Assault is generally defined as threatening or attempting to hurt someone physically while battery is usually defined as actually making unwanted contact with another person. What each of these crimes entails is dependent on state statutes. Some states choose to address these crimes together by referring to "assault and battery" as a single crime, while others address them separately, and yet others combine the two concepts.
For example, the District of Columbia doesn't have any statutes that address battery. Instead, acts usually defined as battery and those defined as assault are combined into a variety of assault statutes. These statutes are categorized by the intent behind the assault and the victim of the assault.
Overview of District of Columbia Assault Laws
It's important to read the actual language of the law when you have a legal question, but sometimes this can take more time than you want to spend because laws are usually written in a way that take a while to decipher. To get a quick answer, and to better understand what a law says, it can be beneficial to read a summary of the law. In the following chart you can find both a summary of assault laws in the District of Columbia as well as links to relevant statutes.
District of Columbia Code Division IV. Title 22, Subtitle I. Chapter 4, Section 22-401, et seq. (Assault)
|Types of Assault
Here are the types of assault a person could commit in the District of Columbia:
- Section 22-401: Assault with intent to kill, rob, or poison, or to commit first or second degree sexual abuse or child sexual abuse
- Section 22-402: Assault with intent to commit mayhem or with dangerous weapon
- Section 22-403: Assault with intent to commit any other offense
- Section 22-404: Assault or threatened assault in a menacing manner
- Section 22-404.01: Aggravated assault
- Section 22-404.02: Assault on a public vehicle inspection officer
- Section 22-404.03: Aggravated assault on a public vehicle inspection officer
- Section 22-405: Assault on member of police force, campus or university special police, or fire department
As you can see from the list above, there are several assault laws in D.C., and the penalties will vary based on which statute is violated. Here is a sample of penalties:
- Violation of Section 22-401 is punishable by imprisonment for 2 to 15 years.
- Violation of Section 22-402 is punishable by imprisonment for up to 10 years.
Note: In addition to imprisonment, a conviction of these statutes can result in fines as per the provisions provided in Section 22-3571.01.
District of Columbia Code Division IV. Title 22, Subtitle I. Chapter 4:
Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
District of Columbia Assault Laws: Related Resources
If you'd like additional information and resources related to this topic, you can visit the links listed below.
Charged with Assault in the District of Columbia? Get Legal Help
As you can see, there are a variety of assault laws in the District of Columbia and the penalties will vary depending on which law you're charged with violating. If you've been arrested for assault, it's a good idea to contact a local criminal defense attorney to discuss your case and learn how the District of Columbia assault laws apply to your specific set of circumstances.