Code of the District of Columbia

§ 22–3604. Enhanced penalties for committing a crime of violence against vulnerable adults.

*NOTE: This section was created by emergency legislation that will expire on June 9, 2024.*

(a) Any person who commits a crime of violence, as that term is defined in § 23-1331(4), against a vulnerable adult may be punished by a fine of up to 1 1/2 times the maximum fine otherwise authorized for the offense and may be imprisoned for a term of up to 1 1/2 times the maximum term of imprisonment otherwise authorized for the offense, or both.

(b) It is an affirmative defense that the accused knew or reasonably believed that the victim was not a vulnerable adult at the time of the offense, or could not have known or determined that the victim was a vulnerable adult because of the manner in which the offense was committed. This defense shall be established by a preponderance of the evidence.

(c) For the purposes of this section, the term "vulnerable adult" means a person who is 18 years of age or older and has one or more physical or mental limitations that substantially impairs the person's ability to independently provide for their daily needs or safeguard their person, property, or legal interests.