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Homicide: Enhancements & Aggravating Circumstances

As previously discussed, DC law recognizes two types of murder offenses: First Degree Murder (FDM) and Second Degree Murder (SDM).  FDM and SDM convictions carry the highest penalties under the law and, under certain circumstances, the penalties can be enhanced to almost double the prison sentence. A Washington, D.C. criminal defense attorney will know how […]

Heat of Passion: When Murder Becomes Manslaughter

This is part II of my explanation of Washington, D.C. homicide laws and their consequences. As previously noted in part I, a Second Degree Murder (“SDM”) charge can be reduced to Voluntary Manslaughter (“VM”) when certain mitigating circumstances are present.  A Manslaughter conviction is preferable to a SDM conviction because the penalties are less severe. […]

“We All Go A Little Mad Sometimes:” Murder Defense in D.C.

For the majority of us, the closest contact we have with murder is watching make-believe victims on television or movies. However, as Norman Bates concisely explained in the movie Psycho, we all have a breaking point, and for an unlucky few, fiction becomes reality. In the District of Columbia, the law recognizes two murder offenses: […]

DC’s New APO Law Gives Defendants A Fighting Chance

Until recently, the District of Columbia’s Assault on a Police Officer (APO) statute was broadly applied to include, not only physical assault, but also resisting, opposing, impeding, intimidating, or interfering with a police officer.  Raising your voice to an officer, wiggling while being handcuffed, or refusing to move because you believe the police stopped you […]

Oops: The Defense of Accident or Mistake in D.C. Assault Cases

In the District of Columbia, if you are arrested for any type of assault crime, the government must prove that you acted intentionally.  While the government does not have to prove that you intended to injure the alleged victim, it does have to prove that you intended to commit the threatening act. Fortunately, the law […]

Bad Words and Where They Often Lead: D.C. Threats & Simple Assault

Stick and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me. While that may be true on the playground, Washington, D.C. lawmakers see things a little differently. In the District of Columbia, the law recognizes that words have power, and words that threaten others can be very powerful. Consequently, when you use words […]

Is This Thing On? The “Just Joking” Solicitation of Prostitution Defense

Generally, when you tell a joke that no one gets, the worst that usually happens is you have to explain the joke. Embarrassing? Maybe.  But when you joke around with an undercover Washington, D.C. police officer posing as a prostitute, the consequences of being unfunny can be more severe. In the case of one defendant, […]

The Wide Variety of D.C. Assault Crimes

Did you hear about the peanut who walked into a bar?  He was assaulted. In all seriousness, Washington, D.C. assault charges are no laughing matter. Being charged with an assault can have serious legal implications.  Being convicted of assault may land you in jail. Under D.C. law, there are at least 10 ways you can […]

Fight or Flight? Defense of Others in DC Assault Cases

In any threatening situation—whether it be a threat against you, a loved one, or a complete stranger—you are faced with the choice to either fight the threat or flee the situation.  Fortunately, District of Columbia law recognizes, not only a right to defend yourself from harm, but also the right to defend others from harm. […]

From Bad to Worse: DC Unemployment Insurance Fraud

Imagine you have just been laid off from your job.  Your mind races and you think “how am I going to pay my rent, my car payment, and other bills.”  Luckily, you can obtain unemployment benefits within the District of Columbia to keep you afloat while you look for another job. A few days later, […]