Whether you face a criminal assault or battery charge or need to file a civil lawsuit for injuries you have suffered, let a DC assault and battery lawyer help. Washington DC law groups assault and battery together, but simple assault does not require any physical touch or injury.
An experienced DC assault attorney could help you build a strong defense, possibly resulting in reduced charges or a dismissal. Call to schedule a consultation today.
Simple assault is the lowest level of assault charge. However, a conviction can have serious consequences that affect your livelihood and reputation. A Columbia simple assault attorney could review the evidence, speak with witnesses, and build a strong defense on your behalf.
The prosecutor must prove all of the elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt to convict you. To do this, the government must show that you put another person in fear of unconsented physical contact. This unwanted physical contact can be anything from a poke, to putting your hands on someone’s shoulder, or even a punch.
In most cases, a defendant accused of simple assault will face misdemeanor charges. However, if you have a history of assault convictions, the prosecutor may amend the charges to a felony. This is especially true if the victim is an elderly adult or vulnerable individual, such as a police officer or judge. In these instances, a convicted assault can be punishable by up to a year in jail.
If the assault involves causing serious bodily injury, or a serious disfigurement, or impairment of any body part, it may be charged as an aggravated assault. Aggravated assault is a felony, and could mean jail time, fines and probation.
It is possible to get an aggravated assault charge reduced to simple assault during plea negotiations. Generally, the prosecutor will want to prove that the defendant INTENDED to cause injury or RECKLESSLY caused injury to the victim.
Some state laws have additional aggravating factors such as using a deadly weapon or assaulting a public servant. Our firm understands how to challenge these types of allegations and can potentially have the charges dismissed.
Most states will issue a protective or restraining order for the victim after an aggravated assault conviction. This prevents the accused person from contacting or seeing the victim, and can include other restrictions on their freedoms. Defending these cases requires the skill of a criminal defense lawyer.
Assault With Significant Bodily Injury
Although often lumped together, assault and battery are two separate offenses under DC law. Unlike battery, an act of assault may not involve any physical contact at all. In fact, actions such as spitting or threatening another person could be enough to land you with an assault charge even if no actual physical contact took place.
A DC assault with significant bodily injury lawyer could build an effective defense for you to reduce or even avoid penalties for this felony-level offense. Nevertheless, such charges can still lead to substantial prison time and severe fines.
While less severe than aggravated assault, an individual could be charged with this crime if their actions resulted in a victim being hospitalized or needing immediate medical attention. A skilled criminal attorney can use evidence such as medical records and expert testimony to prove your innocence. They will also present mitigating factors that a judge might consider when imposing your sentence.
Assault With a Dangerous Weapon
When a person is charged with assault with a dangerous weapon or aggravated assault, it is very important to get in touch with an experienced DC criminal defense attorney. These charges are typically felony offenses and carry serious consequences.
Unlike simple assault, this type of attack can result in serious injury such as loss of consciousness, extreme physical pain, or risk of death. In addition, prosecutors may charge this crime even if there is no actual physical contact between the accused and the victim.
When many people think of dangerous weapons they might envision knives, guns, and clubs. However, virtually anything that can cause serious bodily harm can be deemed as a deadly weapon. This includes many items that are not normally thought of as deadly weapons, such as chairs, paperweights, or a woman’s stiletto heel. Defending against this charge often requires the assistance of expert witnesses to examine and cross-examine medical records. This can help to lower these charges and keep a conviction off your record.