Washington, DC Assault Charges Explained
In the District of Columbia, “assault” generally refers to the use of force (hitting, punching, kicking, stabbing, etc), or threatening to use force on another person. This includes what is commonly referred to as “assault and battery” on TV and in other states.
In Washington, DC, there are several different types of assault. Below is a list of some of them, including the potential penalties. Please note that this is general information that may not be applicable to your specific situation. If you have been charged with a DC assault, contact a criminal defense attorney immediately.
DC Simple Assault (Misdemeanor) – This offense involves the use of force or threat of force. It also includes attempting to injure a person, which is referred to as an attempted battery. In Washington, DC, simple assault is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in prison and/or a $1000 fine.
DC Assault with Significant Injury (Felony) – If an assault results in significant injuries to the victim, a defendant can be charged with assault with significant bodily injury. This is a DC felony with a maximum sentence of up to 3 years in prison and/or a $3,000 fine.
DC Aggravated Assault (Felony) – The DC Code states that this type of assault is one in which the defendant acted intentionally, purposefully, or with a disregard towards human life that resulted in a serious bodily injury. This is a major felony and is punishable by up to ten years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine. Attempted aggravated assault in Washington, DC is felony punishable by a fine of $5,000 and/or 5 years in prison.
DC Aggravated Assault While Armed (Felony) – If a defendant commits an aggravated assault while armed (AAWA), the maximum penalty can be as high as 15 years in prison.
DC Assault with a Dangerous or Deadly Weapon (Felony) – This DC criminal charge requires the same elements of a standard assault offense but has the additional requirement that the defendant had a dangerous or deadly weapon. This a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
One of the most important things your DC assault lawyer can do to help is to conduct a thorough investigation and speak to all witnesses and police officers. The police commonly file charges based on the word of the alleged victim without looking to see if there was another side to the story.