Assault With a Dangerous Weapon in D.C.
The government must prove four elements beyond a reasonable doubt in order to secure a conviction for aggravated assault with a dangerous weapon in D.C. First, the prosecution must prove either that the defendant injured or attempted another person using force or violence or that he committed a threatening act that would reasonably put another person in fear of immediate injury. Second, the government must prove that the defendant acted voluntarily and on purpose and not by mistake or accident. Third, the prosecution must prove that at the time the defendant acted he had the apparent ability to actually injure the other person. Finally, the government must prove that the defendant committed the threatening act with a dangerous weapon.
An object is a dangerous weapon if it is designed to be used, actually used, or threatened to be used, in a manner likely to produce death or serious bodily injury. The government does not need to prove that the defendant actually killed, injured, or even touched the other person with the weapon.
Injury means any physical injury, however small, and it includes a touching that is offensive to a reasonable person. The government must prove that the defendant committed a threatening act; mere words are not sufficient. The government does not need to prove that the defendant acted with actual intent to injure.
The maximum sentence for a conviction for assault with a dangerous weapon is 10 years incarceration and/or a fine of $25,000. D.C. Criminal Code § 22-402.