Did you hear about the peanut who walked into a bar?  He was assaulted.

In all seriousness, Washington, D.C. assault charges are no laughing matter. Being charged with an assault can have serious legal implications.  Being convicted of assault may land you in jail. Under D.C. law, there are at least 10 ways you can be convicted of assault. Forewarned is forearmed, as they say.


The least serious assault is Simple Assault.  To be convicted of Simple Assault, the government must prove that you intentionally injured, attempted to injure, or threatened to injure another person and that you had the apparent ability to actually injure the person.  Injury is defined as any touching, no matter how small, that is offensive to a person of reasonable sensibility, including any unwanted, sexual touching.  Simple Assault is the basis for every other type of assaultive behavior which can be grouped into categories based on their similarities.

We’ll call the first category of assaults “Simple Assault Plus,” because for each of these assaults the government must prove that you committed a simple assault plus an extra element.  There are three types of assaults in this category:

The first is Assault With A Dangerous Weapon , which is a simple assault with any object that is used or threatened to be used in a manner likely to produce death or serious bodily injury.  The second is Assault With Significant Injury, which is a simple assault that causes an injury requiring hospitalization or immediate medical treatment.  Finally, Aggravated Assault is similar to Assault With Significant Injury, but the degree of injury is somewhat greater.  “Serious bodily injury,” involves extreme physical pain or a substantial risk of death.

The next group of assaults can be called  “Simple Assault With Intent to Commit Another Crime.”  Similar to your “Simple Assault Plus” crimes, the government must prove that you committed a simple assault plus an extra element. The extra element for these types of assaults is the intent to commit another crime.  There are 4 types of assaults in this category:

The first is Assault With Intent to Commit Robbery.  For this type of assault, the government must show that you intended to forcefully take property of value from another person against their will.  The second and third are Assault With Intent to Kill and Assault With Intent to Murder.  The difference between “kill” and “murder” is the government’s burden to prove malice.  Simply put, malice means an intention or desire to do evil.  Assault With Intent to Kill requires no showing of malice, whereas Assault With Intent to Murder requires proof of a malicious intent to kill.  The fourth type of assault in this category is Assault With Intent to Commit First or Second Degree Sexual Abuse or Sexual Abuse of a Child.  How this type of assault is eventually charged depends on the type of force used and the age of the person assaulted.

The final category of assaults can be labeled as “Simple Assault of an Officer” because they involve either a police officer—Assault of a Police Officer—or a public vehicle inspection officer—Assault on a Public Vehicle Inspection Officer.  For each of the assaults in this category the government must prove that the complainant was actually a police officer or a public vehicle inspection officer, that the officer was engaged in the performance of his or her official duties at the time of the accident, and that you knew or should have known that the person was an officer.  It is important to note that for these two types of assault, you could be charged even if you didn’t technically assault the officer.  Resisting arrest, intimidating the officer, or interfering with their ability to perform their duties could result in an assault charge.

If you are facing a Washington, D.C. Assault charge, it is essential that you hire a skilled D.C. Assault lawyer who understands how to defend against each type of assault.  Gretchen Taylor Pousson has successfully defended clients against many of these charges.  If you or someone you know has been arrested for a DC Assault, call Gretchen Taylor Pousson immediately for a consultation.