DC Aggravated Assault Attorney

Aggravated assault is defined in DC Code Section 22-404.01 as an assault, or any violent action, that results in serious bodily injury to another person. This level of assault is far more serious than a charge of simple assault or simply making threats against someone. It is also more serious than the charge of assault resulting in significant injury, which is related to aggravated assault but considered a lesser charge. Due to the severity of the charge, those convicted of aggravated assault face serious penalties, including prison time and steep fines. For this reason, anyone who is charged, or even accused, should immediately consult with a dedicated DC aggravated assault lawyer.

An experienced assault lawyer in DC can assist in guiding you through the legal process while protecting your rights and advocating on your behalf. To learn more about the steps you can take, call and schedule a consultation today.

Definition of Aggravated Assault

Aggravated assault is defined as when a person intentionally or purposely causes serious bodily injury to another person; or if the circumstances are such that they show they acted with extreme indifference to human life, and the person intentionally or knowingly engaged in conduct that is a grave risk of a serious bodily injury and thereby caused physical injury. While they didn’t intentionally cause serious bodily injury, they created a grave risk of causing serious bodily injury and, in fact, it caused bodily injuries.

An example of extreme recklessness would be if a person was wildly swinging their arms near people’s heads in a bar knowing that if someone doesn’t move at just the right moment they will end up breaking their nose. If the person does end up hitting someone, there is not going to be a defense that the person wasn’t actually trying to hit someone on the nose. They were actually acting extremely recklessly regardless of not actually intending to hit someone.

That may seem like a silly example, but as a DC aggravated assault lawyer can tell you, people do reckless things under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The law is written to capture both situations where someone actually intended to seriously hurt somebody or someone was acting so recklessly that the natural consequences of their actions were that someone got seriously injured.


Aggravated assault is considered a serious felony offense and, as such, carries higher potential penalties than other assault charges. Those convicted of aggravated assault, even if it’s just a first offense, could face up to 10 years in prison and fines up to $25,000. Unsurprisingly, the penalties increase if an aggravated assault includes the use of a firearm. In these cases, incarceration can range up to 15 years.

Even the mere attempt to commit aggravated assault is considered a felony and requires the attention of an aggravated assault lawyer in DC resulting in severe penalties, including five years in prison and/or a $12,500 fine.

Cases Involving a Weapon

When a weapon is involved, the defendant faces the additional charge of assault with a deadly weapon. Assault with a deadly weapon is a more serious charge than aggravated assault and will be charged under that statute.

Building a Defense

In most circumstances, there are two people in a conflict. Self-defense is perhaps the most common defense.

An aggravated assault defense attorney in DC will explore the ability to argue effectively that the defendant’s actions were done in self-defense. There is also the situation of a mis-identification of who was actually involved and it wasn’t the defendant who assaulted anyone or was even physically involved. Similarly, there is the issue of whether the assault was an intentional act or not.

All of the defenses that could be presented in a simple assault situation would occur in an aggravated assault situation with the additional possible argument about the government’s evidence that serious physical injury occurred and occurred specifically as a result of the defendant’s actions. To elevate a simple assault misdemeanor criminal case to a felony aggravated assault case, the difference is one of the degrees of injuries such that the complainant suffered serious physical injuries.

One of the areas that could also be explored for defense is whether the complainant suffered a serious physical injury as a direct result of actions by the defendant.

Importance of a DC Aggravated Assault Lawyer

In aggravated assault cases, a person must have an experienced DC aggravated assault lawyer as they face a criminal defense prosecution in the District of Columbia, for a felony. A felony conviction has serious consequences in the present and in the future. Any individual charged with a criminal offense must make sure they hire counsel who is experienced and skilled in dealing with that exact type of case in that exact court, that attorney knows the processes, the players, and the law, and can make sure that everything is done properly.