Assault with Significant Injury

There are two ways for the government to prove Assault with Significant Injury (also known as “Felony Assault”).

In order to prove “battery assault” as a felony offense, the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that (1) the defense injured another person through the use of force or violence, (2) the defendant did so voluntarily, on purpose, and not by mistake or accident, (3) the injury caused by the defendant was “significant bodily injury,” and (4) the defendant either intended to cause significant bodily injury, knew that significant bodily injury would result from his/her conduct, or was aware of and disregarded the risk of significant bodily injury that his/her conduct created.

Alternatively, through “intent-to-frighten” assault, the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that (1) the defendant committed a threatening act that reasonably would create in another person a fear of immediate injury, (2) the defendant did so voluntarily, on purpose, and not by mistake or accident, (3) the defendant had the apparent ability at the time of the conduct to injure the person, (4) the defendant’s threatening act caused the injury, and (5) the defendant either intended to cause significant bodily injury, knew that significant bodily injury would result from his/her conduct, or was aware of and disregarded the risk of significant bodily injury that his/her conduct created.

“Significant bodily injury” means an injury that requires hospitalization or immediate medical attention.  The fact that an individual did or did not seek immediate medical attention, was or was not transported by ambulance to a hospital, or did or did not receive treatment at a hospital is not determinative of whether hospitalization or immediate medical attention was required.  The court must instead consider the nature of the alleged injury itself.  D.C. Code § 22-404(a)(2).

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