DC Simple Assault Lawyer

In the District of Columbia simple assault is defined as when someone assaults or threatens another person in a menacing manner, even if the act was not completed. Under the statute in DC, assault or threatened assault is when someone intentionally attempts or successfully completes an action to physically harm another person, whether they do, in fact, harm the other person or complete the action or not. When this is alleged, it is important that a DC simple assault lawyer is contacted as this offense has a number of serious consequences that can impact you and potentially your employment.

An assault lawyer in DC will be able to examine the facts of your case and conduct a defense side investigation of their own to determine how to build the strongest defense possible. To learn more or discuss what the first steps you should take are, schedule a consultation today.

Elements of Simple Assault

In a simple assault case, the prosecutor must prove that the defendant knowingly and intentionally acted in a way that harmed or intended to harm another individual. The person accused must also have caused harm, or caused the other person to reasonably believe they could be harmed. For example, if an individual attempts to hit someone or acts as if they are going to hit someone, the other person is reasonable in believing that they could be harmed and therefore the aggressor could be prosecuted for simple assault.

However, in order to get a conviction in this specific instance, a prosecutor must prove that harm was not caused accidentally and that the circumstances that warranted the assault were not done in self-defense. If they were the defendant and their DC simple assault attorney may be able to advocate for a less serious punishment or no punishment at all.

Types of Evidence

Prosecutors use any evidence they can in the form of witnesses, video or audio recordings, photographs taken by the police or others, and any other kind of evidence to show what action actually occurred. It is not easy to prove intent because it is difficult to prove what is in the mind of a person. However, a prosecutor could try to use any statements that a defendant made, any video, or eye witness testimony that would show that the individual intentionally took action against another person and try to prove an assault took place under those circumstances.

The best case scenario for prosecution would be a video that shows exactly what happened. Lacking any video, having eyewitness testimony and/or admission statements by the defendant are the types of evidence that the government would put forward to show what happened and the intent of the defendant.

Penalties For Simple Assault

When someone is convicted of a simple assault in DC, the maximum penalty is one-hundred eighty days in jail and/or a $1000 fine. When a court finds someone guilty of simple assault, the court looks at a number of different factors when deciding the appropriate sentence or punishment. If a defendant has a very limited criminal history and the facts of the present case are not particularly egregious, a simple assault lawyer in DC may be able to advocate for a term of probation rather than simply being sent to jail for a flat term.

With that said, a judge can sentence someone to probation with some jail time as one of the conditions of probation. In many cases of simple assault, a defendant may expect to get a probationary sentence, but they may or may not also receive jail time as part of their probation depending on the case. For specific information on what you may be facing, call and schedule a consultation with a DC simple assault attorney today.

Where Assault Cases Are Heard

Except in extremely rare circumstances, misdemeanor simple assault cases will be heard in the District of Columbia’s Superior Court located at 500 Indiana Avenue NW, Washington DC where they will be prosecuted by the US Attorney’s Office and heard in front of an associate judge. DC is not a state and therefore does not have a “state” court, however, the Superior Court is the equivalent.

Beyond the superior court, DC also has the Federal District Court, where theoretically, someone charged with assault on federal property could have their case brought if the assault took place on federal property. With that said this rarely ever happens.