On the right to testify in Graves v. U.S.

DC Superior Court front

It is reversible error for the trial judge to prohibit the defendant from testifying that he was acting in self-defense when the court had already concluded that the arresting officer had not used excessive force.

“Touching” versus “feeling” in Augustin v. United States

D.C. Court of Appeals foyer

For purposes of the misdemeanor sexual assault of minors statute, the D.C. Court of Appeals refused to limit the definition of “touch” to the act of “feeling” with one’s tactile senses — through, for example, the use of one’s fingers, hands, genitals or other sensory organs.

Good judge. Bad person.

art work

A D.C. Superior Court judge — always one of my favorites — retires abruptly after being accused of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl.

“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

Expunge records on grounds of innocence

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

American flag

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