Arrested for Assault?

So you were arrested for simple assault in the District of Columbia.   In Washington, DC, Assault can be a misdemeanor or a felony usually depending on the injury. Misdemeanor Simple Assault carries a maximum penalty of 180 days in jail and/or $1000.00 dollar fine. Most misdemeanor assault charges in the District of Columbia are eligible for diversion. Self – Defense is a possible defense to simple assault in the District of Columbia.

What is Simple Assault?

Simple Assault in the District of Columbia statute states that whoever “assaults, or threatens another in a menacing manner, shall be fined not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01 or be imprisoned not more than 180 days, or both.” So basically any unwanted contact with another person can be considered an assault in the District of Columbia.

What happens after you are charged?

Your first court date will be an arraignment date. Simple Assault is not a holdable offense (Judge will release you on personal recognizance with conditions) unless you are probation, parole or have a pending case. If you spent the night in jail you would have seen a Judge in 24 hours for arraignment. If you are released from the police station you will be ordered to appear for a citation arraignment.

What is the Arraignment?

So you were probably issued a citation to appear at arraignment hearing in DC Superior Court.  At the arraignment, the Judge will inform you of the charges and set conditions of release. You should be released on your personal recognizance (no money bonds) and a new court date will be set called a status hearing. What does the Judge want to hear at the arraignment from your lawyer: (1) plead not guilty (regardless of the facts) you will enter a plea of not guilty. (2) assert constitutional rights (3) waive the formal reading of the charges and set a status hearing

What is a Status hearing

 The status hearing usually takes place 2 to 3 weeks after your arraignment hearing. At the status hearing the Judge wants to know one of the following: (1) Are you pleading guilty to the charges; (2)Is diversion available (deferred prosecution or deferred sentencing agreement); (3) Whether a trial date should be set. The answer to those questions has to be fully explored with your attorney. You can not have a productive status hearing if you have not spoken to a lawyer and your lawyer has not investigated, consulted and prepared the case.

How can my case be Resolved

Most clients charged with simple assault in the District of Columbia are eligible for some form of diversion if this is the first contact with the criminal justice system. This is the main reason for hiring a lawyer in the District of Columbia who practices criminal law. The collateral consequences of a conviction can have huge ramifications for your future so seek an experienced criminal lawyer in DC. Need more information – contact us today