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Filing a Civil Protection Order in DC

In the District of Columbia, a Civil Protection Order (or “CPO”) is the term used to describe what is commonly known as a Restraining Order.  Often time, a CPO can protect a victim of domestic violence where police may not have enough evidence to file formal criminal charges.  In addition, even for cases where criminal […]

Can You Smoke Marijuana in Public in DC?

  The short answer is no. It remains illegal to smoke marijuana in the District of Columbia under both local and federal law. The District has seen a sea change in marijuana laws over the last few years but smoking in public remains illegal. It started in 2014 when the City Council passed a bill […]

Behind Enemy Lines: Voluntary Police Interviews in Sexual Assault Investigations

It’s up there with one of the worst phone calls you can get—a detective from the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) informs you that you’re under investigation for a sexual assault. You believe you haven’t done anything wrong, but someone has accused you of an inappropriate sexual touching or worse. And now the detective […]

Washington D.C. Civil Protective Orders

In the District of Columbia, a civil protection order (“CPO”) requires that the person who is subject to the order (the respondent) stay away from the petitioner – the person requesting protection. A protection order is issued by the court and directs the respondent to refrain from abusing, harassing, threatening, committing a crime, or having […]

Understanding Assault in the District of Columbia

When most people think of “assault”, they imagine a fistfight or some other similar very violent behavior, often with weapons. However, that is not always the case. In the District of Columbia, you can be charged with assault without actually striking or even touching someone. D.C. defines assault as the threat or use of force […]

Simple Assault: More Complicated Than You Think

The word “assault” usually conjures images of punches, kicks, and slaps. In other words, violence. But if you’ve been charged with assault in the District of Columbia, the definition of assault is much broader and often surprising to defendants. Because you can be charged with assault in Washington, D.C., simply for laying your hands on […]

It’s Out of Your Hands: The Myth of Pressing Charges in Virginia Domestic Violence Cases

I’m not sure where the idea came from, probably T.V. or movies, but many of my Arlington, and Alexandria domestic assault clients often believe that their case will go away if their spouse simply tells the prosecutor that they don’t want to press charges. But nothing could be farther from the truth. While prosecutors will […]

Easy Targets: Is MPD Targeting Uber and Taxi Drivers in Solicitation of Prostitution Cases?

In a disturbing trend, I’ve seen a large rise in solicitation of prostitution arrests among those who pick up and drive customers for a living. It’s that time of year again, when MPD decides to devote a tremendous amount of resources to stamping out sex among consenting adults. Washington D.C. police have seemed, in recent […]

Case Dismissed: Good Things Come to Those Who Work

If I were charged with a crime, I’d definitely want my case dismissed. That would be a great outcome, and would save me a lot of trouble, maybe some jail time, a criminal record, and several trips to the probation office. So I guess that I shouldn’t be surprised when so many of my clients […]

When a Tie is Really a Win: Hung juries and Mistrials

The saying goes that when a game ends in a tie it’s like kissing your sister—not very appetizing for most of us without incestuous impulses. But when you’re talking about a jury trial, a “tie” is usually a win for the defendant, and a loss for the government. But let’s back up. All persons charged […]

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