The Catholic University of America

Summary of District of Columbia Laws

Traffic Offenses, Criminal Law, and Misdemeanors

Miscellaneous Criminal Offenses

Assault; Mayhem; Threats: These provisions provide definitions and punishments for offences including assault with the intent to kill, rob, or poison, assault with a dangerous weapon, and assault in a menacing manner (stalking), etc. D.C. Code Ann. § 22-3581.01et seq.

Disturbances of the Public Place: This chapter prohibits affrays, unlawful assembly, playing games in the street, dog fighting, lewd, indecent or obscene acts, bonfires, disturbing religious congregation, false alarms of fire, selling tobacco to minors, disorderly conduct, rioting or inciting a riot, etc. D.C. Code Ann. § 22-1301 et seq.

Gambling: This chapter specifies what aspects of gambling are illegal and expressly legalizes licensed lotteries, daily numbers games, bingo, raffles, and Monte Carlo night parties in the District which are under its jurisdiction and control. The money raised is to be used to benefit the citizens of D.C. D.C. Code Ann. § 22-1701 et seq.

Trespass and Injuries to Property: This chapter makes it unlawful to enter the premises of or part of a public or private dwelling, building, or other property without lawful authority or permission to remain there. The chapter also addresses grave robbery, damage of fixtures in houses, the use of explosives to destroy property, defacing or destroying certain types of property or records, exhibiting disorderly conduct in public buildings, wearing hoods or masks under specified conditions, and obstructing railway tracks, public roads or highways. D.C. Code Ann. § 22-3301 et seq.

Weapons: This chapter makes it unlawful to own, keep, possess, or control a pistol within the District if such person is a drug addict, has been convicted of a felony, has been convicted of prostitution (D.C. Code Ann. § 22-2701), keeping a bawdy or disorderly house (D.C. Code Ann. § 22-2722), or of vagrancy (D.C. Code Ann. §§ 22-3502 to 22-3506). It also prohibits carrying (openly or concealed) without a permit with exceptions under D.C. Code Ann. § 22-4505. It discusses licensing, the regulation and licensing of dealers and transfers, and includes provisions which make it illegal to falsify information in purchasing a weapon, altering identifying marks on a weapon, and possessing certain dangerous weapons. D.C. Code Ann. § 22-4501 et seq.

Theft and Fraud: This chapter prohibits theft, shoplifting, deceptive labeling, taking property without right, and fraud related offenses, including credit card fraud, forgery and extortion. D.C. Code Ann. § 22-3201 et seq.

Miscellaneous Provisions: Chapter 34 makes it illegal to sell any food which is unwholesome or unfit for use (D.C. Code Ann. § 22-2901) or to break and into enter a vending machine or similar devises (D.C. Code Ann. § 22-601).

Updated 7.19.16 K.S.C.