Defending Misdemeanor Assault in the District of Columbia – Ervin Kibria Law

December 19, 2014by Chris Lovos

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Think twice before losing your cool in the District of Columbia-You could be charged with Simple Assault: Know the laws regarding Simple Assault in D.C.

In general the offense of “Assault” is defined as the threat or use of force on another person that causes that person to have reasonable apprehension of imminent harmful or offensive contact.  Assault can be a civil offense -better known as a“tort”.  However, “Assault” in many cases is a criminal offense.

There are various forms of assault that you can be charged with in the District of Columbia. It is wise to be informed on all of these forms. There could be situations where simply losing your temper and threatening harm could get you arrested for  misdemeanor assault in the District of Columbia.

There are three different forms of misdemeanor assault in Washington, D.C., known as “simple assault”:

  • First, there is “attempted battery” assault which occurs when a person injures or attempts to injure another person.
  • Second, there is “intent-to-frighten” assault, which occurs when a person commits a threatening act that puts another person in reasonable fear of immediate injury.
  • Third, there is what’s called “non-violent sexual touching” assault  which is the intentional touching of another person’s body without the other person’s consent.  The touching defined in this third type must be a touching on a part of another person’s body that “would cause fear, shame, humiliation or mental anguish in a person of reasonable sensibility if done without consent.”

For the prosecution to convict a defendant charged with either of the first or second type of assault, the prosecution must also demonstrate (in addition to the elements described above) that the defendant’s act was voluntary AND that the defendant had the actual ability to injure the other person at the time of the incident.

In Washington, D.C., ”Injury” is defined as any physical injury, however slight, and includes an “offensive touching.”  The penalty for either form of this type of assault is $1,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 180 days.  D.C. Code §22-404.

Being charged with the crime of “Simple Assault” is a misdemeanor in the District of Columbia.  However, it is a charge that should not be taken lightly. Being found guilty of simple assault will go on your record as a criminal conviction.  In many cases, first-time offenders should be eligible for some type of diversion program.

If you have been charged with assault in D.C. and are looking for an attorney to represent you on this type of case in the D.C. Superior Court, please contact the attorneys at Ervin Kibria, PLLC.  We vow to fight aggressively for your rights and to resolve the matter in a speedy and discreet manner.

Chris Lovos