Code of the District of Columbia

§ 23–1331. Definitions.

As used in this subchapter:

(1) The term “judicial officer” means, unless otherwise indicated, any person or court in the District of Columbia authorized pursuant to section 3041 of Title 18, United States Code, or the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, to bail or otherwise release a person before trial or sentencing or pending appeal in a court of the United States, and any judge of the Superior Court.

(2) The term “offense” means any criminal offense committed in the District of Columbia, other than an offense triable by court-martial, military commission, provost court, or other military tribunal, which is in violation of an Act of Congress.

(3) The term “dangerous crime” means:

(A) Any felony offense under Chapter 45 of Title 22 (Weapons) or Unit A of Chapter 25 of Title 7 (Firearms Control);

(B) Any felony offense under Chapter 27 of Title 22 (Prostitution, Pandering);

(C) Any felony offense under Unit A of Chapter 9 of Title 48 (Controlled Substances);

(D) Arson or attempted arson of any premises adaptable for overnight accommodation of persons or for carrying on business;

(E) Burglary or attempted burglary;

(F) Cruelty to children;

(G) Robbery or attempted robbery;

(H) Sexual abuse in the first degree, or assault with intent to commit first degree sexual abuse;

(I) Any felony offense established by the Prohibition Against Human Trafficking Amendment Act of 2010 [D.C. Law 18-239; § 22-1831 et seq.] or any conspiracy to commit such an offense; or

(J) Fleeing from an officer in a motor vehicle (felony).

(4) The term “crime of violence” means aggravated assault; act of terrorism; arson; assault on a police officer (felony); assault with a dangerous weapon; assault with intent to kill, commit first degree sexual abuse, commit second degree sexual abuse, or commit child sexual abuse; assault with significant bodily injury; assault with intent to commit any other offense; burglary; carjacking; armed carjacking; child sexual abuse; cruelty to children in the first degree; extortion or blackmail accompanied by threats of violence; gang recruitment, participation, or retention by the use or threatened use of force, coercion, or intimidation; kidnapping; malicious disfigurement; manslaughter; manufacture or possession of a weapon of mass destruction; mayhem; murder; robbery; sexual abuse in the first, second, or third degrees; use, dissemination, or detonation of a weapon of mass destruction; or an attempt, solicitation, or conspiracy to commit any of the foregoing offenses.

(5) The term “addict” means any individual who habitually uses any narcotic drug as defined by section 4731 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 so as to endanger the public morals, health, safety, or welfare.

(6) The term “physical injury” means bodily harm greater than transient pain or minor temporary marks.


(July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 650, Pub. L. 91-358, title II, § 210(a); July 28, 1989, D.C. Law 8-19, § 2(c), 36 DCR 2844; May 8, 1990, D.C. Law 8-120, § 2(c), 37 DCR 24; May 8, 1993, D.C. Law 9-270, § 3, 39 DCR 9223; Oct. 2, 1993, D.C. Law 10-26, § 3, 40 DCR 3416; Aug. 20, 1994, D.C. Law 10-151, § 101(e), 41 DCR 2608; May 23, 1995, D.C. Law 10-257, § 401(f), 42 DCR 53; June 3, 1997, D.C. Law 11-273, § 3(a), 43 DCR 6168; June 12, 2001, D.C. Law 13-310, § 2(e), 48 DCR 1648; Oct. 17, 2002, D.C. Law 14-194, § 156(b), 49 DCR 5306; Apr. 24, 2007, D.C. Law 16-306, § 224(c), 53 DCR 8610; May 5, 2007, D.C. Law 16-308, § 3(b), 54 DCR 942; Oct. 23, 2010, D.C. Law 18-239, § 206(b), 57 DCR 5405; Sept. 29, 2012, D.C. Law 19-170, § 4, 59 DCR 5691; June 19, 2013, D.C. Law 19-320, § 107(a), 60 DCR 3390.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 23-1331.

