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Washington, D.C. Assault Lawyer

Simple Assault

In Washington, D.C. a simple assault occurs when a person attempts to use force or violence to injure another person, has the ability to injure the person, and has the intent to commit the act.  An assault can be as little as a simple unwanted touching of someone else.  A person can also be assaulted without experiencing any physical contact, because under the law a threat to another individual is also considered an assault.  Assault charges are also very common in domestic violence cases between couples, family members, and even roommates.  In D.C., a simple assault charge is a misdemeanor offense that carries up to 180 days in jail, a fine of $1,000, or both.

Assault on a Police Officer (APO)

The D.C. Code defines assaulting a police officer as follows: “Whoever without justifiable and excusable cause assaults a law enforcement officer on account of, or while that law enforcement officer is engaged in the performance of his or her official duties shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.”

A “law enforcement officer” is any police officer or member of a police force who is authorized to act in the District of Columbia. This includes reserve officers, civilian Metropolitan Police Department officers, special officers, members of the fire department, correctional officers, investigators and code inspectors employed by the D.C. government, and employees of the following agencies: the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services, the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency, the Social Services Division of the Superior Court, and Pretrial Services Agency employees who’s duties include intake, assessment, or community supervision.

  • At the misdemeanor level, an APO charge is punishable by up to 6 months in jail, and/or a $1000 fine which makes the misdemeanor APO charge jury demandable.
  • For a felony APO charge, an individual must also cause significant bodily injury to the law enforcement officer, or commit a violent act that creates a grave risk of causing significant bodily injury to the officer. A felony APO charge is punishable by up to 10 yeas in jail, and/or a $25,000 fine.


Assault with Significant Bodily Injury

An assault with significant bodily injury occurs when an individual unlawfully assaults, or threatens another in a menacing manner, and intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes significant bodily injury to the other person. The D.C. code defines significant bodily injury as an injury that requires hospitalization or immediate medical attention. An assault with significant bodily injury is a felony offense that is punishable by up to three years imprisonment, a fine of $12,500, or both.

Aggravated Assault

In Washington, D.C. an individual can be charged with a felony aggravated assault offense if any of the following occur:

  • The person knowingly or purposely causes serious body injury to another person, or
  • Under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to human life, that person intentionally or knowingly engages in conduct which creates a grave risk of serious bodily injury to another person, and thereby causes serious bodily injury.

Serious bodily injury” is defined as an injury which involves unconsciousness, extreme physical pain, protracted and obvious disfigurement, protracted loss or impairment of the function of a bodily member, organ, or mental faculty or a substantial risk of death.
An aggravated assault charge is punishable by up to 10 yeas in jail, a fine of $25,000, or both.

Contact Us

If you have been charged with an assault offense in Washington, D.C., contact us or call (202) 403-2292 to speak with a qualified lawyer to handle your case.

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