Simple Assault in D.C.

Simple Assault in D.C.“Assault” is defined generally as the threat or use of force on another person that causes that person to have reasonable apprehension of imminent harmful or offensive contact.  Assault can be a civil wrong (or “tort”).  It can also be a crime.

There are three forms of misdemeanor assault (that is, simple assault) in Washington, D.C. First, there is “attempted battery assault” which occurs when the defendant injures or attempts to injure another person.  The second form, “intent-to-frighten” assault, is defined as a threatening act that puts another person in reasonable fear of immediate injury.  Finally, “non-violent sexual touching assault” is the intentional touching of another person’s body without the other person’s consent.  The touching in this third form must be on a part of the other person’s body that “would cause fear, shame, humiliation or mental anguish in a person of reasonable sensibility if done without consent.”

In the first two cases, the prosecution must also demonstrate that the defendant’s act was voluntary and that the defendant had the actual ability to injure the other person at the time of the incident.  “Injury” is defined as any physical injury, however slight, and includes an “offensive touching.”  The penalty for either form of this type of assault is $1,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 180 days.  D.C. Code §22-404.

If you have been charged with assault in D.C. and are looking for an attorney with experience dealing with this type of case in D.C. Superior Court, please contact Jamison Koehler at 202-549-2374 or   Mr. Koehler promises to try to resolve the matter as quickly and as discreetly as possible. First-time offenders should be eligible for some type of diversion program.

Although your lawyer will be given a copy of the full police report and other pieces of “discovery” at your initial court appearance, you can obtain a copy of an abbreviated police report — the PD-251 — in advance of that hearing by contacting the Metropolitan Police Department.  Instructions on obtaining a copy of your PD-251 are provided here.