DC Assault With a Deadly Weapon

DC assault with a deadly weapon is similar to other forms of assault, except it includes the use of an object to inflict harm on others. Dangerous/deadly weapons refer to any object that is actually used or threatened to be used in a way that is likely to produce serious bodily injury. If you have been charged with an assault offense, consult a determined assault attorney that could mount an aggressive defense for you.

Elements of Assault

When a person is charged with DC assault with a dangerous weapon, the first element of such an offense is whether an assault occurred. The assault standard in an assault with a dangerous weapon charge is the same as in a misdemeanor simple assault charge.

The person charged used force or violence, and injured or attempted to injure another person. They did so voluntarily and on purpose as opposed to by mistake or accident and the person had the apparent ability to injure the other person. That is commonly referred to as an attempted battery assault where injury does not necessarily mean a physical or visible injury; it could be as minimal as unwanted or offensive touching that does not result in a visible or physical injury.

Intent to Frighten Assault

An assault can also be committed in a situation where the person carried out a threatening act that created a fear of immediate injury in another person. This is typically referred to as an intent to frighten assault. Both an attempted battery assault and an intent to frighten assault meet the assault requirements in the offense of assault with a dangerous weapon. In either situation, when the act perpetrated by the person was done with a dangerous weapon, that satisfies the additional element that allows prosecutors to charge an assault with a dangerous weapon offense.

What Counts as a Dangerous Weapon?

A dangerous weapon is defined as any object that is designed to be used, is used, or is threatened to be used in a manner likely to produce death or serious bodily injury. That does not mean that a dangerous weapon has to be a gun, knife, or other object specifically created as a weapon.

Any object that is used or threatened to be used in a way likely to produce serious bodily injury qualifies as a dangerous weapon. That could mean a baseball bat or objects lying on the street such as a stick. There are many kinds of objects that can be used as a dangerous weapon.

Prosecutors must prove that the object was either designed to be used, actually used, or threatened to be used in a manner likely to produce serious bodily injury. The prosecutors do not need to prove that the person caused serious bodily injury in order to secure a conviction for assault with a dangerous weapon.

Examples of Deadly Weapons

Many people commonly think of dangerous weapons as guns, knives, and other items that are designed as weapons and those items do qualify as dangerous weapons. Under DC law, any object that is actually used or threatened to be used in a way that is likely to produce serious bodily injury can also be considered a dangerous weapon.

That includes items such as:

  • Baseball bats
  • Vehicles
  • Beer bottles
  • Hammers

While these items are not designed to be weapons, if used in a certain way, a beer bottle is likely to produce serious bodily injury, especially when the beer bottle is broken. There are a number of different items that can be called dangerous weapons since that definition is fairly broad.

Level of Crime Associated With Assault With a Deadly Weapon

DC assault with a deadly weapon is defined as a felony-level offense. This is because assault with a dangerous weapon carries a maximum possible penalty of up to ten years in prison and fines up to $25,000. If you have been charged with assault as a deadly weapon, consult a knowledgeable defense attorney that could pursue a positive outcome for you.