Following an Assault Arrest in DC

A felony assault is considered any assault offense with a minimum of one year in prison as a penalty. Cases that involve serious injuries that require immediate hospitalization may be considered serious felony level charges. The severity of a domestic violence crime accusation can seem daunting so it can be critical to speak with an experienced criminal attorney about what to expect following an assault arrest in DC.

Expectations Following an Assault Arrest in DC

There are varying expectations based on the type assault case itself. Most importantly there are various levels of assault that depend on several numerous factors. The first factor is the seriousness of the alleged injuries that resulted from the alleged assault. When an assault consists of minimal injuries or is an offensive touching or an attempted touching; prosecutors usually charge that as a misdemeanor simple assault.

A person arrested on a misdemeanor simple assault is generally not held in jail while their case is pending. In most situations, the person is eligible for release pending trial so they can continue going to work. However, they are subject to certain conditions imposed by the court that might include weekly check-ins, weekly drug testing, mental health evaluations, GPS monitoring, or an ankle bracelet in more serious situations.

Can Someone be Taken Into Custody After an Assault Arrest?

Following an assault arrest in DC, the accused is transported to the nearest police district station to be booked and processed for the crime they allegedly committed. Booking and processing takes place at the police station where the person is fingerprinted and photographed. Law enforcement officers make a decision about whether the person is eligible to be released directly from the police station pending their first court date.

Likelihood of Being Release

A person arrested on allegations of committing a felony is not eligible to be released directly from the police station to appear at a later date for their initial court hearing. Instead, a person who is arrested on felony allegations is taken from the police station where they were processed to DC Superior Court to appear before a magistrate judge. The judge makes a determination of the person’s eligibility for release pending trial.

A person arrested on a misdemeanor allegation may be eligible to be released on citation directly from the police station. The person is released with a notice to appear at an initial court date, usually about three weeks from the time of their arrest.

How is a Misdemeanor Arrest Charge Handled?

When someone is arrested for a misdemeanor, they are often eligible for release from the police on their promise to return for their initial court hearing. However, when a person is arrested on a misdemeanor offense and currently has another pending criminal matter such as their probation or their release in another criminal case, they are not eligible to be released directly from the police station.

The person is transported from the station to the courthouse to appear before a magistrate judge. After hearing arguments from the prosecutor and defense attorney, the magistrate judge makes a decision about whether the person is eligible to be released from the court with conditions in exchange for being released while their case is pending. Following an assault arrest in DC, the accused may not be eligible to be released from the police station until their case has been resolved.

 

Judge Treatment of Domestic Violence Cases

Judges often impose strict conditions of release for a felony charge that can include more frequent check-ins, GPS monitoring, and drug testing. In some serious felony level assault cases, judges may decide that no conditions of release are appropriate. In those situations, a judge has the option of holding a person in jail while their case is pending.

If that happens, an attorney could make arguments to a judge to convince them that there are conditions that can assure the safety of the community and ensure that their client will return for future court appearances. Those conditions could include more frequent check-ins, in-person visits to the court’s pre-trial release agency, mental health or drug assessments, GPS monitoring, or staying in a halfway house in lieu of detention at DC jail pending trial.