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Adams v. Commonwealth

Court of Appeals of Virginia
534 S.E.2d 347 (2000)


Jeremy Adams (defendant), a senior in high school, pointed a laser light at Sergeant Steven Giles, who was on duty at the high school. Giles was talking with coworkers when Giles felt a stinging sensation in his eye. A coworker noticed that Adams was pointing the laser at Giles. Giles approached Adams, and Adams gave Giles the light, insisting that the laser could not hurt anybody. The next day, Giles had his eye examined. The eye was heavily irritated, but not otherwise injured. Adams was charged with battery. At trial, Adams testified that he purchased the laser light at a convenience store, there was no warning on the light about possible injury to others, and Adams had previously shone the laser in his own eye without suffering injury. Adams claimed that he never intended to shine the light into Giles’s eye. Adams was convicted of battery. On appeal, Adams argued that shining the laser on Giles did not constitute a touching as required for battery.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Frank, J.)

Dissent (Lemons, J.)

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