assault graffiti in dc

Is spitting on someone simple assault in D.C.?

Jamison KoehlerAssault

Spitting on someone would satisfy the definition of an “offensive touching” provided that the government could prove that the defendant’s actions were intentional and not by mistake or accident.

Can I expunge a criminal record for simple assault?

Jamison KoehlerAssault, Criminal Procedure

A criminal record for simple assault in D.C. can be sealed either immediately on the grounds of actual innocence or after two years in the interests of justice.  A conviction for simple assault can be sealed after eight years. Expunging/sealing an arrest for simple assault There are two different ways to expunge/seal an arrest for simple assault.  The first way is …

High v. U.S.: Cross Words and Police Officers

Jamison KoehlerAssault, Opinions/Cases

I tried to argue a while back that, when it comes to D.C.’s statute on Threats to do Bodily Harm, parking enforcement officers should be considered to be particularly immune to threats. After all, they are used to dealing with angry people who have just found a ticket on their windshield. Such officers, I would assume, are also trained both …

American flag

I wanted to hit the complainant myself

Jamison KoehlerAssault

I wanted to hit him myself. This is what I tell my client after speaking with the complainant in a simple assault case. My client is accused of punching the complainant in the face. The complainant turns out to be a first-class jerk. I call him up before the arraignment to find out what happened. I also express concern for …

Teneyck v. U.S.: What is Significant Bodily Injury Under the Felony Assault Statute?

Jamison KoehlerAssault, Opinions/Cases

The D.C. Court of Appeals has issued a number of opinions over the last couple of years in which it has refined the definition of “significant bodily injury” under D.C.’s felony assault statute. In Nero v. United States, for example, the court found that a bodily injury was significant when a bullet passed through the complainant’s bicep, causing “obvious pain …

Gayden v. U.S.: Interpreting the “Resist” and “Intimidate” Provisions of D.C.’s APO Statute

Jamison KoehlerAssault, Opinions/Cases

In Cheeks v. United States, a case issued a couple of months ago, the D.C. Court of Appeals interpreted the “interfere” provision of D.C.’s Assault of a Police Officer (APO) statute.  (It is illegal under this statute to assault, resist, oppose, impede, interfere with or intimidate a police officer who is performing his official duties, and the court has had …

D.C. skyline

New Lawsuit Alleging Military Rape Filed in Federal Court

Jamison KoehlerAssault, Current Events

The Associated Press reported on the lawsuit filed yesterday in federal court in San Francisco alleging that current and former members of the U.S. military were sexually assaulted while serving: The 20 women and men filing the lawsuit claim they were harassed, raped or assaulted and suffered retaliation when they reported the incidents. The lawsuit names top Department of Defense …

Jefferson Memorial

Why I Hate D.C.’s “Threats to do Bodily Harm” Statute

Jamison KoehlerAssault, Opinions/Cases

  Your client is 19 years old.  She weighs 105 pounds and stands under five feet tall. Having been arrested for a minor offense, she sits handcuffed in a room surrounded by police officers. Her eyebrow is bleeding from a cut she suffered from being thrown up against a chain link fence. All the police officers are male. They are …

D.C. skyline

Congressman Etheridge and Simple Assault in D.C.

Jamison KoehlerAssault

  While the YouTube video is now posted all over the Internet, I first found out about Congressman Etheridge’s altercation with two students when checking out my website stats through Google Analytics.  I found that visits to the Simple Assault page on my website had gone through the roof.  My summary of the offense was also quoted and linked to …

U.S. Capitol Building

Self-Defense in a D.C. Assault Case

Jamison KoehlerAssault, Defenses to Criminal Charges, Law Practice, Legal Concepts/Principles

Self-defense is an affirmative defense to simple assault and other assault charges in D.C. Self-defense is the use of force to protect oneself, one’s family or one’s property from a real or threatened attack.  It is an affirmative defense, meaning that the defendant has the initial burden of raising it. In D.C., once the defendant has been able to introduce …