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Washington, DC Assault & Battery Lawyer

Legal Advocacy for Victims of Assault and Battery

If you experienced assault and battery in Washington, DC, you may have the right to compensation. Being assaulted is terrifying and can have lasting physical and emotional effects. The DC Metropolitan police recorded 4,117 violent crimes in 2021 alone - up 3% from 2020. In the first two months of 2022, there were already 669 violent crimes recorded - up 23%. Our personal injury lawyers at Regan Zambri Long are deeply sorry this happened to you and we promise to fiercely fight for justice on your behalf. We cannot change what happened to you, but we will defend your rights and secure the compensation you deserve.

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Why Choose Regan Zambri Long for Your Personal Injury Case?

We are a nationally recognized firm with leading personal injury lawyers who work tirelessly to protect our clients’ rights. The founders of Regan Zambri Long – Patrick Regan, Salvatore Zambri, and Victor Long – have all been named among the “Best Lawyers” in America by Best Lawyers and the National Law Journal. Our firm prides itself on having the financial backing to see your case through until the very end. No matter how long the litigation takes, you can rest assured your assault and battery lawyer will be with you every step of the way. We offer free consultations to discuss your case and legal options and we will not take a fee unless a settlement or verdict is reached in your favor. Call today so we can take on the stress of the litigation process while you focus on recovering, both physically and emotionally.

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What Is Assault and Battery?

We often hear these two terms linked together, however they are distinct from one another. Under DC law, there is no crime called battery. Instead, battery is one type of assault. If someone committed simple assault or verbal assault against you, you may not have incurred any physical injuries. In other words, you could have been assaulted without ever being physically touched. Battery, however, is when the perpetrator does use force or violence and the victim sustains serious injuries.

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What Is Assault?

The definition of assault varies from state to state. The Council of the District of Columbia defines assault as threatening someone or placing another person in reasonable fear of imminent harm or unwanted physical contact. A person may be charged with two different types of assault:

Simple assault

Simple assault is when the perpetrator makes an attempt, using violence, to injure the victim. To make the charge, the perpetrator must have had the ability to harm the person and must have acted on purpose. “Intent to frighten” is a term involving threats meant to frighten the victim. In Washington DC, a simple assault may land the perpetrator in jail for up to 180 days with a $1,000 fine. Simple assaults are considered misdemeanors.

Aggravated assault

Aggravated assault is when a perpetrator moves past threatening their victim to actually cause serious bodily harm. In DC, serious bodily injury is any injury that can cause death, unconsciousness, disfigurement, or extreme pain. The aggressor may face up to 10 years in jail and a $25,000 fine. Aggravated assault is considered a felony.

Sexual assault

This type of assault is when a perpetrator forces a victim to engage in any non-consensual sexual act, leaving the victim with physical and/or emotional injuries. In Washington, DC, there are four degrees of sexual assault, which depend on a threat of sexual violence or physical contact.

Verbal assault

Verbal assault happens when someone makes verbal threats to their victim, making the victim feel unsafe or at risk.

If you faced any of these assaults, contact a Regan Zambri Long assault and battery lawyer for a free consultation. We will walk you through the claims process and offer you guidance about how to move forward.

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Is Assault Ever Justified?

There are several defenses to assault and battery in Washington, DC. They include:

The key to a self-defense or defense of others claim is that the self-defense has to be commensurate, or proportional to the attack you faced. The force you use to defend yourself or others must be more or less equal to the force in which you were attacked. For example, if you are walking home alone at night and are attacked, you may have grounds to hit the perpetrator or even use deadly force if you believe your life is in immediate jeopardy.

Incommensurate force is when you use greater force than was reasonably necessary. For example, if someone across the street threatens you but shows no signs of actually being able to carry out the threat, you would not be able to cross the street and use force against that person.

An individual may not claim self-defense if:

Washington, DC residents have the right to defend their home or business, though deadly force is generally not accepted when defending property. However, if someone is breaking into your home and you have a reasonable belief that they will inflict serious harm, then deadly force is acceptable.

As you can see, assault and battery cases, especially when deadly force is used, are very complicated. If you were assaulted and used force against your aggressor, your Regan Zambri Long assault and battery lawyer will work with a team of lawyers to prove self-defense was necessary. We offer free consultations to discuss your case and provide guidance on all possible legal avenues you can take to win your case.