1973 Ed., § 23-1331.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 5-116.01, § 5-132.21, § 7-1301.03, § 7-2501.01, § 16-2310, § 16-2310.01, § 16-2331, § 16-2332, § 16-2333, § 16-4205, § 22-951, § 22-1803, § 22-1805a, § 22-2107, § 22-3215, § 22-3611, § 22-4131, § 22-4501, § 22-4503, § 23-1322, § 23-1323, § 23-1329, § 24-211.07, § 24-403.01, § 24-531.05, § 24-531.08, § 24-531.09, and § 48-1002.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 13-310 rewrote pars. (3) and (4) which had read:

“(3) The term ’dangerous crime’ means (A) taking or attempting to take property from another by force or threat of force, (B) unlawfully entering or attempting to enter any premises adapted for overnight accommodation of persons or for carrying on business with the intent to commit an offense therein, (C) arson or attempted arson of any premises adaptable for overnight accommodation of persons or for carrying on business, (D) first degree sexual abuse, or assault with intent to commit first degree sexual abuse, (E) unlawful sale, distribution of or possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, as ’controlled substance’ is defined in the District of Columbia Official Code or any Act of Congress, if the offense is punishable by imprisonment for more than one year, or (F) possessing an unregistered firearm, carrying a pistol without a license, or carrying a concealed weapon in a place other than the person’s dwelling place, place of business, or on other land possessed by the person.

“(4) The term ‘crime of violence’ means murder, first degree sexual abuse, child sexual abuse, mayhem, kidnapping, robbery, burglary, voluntary manslaughter, extortion or blackmail accompanied by threats of violence, arson, assault with intent to commit any offense, assault with a dangerous weapon, aggravated assault, armed carjacking, or an attempt or conspiracy to commit any of the foregoing offenses as defined by any Act of Congress or any State law, if the offense is punishable by imprisonment for more than one year.”

D.C. Law 14-194, in par. (4), added subpars. (A-1), (L-1), and (O-1).

D.C. Law 16-306 rewrote par. (4).

D.C. Law 16-308 added par. (6).

D.C. Law 18-239, in par. (3), deleted “or” from the end of subpar. (G), substituted “; or” for a period the end of subpar. (H), and added subpar. (I).

The 2012 amendment by D.C. Law rewrote (3)(A).

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-320 added (3)(J) and made related changes; and in (4), inserted “assault with significant bodily injury” preceding “assault with intent to commit any other offense” and substituted “an attempt, solicitation, or conspiracy” for “an attempt or conspiracy”.

Cross References

Attempt, see § 22-1803.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary amendment of section, see § 101(e) of the Omnibus Criminal Justice Reform Emergency Amendment Act of 1994 (D.C. Act 10-255, June 22, 1994, 41 DCR 4286).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 224(c) of Omnibus Public Safety Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-445, July 19, 2006, 53 DCR 6443).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 303 of Enhanced Crime Prevention and Abatement Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-446, July 21, 2006, 53 DCR 6477).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 224(c) of Omnibus Public Safety Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-490, October 18, 2006, 53 DCR 8686).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 103 of Crime Reduction Initiative Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-491, October 19, 2006, 53 DCR 8818).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 102(b) of Crime Reduction Initiative Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2007 (D.C. Act 17-9, January 16, 2007, 54 DCR 1471).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 224(c) of Omnibus Public Safety Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2007 (D.C. Act 17-10, January 16, 2007, 54 DCR 1479).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 3(b) of Crime Reduction Initiative (Rebuttable Presumption) Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2007 (D.C. Act 17-24, April 19, 2007, 54 DCR 4033).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 224(c) of Omnibus Public Safety Second Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2007 (D.C. Act 17-25, April 19, 2007, 54 DCR 4036).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 4 of Firearms Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-352, May 11, 2012,

For temporary amendment of (3)(A), see § 4 of the Firearms Second Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-510, October 26, 2012, 59 DCR 12808).

For temporary amendment of section, see § 107(a) of the Omnibus Criminal Code Amendments Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-599, January 14, 2013, 60 DCR 1017).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 107(a) of the Omnibus Criminal Code Amendment Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-44, April 1, 2013, 60 DCR 5381, 20 DCSTAT 1281).

References in Text

Section 4731 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, referred to in paragraph (5), was repealed by § 1101(b)(3)(A) of Pub. L.