Assault with significant injury is typically considered the second most severe assault level behind aggravated assault. DC assault with significant bodily injury penalties are also less severe than aggravated assault penalties.
Nonetheless, assault with significant bodily injury is a felony-level assault and therefore still carries very serious potential penalties. Assault with significant bodily injury carries a maximum penalty of up to three years of prison time and fines up to $12,500.
That is why it is important to work with a qualified assault attorney that could devote the time and resources necessary to build a solid defense and mitigate the penalties that a person may face.
Although the highest of the DC assault with significant bodily injury penalties is three years in prison, Washington, DC follows a system of voluntary sentencing guidelines in which judges look to a chart based on the seriousness of the offense and the defendant’s criminal history to find a range of possible sentences that are appropriate for a given situation.
Those sentencing ranges are usually lower than the maximum possible sentence a person may face. So, it is the responsibility of a defense lawyer to argue to minimize their client’s potential sentences both within their client’s sentencing guidelines and to ask judges to go lower than sentencing guidelines, since those guidelines are considered to be voluntary and not obligatory.
Assault with significant bodily injury cases, which are commonly considered to be the second-highest level of assault charges behind aggravated assault, are almost always heard in the Superior Court for the District of Columbia.
Even if these kinds of allegations supposedly took place on federal property in the District of Columbia, such as a national park or a federal building, they are still most often prosecuted as local DC offenses and heard in front of DC judges in the DC Superior Court.
The highest level of assault charges in DC, which is aggravated assault, and the second-highest level, which is assault with significant bodily injury, are both felony-level assault charges, meaning that both of them can carry potential long-term consequences that accompany felony convictions.
Those long-term consequences can include the loss of employment, the loss of a government security clearance or a professional license, the loss of public benefits or housing, and changes in a person’s custody arrangement or family situation.
Because assault with significant bodily injury carries lower possible prison sentences compared to aggravated assault, assault with significant bodily injury may not have as high a likelihood of resulting in lengthy prison sentences. In some situations, depending on the facts of a person’s case and their criminal history, some people convicted of assault with significant bodily injury may be able to avoid jail or prison time altogether. That can be based on a person’s job situation, their financial situation, a lack of criminal history, or other facts specific to the allegations in their case.
In aggravated assault charges, however, it is much more difficult for a convicted person to maintain their freedom and to avoid jail or prison time. Since assault with significant bodily injury is a lower-level offense, the possibility of avoiding jail or prison time could also help minimize the long-term consequences and allow a person to maintain their employment, maintain their housing, and avoid some of the other serious and potentially permanent consequences that accompany aggravated assault charges. If an individual wants to know more about how to mitigate the DC assault with significant bodily injury penalties and consequences that they face, they should consult a skilled assault attorney.
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