About Assault Cases in DC

An assault is any unwanted physical contact or any attempt to make unwanted physical contact. A person does not need to be injured to be assaulted. You can be accused of an assault if you took a swing at someone but missed. You can be charged with assault if you place your hands on someone and do not actually injure them or leave any marks on them. There are a few different levels of assault in DC. A simple assault is any unwanted physical contact or attempted physical contact, and that is a misdemeanor.

Assault with significant bodily injury has some sort of injury that requires hospitalization and that is a felony. Aggravated assault is the most serious assault and it depends on the kind of injury that someone suffers. If the injury is so serious that it causes permanent damage, disfigurements, broken bones, or unconsciousness, it would be charged as an aggravated assault.

If you have are facing an assault case in DC, it is important for you to retain the help of a skilled assault lawyer in DC who can advise you moving forward of what to expect and how to help your case.

Prosecution of Assault

In any DC assault case, it is treated seriously by the courts and by DC prosecutors. Even minor assault cases that would be as inconsequential as a small shoving match in a bar can result in an arrest and a prosecution under DC assault charges. Even if a person is involved in a minor assault case, that person should approach their case with a high degree of seriousness, because even minor cases can still result in jail time, fines, lengthy probation periods, and permanent criminal records.

It is important for a defendant facing even a simple assault charge recognize that it is not at the discretion of the alleged victim to press or drop charges. A defendant facing these charges should not attempt to communicate or talk to an alleged victim without pressing charges because no such thing exists. It has the discretion of the US Attorney‘s office and A court of prosecutors in DC to prosecute a criminal case, and that would include simple assault. Even though these minor assault cases are prosecuted, it does not mean that the prosecutors would want to take every single one of these cases to trial.

Consequences

There are often negotiated resolutions, such as diversion agreements, that the defendant may be eligible for in certain kinds of misdemeanor assault cases that can result in a charge being dismissed in exchange for community service. More serious assault charges, however, are much more consequential in terms of the penalties that defendants could face and the long-term consequences that they may be subjected to as a result of being convicted.

A person taking an assault with significant bodily injury, an aggravated assault, or an assault with a dangerous weapon charge could potentially be held in jail throughout the duration of their case, because a judge might deem that person a threat to community-based on the seriousness of the offense. A person could also be facing lengthy prison sentences, permanent criminal records, and felony convictions on their records as a result of those more serious assault cases. Because of the level of injuries involved with felony assault cases or because of weapons being involved, a person should seek out the most highly qualified, experienced lawyers to assist them with those cases.

Contacting a Lawyer

Regardless of the level of an assault charge in DC a person is facing, the first and most important thing that a person should do at the earliest available opportunity is begin speaking with lawyers. The reason for this is because a lawyer can advise a person on the immediate next steps to take that can minimize any bonds that may come to a person’s case and maximize the chances of getting a good result in that person’s case. All too often, people seek counsel after they have started their case and after they have made decisions to speak to police officers or witnesses or to contact local people to talk about their case. At that point, a great deal of damage may already have been done that is not reversible.

That is why the very first thing a person should do at the earliest available opportunity, given the person has not yet been arrested and they might be just getting investigated, is to call a lawyer. Other steps that a person should take depend on the circumstances of their case. Following the first step of contacting a lawyer, the lawyer could help a person figure out what the next two, three, or four subsequent things they can do to put themselves in the best possible situation. That could include preserving certain types of evidence, including phone records, text messages, or other kinds of physical evidence in their case.

It could also include visiting a doctor to document any injuries that the defendant has on their body as a result of their assault case. It could also include taking videos or photographs of any injuries. These are just a few of the things that a person should consider doing early in their case. To ensure that these tasks are completed in the proper way and are consistent with evidentiary rules in DC, it is important for a person, before doing anything else, to contact a lawyer to make sure that everything that they are doing about their assault case in DC is in their best interest and done properly.