Things Slow Down

I always have the best intentions after attending a good CLE.  Returning to my office with a binder full of great information, I have every intention of reading through all the materials that were just referenced during the… Read More

James Shellow: Cross-Examining the Analyst in a Drug Prosecution

There are certain reference materials that are essential to a law practice.  In the case of a criminal defense practice in D.C., for example, you could not get by without the D.C. crimes code, jury instructions, rules of… Read More

Cocaine Possession: Alternative Treatment for First-Time Drug Offenders in D.C.

With first-time offender treatment in D.C. generally restricted to marijuana possession, prosecutors frequently offer consideration under Section 48-904.01(e) of the D.C. Code as an alternative to taking a case to trial. Depending on the case, treatment under the… Read More

Disorderly Conduct: D.C. Court Narrows The Scope

Disorderly conduct is a really annoying charge. The first problem is that the offense is usually so broad and poorly defined that it is too easy for police to charge and too easy for the government to prove… Read More

Use of An Expert Witness in a D.C. Drug or DWI/DUI Case

I used to hire a particular expert witness in Philadelphia on drug distribution cases, a guy named David Leff.  Leff was so good — that is, he had so much credibility with judges — that I rarely had… Read More

“Constructive Possession” in a D.C. Drug or Firearm/ Gun/Weapon Case

A defendant can in some cases be convicted of a criminal offense in Washington, D.C. for doing nothing more than possessing a particular object or substance. According to D.C. law, for example, it is illegal to possess marijuana,… Read More

Drugs: Simple Possession

There are two basic drug offenses in the District of Columbia: (1) drug possession, and (2) drug dealing. Today’s entry will deal with the misdemeanor offense of drug possession. The crime of drug possession requires: (1) knowing or… Read More

Drugs: Judge or Jury Trial

Sometimes, after the pre-trial motions have been litigated and any plea bargaining negotiations have been concluded, a defendant needs to have his or her day in court. The Sixth Amendment guarantees the right to a jury trial for… Read More

Drugs: Admissibility of Statements

Many people assume that if the police did not read the defendant his or her Miranda rights (“You have the right to remain silent,” etc.) during any phase of police investigation, the whole case will be thrown out…. Read More

Drugs: Search Warrants and Pedestrian/Car Stops

One key to successfully defending drug cases is to keep out as much evidence as possible from the prosecution’s case at trial. Trials are basically a struggle between the two sides as to what evidence comes in and… Read More