Attorney Raymond R. Jones is an aggressive and strategic litigator who can skillfully plan your defense against accusations of violent crimes. Whether you have been charged with committing assault or domestic violence, Attorney Jones will put his 18 years of experience to use on your case and champion your defense in court.
Speak to a skilled violent crimes attorney in Washington D.C. when you call us at (202) 640-2889 today.
Assault Laws in the District of Columbia
In D.C., it is a misdemeanor crime to assault another person or threaten them in a menacing manner. Generally, assault is a physical act or a show of force that puts another person in fear of imminent harm or offensive physical contact. For instance, hitting someone with a fist or throwing a beer bottle at them could be considered an act of assault. Note that Washington D.C. laws criminalize both assaults and threats, so neither injury to nor physical contact with the alleged victim is necessary to violate D.C.’s assault law.
Additionally, it is also a crime to assault, resist, or interfere with certain public officials or employees while the employee is performing official duties if the defendant has reason to believe the individual is a law enforcement officer.
Such protected law enforcement officials include:
- Police officers, correctional officers, and correctional officers at juvenile facilities
- Members of the fire department
- Government investigators or code inspectors
- Government employees charged with supervising, monitoring, or assessing people in the criminal or juvenile justice system
- Public vehicle inspection officers
Any form of misdemeanor assault is punishable by up to 180 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
Domestic Violence Charges
Domestic violence in the District of Columbia is labeled as an "intrafamily offense."
Charges of domestic violence are applicable to any interpersonal, intimate partner, or intrafamily violence, where an offender commits violence upon a person with whom they:
- Share or have shared a mutual residence
- Are or were married or in a romantic relationship
- Are related to by blood, adoption, legal custody, marriage, or domestic partnership
- Have a child in common
A law enforcement officer must arrest a person if they have probable cause to believe that the person committed an intrafamily offense that resulted in physical injury, including physical pain or illness. An officer also has the authority to make an arrest if they have probable cause to believe that a person committed an intrafamily offense that caused or was intended to cause reasonable fear of imminent serious physical injury or death.
In many domestic violence cases, an alleged victim may seek to file a protection order against a partner they have deemed to be violent. The protection or restraining order could set forth certain terms of behavior that, if violated, the defendant could be criminally penalized for in addition to their domestic violence charges.
The court will determine the terms of a protection order in a hearing, and the defendant could be required to:
- Refrain from committing or threatening to commit criminal offenses against the petitioner
- Stay away from or have no contact with the petitioner
- Participate in psychiatric or medical treatment
- Vacate or refrain from entering a shared dwelling unit with the petitioner
- Relinquish possession or use of certain personal property owned jointly by the parties
- Agree to temporary custody arrangements of a minor child of the parties
- Relinquish possession of any firearms
- Relinquish to the petitioning spouse the care, custody, or control of a domestic animal that belongs to the petitioner or offender
- Perform or refrain from other actions as may be appropriate to the effective resolution of the matter
A protection order will remain in effect for up to 1 year as the court may specify, though the court also has the discretion to extend, rescind, or modify the order if shown good cause.
If the defendant violates a protection order issued by the District of Columbia or any valid foreign protection order, they will be charged with a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, could face a fine of up to $1,000 and/or up to 180 days in prison.
If you have been accused of a violent crime, such as assault or domestic violence, reach out to a legal professional immediately. The consequences for conviction of a violent crime could include a combination of jail time and fines, so it is advisable to move forward with your defense strategy quickly. Attorney Raymond R. Jones is an experienced Washington D.C. violent crime lawyer who can help you navigate the legal process and build a compelling defense against your charges.
For more information on how the Law Offices of Raymond R. Jones can help, schedule a free consultation with the firm today by calling (202) 640-2889 or filling out an online contact form.
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