Defending Assault Charges in DC

Assault is a serious offense that can have equally serious consequences, however, you do not need to face these consequences alone. If you need assistance defending assault charges in DC, consult a qualified assault lawyer that could build your case. A skilled attorney could devote the time and resources necessary to pursue a positive outcome for you.

Interacting With the Prosecution

Prosecutors are permitted to move forward on criminal charges when the only evidence is an accusation made by one person. That does not necessarily mean that an accusation by one person is enough to secure a conviction at trial. One type of evidence an attorney might use when the defendant faces assault charges based solely on the accusation of one person is the credibility of that person. The accuser’s credibility could be the most important evidence.

The defense lawyer vigorously inspects and analyzes all evidence produced by the prosecutors. Evaluating the evidence is more than accepting what the prosecutors provide to the defense team, the lawyer has to know what to request. DC requires lawyers to make specific requests for information from the prosecutors. The lawyer tries to be broad in their requests and at the same time be specific when they believe the prosecutors or the police might have evidence they need to know about.

Evidence When Building a Defense

In many assault cases, there is not much physical evidence such as money or bank records and there may not be DNA evidence. Sometimes, there are no weapons or other kinds of tangible evidence. Most assault cases rely on witness testimony. Sometimes the only witnesses in an assault case are the two people involved in the altercation. One person accuses the other of assault resulting in the other person being arrested and charged with a crime.

The attorney assesses how well the accuser remembers the incident and determines whether they were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the supposed assault. When defending assault charges in DC, an attorney might also try to determine whether the accuser has any financial or legal motivations to want to falsify allegations. These are important types of evidence to consider when investigating the credibility of one person’s accusations against the defendant.

Requesting Discovery

A request for discovery is a request for information from the prosecutor that the defense is entitled to have. It is critical that the lawyer understands the kind of evidence the prosecutor has and how the prosecutor believes they can convict the defendant of an assault charge. The information might reveal new avenues for the defense investigation and identify additional witnesses. The evidence might give a better understanding of the nature of the allegations or any weapons that may have been used in the assault case. The lawyer might gain an understanding of fingerprints or DNA evidence to explore further. A full and thorough analysis of the government’s evidence is as crucial as the lawyer’s investigation and information independently received from the prosecutors.

Constitutional Issues in Assault Cases

One of the aspects to consider when defending assault charges in DC is whether there were any constitutional issues in this individual’s case. Defense attorneys determine whether the prosecutor or the police obtained evidence in violation of an individual’s constitutional rights. Perhaps the person’s Miranda rights were violated when they were interrogated by the police. The lawyer might investigate whether the individual should have been read a Miranda warning prior to being interrogated and that was not done. When that is the case, the lawyer can challenge whether the accused’s answers to the interrogation questions are inadmissible at trial. The defense attorney determines whether the individual or their possessions, house, or vehicle were searched without a warrant. The attorney might also wonder whether a search was conducted and whether it is constitutional, or not. Understanding the evidence the prosecutor plans to use and how they obtained the evidence is important for challenging the constitutionality of the evidence.

How an Attorney Might Challenge Assault Charges

The defense attorney can look for other people who could challenge the accuser’s recollection of the event. As an example, an altercation can take place in three or four seconds. People’s memory may not be not be precise when it comes to such a brief incident. The attorney looks for other people who saw the same incident and may have a different recollection of what happened.

In other types of assault cases where there may be multiple witnesses, the attorney considers whether there are any potential biases that certain witnesses may have. For instance, if an accuser has family members who back up their version of evidence, there could be a question of bias of family members being independently reliable witnesses.

The witnesses could be just backing up a version of the event provided by another family member. The attorney explores potential biases, alternative witnesses, and surveillance footage to challenge a prosecutor’s case.

How DC Assault Lawyers Defend People From Assault Charges

When a DC lawyer begins defending assault charges in DC, their first objective is to find out what happened from the individual’s perspective that resulted in the case. The attorney asks what the person did previously that day, who they were with, and their relationship with the person who made the allegation of assault. Sometimes, the accused has a lot of details. In other situations, they may not have many details because they do not know the basis for the allegations. Perhaps, the defendant was intoxicated at the time and does not clearly remember what happened.

Often, the initial conversation between a potential client and attorney is most helpful, but sometimes the lawyer needs to conduct a more thorough investigation to find out exactly what took place. When more information is needed, the lawyer begins the process of investigating potential witnesses. The attorney looks for information that puts the accused in the best possible situation and uses that information to build a defense. If someone has been charged with an assault offense, they should consult a lawyer that could advocate for them.