You Are Not A Professional Criminal

You should not feel bad. Believe me, you are not the first person to be fooled by police into making a statement or doing something else incriminating.  Remember:  They are professionals.  They are good at what they do. … Read More

What Must You Disclose After Having Your Criminal Record Sealed in D.C.?

One of the questions I often get in connection with the sealing of a criminal record in D.C. is this:  What must the person disclose about his or her record after that record has been successfully sealed? The… Read More

The “Reverse Line-Up”

“The interrogators sometimes are instructed to induce a confession out of trickery . . . In the identification situation, the interrogator may take a break in his questioning to place the subject among a group of men in… Read More

Bronx Prosecutor Castigated for Withholding Exculpatory Evidence

According to the New York Daily News, a prosecutor in the Bronx failed to turn over exculpatory information to the defense in a rape case.  The evidence in question was an initial statement by the accuser that the… Read More

Is Concession of Guilt In Opening Statement A Guilty Plea?

During the defendant’s opening statement at trial, Denardo Hopkins’ lawyer got up in front of the jury and conceded that this client was guilty of felony drug dealing charges.  The issue the D.C. Court of Appeals faced in… Read More

Let Me Talk To The Judge

Whenever a group of defendants are lined up before the court to do misdemeanor guilty pleas, one or two will often try to back out at the last minute. If the defendant is quibbling with something the prosecutor… Read More

On the Crucible of Cross-Examination

It happens perhaps most often in domestic violence cases that the complainant fails to show up on the morning of trial. The government would have you believe this is because the complainant fears for his/her safety, and this… Read More

Young v. U.S.: The Confrontation Clause Is Still Alive In D.C.

The U.S. Supreme Court has made such a mess of the Confrontation Clause line of cases that the D.C. Court of Appeals declared today that it really doesn’t know what to do. So it decided to do the… Read More

Further Guidance on Significant Bodily Injury in Quintanilla v. U.S.

The D.C. Court of Appeals took another step last week in defining what up until recently has been a poorly defined term:  the “significant bodily injury” that is required in order for the government to prove felony assault…. Read More

Haye v. U.S.: Unlawful Entry, Criminal Contempt, Double Jeopardy, and Prior Bad Acts

When people talk about evidence being admitted at trial, they tend to think in terms of physical evidence:  guns, drugs, documents, fingerprints, DNA, that type of thing. Sometimes you need to remind them that oral testimony alone –… Read More