client was dismissed pursuant to an accord and satisfaction. In addition to assault and battery cases, an accord and satisfaction may be an option for defendants facing charges such as petit larceny, trespassing, intentional destruction of property, embezzlement, and hit and run, among other charges.

Disclaimer

This blog and the information provided has been prepared by Bancroft, McGavin, Horvath & Judkins, P.C. (“BMHJ”) for information purposes only and is not intended nor to be construed as legal advice. This blog may contain the opinions of the members and associates of this firm on various legal issues and is not legal advice. Read More