Understanding Civil vs Criminal Charges

An assault charge can lead to one of two legal routes: criminal charges or a civil lawsuit. Criminal charges are prosecuted by the District and are meant to punish the aggressor and keep the general public safe from harm. A civil case is used to provide monetary damages to the victim so that all medical expenses and lost wages are financially covered.

Assault and battery civil cases

In a civil case, assault is an intentional tort. An intentional tort is a wrongful act done on purpose. A civil case relies on intent and liability to prove your case. Your Regan Zambri Long assault and battery lawyer will prove to the judge or jury that the defendant either carried out an assault that resulted in physical injuries or that the defendant made you feel that an assault was imminent. In civil assault cases, there may be multiple parties at fault for the assault.

Assault and battery criminal cases

An assault and battery criminal case is brought forth to help protect the public at large. The victim of assault and battery needs to understand that a criminal case against the offender may be filed with or without your permission or involvement in the case. If the DC District Attorney believes the perpetrator may be harmful to the DC community, then the DA may pursue a criminal case against them, regardless of whether you press charges or not. A criminal case is where the distinctions between simple and aggravated assault will come into play.

Another important note is that a criminal and a civil lawsuit cannot happen at the same time. If the Washington, DC district attorney decides to criminally charge your attacker, your civil suit will be stayed, or put on hold. Even if the perpetrator is found not guilty in a criminal court, you may still press charges in a civil court. Speak to an experienced assault and battery attorney to make sure you have an expert legal advocate by your side.

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Assault on a Washington, DC Police Officer

According to Section 22-405, assault on a police officer can either be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the severity of the officer’s injuries. The code of the District of Columbia states that an individual will be found guilty of a misdemeanor if:

The penalty of a misdemeanor is a $1,000 fine and up to 180 days in jail. A felony assault and battery charge on a police officer includes:

The penalty for a felony assault and battery charge against a DC police officer is a $10,000 fine and up to 10 years in prison.

If you are a police officer in the District of Columbia and were assaulted while on duty, contact a Regan Zambri Long assault and battery lawyer right away. While you protect DC lives in the streets, we will work to protect your rights in the courtroom.

Can I File Assault and Battery Charges for Domestic Violence?

Unfortunately, domestic violence is a common occurrence in Washington, DC. 40% of DC’s women and 25% of DC’s men have experienced intimate partner physical violence, sexual violence, and/or stalking. These numbers are both higher than the national average.

Washington, DC has a specialized subdivision of the court that handles assault cases for the following domestic relationships:

Our assault and battery attorneys understand deeply how painful these situations can be for families, especially children. Our lawyers are available to our clients at any time. We will provide local resources to help you and your family out of a bad situation while seeking the maximum amount of compensation possible for your injuries.

Frequently Asked Questions About Assault and Battery in Washington, DC

Q: What is the statute of limitations on an assault and battery claim in Washington DC?

A: The limitations for bringing actions against your offender in an assault and battery case in Washington, DC is 1 year. While that may seem like a long time, medical bills can pile up quickly. The most beneficial thing you can do is contact a Regan Zambri Long assault and battery lawyer right away so we can get to work building a rock-solid case that will secure a settlement or verdict in your favor.

Q: How will my DC assault and battery lawyer prove my case?

A: Our legal team will use every shred of evidence possible to prove your case and secure compensation including:

Besides documentation, medical records, and photographic evidence, we will also build a case to prove the offender’s intent to harm you. We will collect everything from text messages, emails, and social media posts to prove your attacker had every intention of causing you harm.

Q: What damages can I collect from an assault and battery claim?

A: Unfortunately, victims of assault and battery often suffer serious injuries that require extensive medical care. They can endure extreme physical pain and debilitating emotional trauma. Our compassionate assault and battery lawyers at Regan Zambri Long have helped countless victims after such a horrific event. They understand they have multiple duties to you: to provide care and compassion in the conference room and an aggressive pursuit of justice in the courtroom. Your assault and battery lawyer will work to secure the following damages:

We Can Help

Contact Regan Zambri Long today so you can focus on recovering, both physically and emotionally.

Schedule a Free Consultation

Have you or your loved one sustained injuries in Washington DC, Maryland or Virginia? Regan Zambri Long PLLC has the best lawyers in the country to analyze your case and answer the questions you may have.

Call 202-960-4596

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