Sounds funny now right? As some of you know, back in the day those were fighting words. Johnny is sitting with his friends down at the skating rink. Some guy across the rink is giving him the ‘you wanna piece of me‘ stare and then a hard brush on the shoulder and it was on. Fist fight in the parking lot. Most people gathered around to watch the fight until one of you started getting the worst of it and somebody would step in and break it up. Black eye, bloody lip and a chipped tooth was all you lost but your macho pride was intact. Here‘s what happens these days: Police are called to the scene, The guy with the black eye says he fell down and hurt his eye, the guy with the bloody lip and the chipped tooth doesn’t want to press charges but the crowd, yes the crowd lets go the “Tale of the Tape” and tells the entire story from beginning to end. Police: “Who hit who first?’ Crowd: “Well that guy over there said something to that guy over there and then that guy over there punched that guy over there and then they started fighting and then…Well… you get the picture. Here is today’s reality. The guy who hit first gets charged with assault. If he was the guy who administered the bloody lip he could very well get charged with malicious wounding. 18.2-51 Virginia law on malicious wounding can be summarized as: any person who maliciously shoots, stabs, cuts, or wounds any person, or, by any means causing him bodily injury with the intent to maim, disfigure, disable, or kill, then he can charged with a class 6 felony. If you draw blood in a fight that’s enough to get charged with malicious wounding. Here is some more bad news. Malicious wounding is a presumption charge, it presumes that you are NOT eligible for bond and you are held without. That’s right! Hire an attorney to file a motion for a bail hearing and spend about a week in jail praying you get a bond. What would have been a scuffle in the parking lot a few years ago now turns in to a felony charge with some serious consequences. Remember what Matthew recounted in Matthew 5:38-40? It’s the place where Jesus says that if someone slaps you upside the head let them slap you on the other side as well. It’s really good and applicable instructions on how NOT to get arrested.

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