Federal Assault Crimes

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What is a Federal Assault Charge?

Federal Assault charge is similar to the state one except that it occurred on federal property. For example, if this incident occurred on a federal base, pentagon area, GW parkway, DCA, you will be in the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria (EDVA).Many people think of an assault as necessarily involving physical contact.  However, an assault can happen without any contact at all if a person puts another person in fear of imminent physical harm.  In other words, the act of raising a fist and threatening a punch can constitute a simple assault even if ultimately there is no punch.

What is the Punishment for Assault under Federal Law?

Punishments under federal assault law, like most state assault laws, varies according to the severity of the assault.  Severity, and therefore punishment, is determined by looking at things such as what the accused intended with the assault, whether any and what physical harm results, whether a dangerous weapon was used, whether the assault was committed during another crime, and whether the victim has any special status, such as being a juvenile or a federal employee.The general federal assault statute is 18 U.S.C. § 113, which contains the following crimes and punishments:
Assault with intent to commit murderImprisonment up to 20 years
Assault with intent to commit any felony other than murderImprisonment up to 10 years
Assault with a dangerous weapon, intent to do bodily harmImprisonment up to 10 years
Assault by striking, beating, or woundingImprisonment up to 1 year
 Simple assaultImprisonment of up to 6 months; *if victim is under 16: Imprisonment of up to 1 year
Assault resulting in serious bodily injuryImprisonment of up to 10 years
Assault resulting in substantial bodily injury to a spouse or intimate partner, a dating partner, or an individual who has not attained the age of 16 yearsImprisonment of up to 5 years
Assault of a spouse, intimate partner, or dating partner by strangling, suffocating, or attempting to strangle or suffocateimprisonment of up to 10 years

How Does a Federal Assault Conviction Impact my Life?

In addition to criminal and administrative penalties, a federal assault conviction can result in a whole host of so-called collateral, or secondary, consequences.  But many of these may be of primary importance in the lives of some defendants.  Depending upon the nature of the conviction, these consequences could include detrimental impacts to a person’s:
  • Immigration status
  • Security Clearances
  • Professional Licenses
  • Firearm Ownership
  • Public Housing Eligibility
  • Driving Privileges
  • Eligibility for Federal Benefits

Do I need an Attorney?

Yes. A federal criminal conviction can result not only in a prison sentence, it can also cause significant consequences for other facets of your life. If you are convicted of it, the charge will remain on your record and will show up on background checks. It is extremely important to have an experienced federal attorney look at the facts of your case to assess the facts of your case, analyze possible defenses and help minimize both the direct criminal consequences and collateral consequences.