DC Assault with Significant Bodily Injury Lawyer
While facing assault charges can be a daunting situation, know that you do not have to go through your trial alone. A dedicated DC Criminal assault attorney can help craft an expert defense on your behalf, and prepare you for the best course of action to take for your case. Read the below information to learn more about how a DC assault with significant bodily injury lawyer can make a difference for you.
What Constitutes Assault with Significant Bodily Injury
Under Washington, DC assault laws, the assault charge that is typically understood as the most serious level of assault is called aggravated assault, and the assault charge underneath aggravated assault is referred to as assault with significant bodily injury. Sometimes this is also referred to as felony assault.
Assault with significant bodily injury is defined as an individual injuring another using force or violence in which the injury allegedly suffered by the complaining witness was significant. A significant injury is considered to be less severe than a serious bodily injury, which is the injury level required for aggravated assault.
A significant bodily injury requires that the injury entail hospitalization or immediate medical treatment in order to preserve the health of the individual or prevent the injury from becoming worse or permanent. The law also requires that the prosecutors prove that the defendant either intended to cause significant bodily injury, knew that significant bodily injury would result from their actions, or was aware of a risk that they could cause significant bodily injury and disregarded that risk.
Aggravated Assault vs. Assault with Significant Bodily Injury
The main difference between aggravated assault and assault with significant bodily injury is that aggravated assault requires very serious bodily injury. Serious bodily injury is considered to be a more severe level of injury than significant bodily injury. Serious bodily injury is an injury that involves unconsciousness, extreme physical pain, obvious disfigurement, loss of a bodily function, or a substantial risk of death.
Significant bodily injury does not require that level of injury, but it does require the prosecutors to prove that the injury required hospitalization or immediate medical attention. Significant bodily injury does not automatically mean that the injury resulted in hospitalization, because many injuries, regardless of the extent of those injuries, can result in an individual being taken to a hospital. Simply being taken to a hospital does not mean that an alleged injury was significant. The injury needs to require hospitalization or immediate medical attention in order to prevent long-term damage or to preserve the health of the individual.
Role of Intent in Assault with Significant Bodily Injury
In a significant bodily injury assault case, the prosecutors must prove that a defendant did actually cause a significant bodily injury to an individual. Simply causing that injury is not enough to prove this charge, as the prosecutors also need to prove a certain level of intent. That means the prosecutors need to prove that the defendant either intended to cause significant bodily injury, knew that significant bodily injury would result from misconduct, or was aware of a risk of significant bodily injury created by their conduct and disregarded that risk.
If you are facing assault charges, reach out to a DC assault with significant bodily injury lawyer today to gain an aggressive advocate for your rights who can help you prepare to take the rights steps for your defense.