“Intent-to-frighten” assault in D.C.

intent to frighten - graffiti in DC

“Intent-to-frighten” assault is defined as threatening or menacing conduct that is intended to cause the victim to fear immediate bodily injury.

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

assault graffiti in dc

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.

Excessive force is still the standard for self-defense in an APO case

apo arrest graffiti

The standard for asserting self-defense in an assault case involving a police officer is still whether or not the police officer used excessive force during the arrest.

Can I expunge a criminal record for simple assault?

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…. Read More

High v. U.S.: Not Every Cross Word Directed at a Cop is Criminal

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… Read More

Disliking the Victim

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… Read More

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

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,… Read More

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

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… Read More

Cheek v. U.S.: Interpreting the “Interfere” Language of D.C.’s APO Statute

The Assault on a Police Officer (APO) statute is so broad that the D.C. Court of Appeals has had to issue multiple opinions to interpret it.  In Edwin Cheek v. United States, 103 A.3d 1019 (D.C. 2014), an… Read More

Attempted Battery Assault in D.C. is a “Specific Intent” Offense

In law school and in preparing for the Bar Exam, we were taught the distinction between general intent and specific intent crimes. If it is a general intent offense, the government must prove only that the defendant intended… Read More