Owens v. United States: The Standard for Defining State-of-Mind in an RSP Case is a Subjective One

In law school, we learned the difference between a subjective standard in defining a mental state and an objective one. The subjective standard focuses on the defendant’s actual state of mind. With the objective standard, it is how… Read More

On Petty Thefts and Grievances: Why My Faith In Humanity Has Been Destroyed

Reason #1:  It’s Thursday, and we are expecting a big rainstorm.  I remember to bring my umbrella – a very distinctive umbrella with blue and white stripes – and I leave it in plain view in the lawyer’s… Read More

A Very Polite Robber

Mark Pryor of D.A. Confidential says he must have been the last person in the world to have seen this video on YouTube. He’d better make that second-to-last person. I hadn’t seen it either.

Takoma Park Bank Robber Identified

Police have released the name of the man who was shot on Friday after he robbed a bank in Takoma Park, Maryland and then tried to escape with a bank teller as his hostage. The man has been identified… Read More

Extortion in D.C. and Virginia: An Endangered Criminal Offense?

Extortion is one of my favorite crimes, a fact which, I have to admit, is usually not much consolation to the person who gets me on the phone worried that he/she may be charged with it.  At the… Read More

On Embezzlement and Larceny By False Pretenses: Why I Love the Theft Crimes in Virginia

How can you not love the theft crimes in Virginia? While most jurisdictions have combined theft offenses into a single catch-all category, Virginia continues to maintain the common law distinctions between larceny, embezzlement and larceny by false pretenses…. Read More

Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle in D.C.: Man Masquerades as Metro Bus Driver

According to the Washington Post, a 19-year-old man wearing a Metro bus driver’s uniform walked into the Bladensburg bus garage, got into a bus, and drove away. But instead of making off with the bus, the man drove… Read More

Shoplifting in Washington, D.C.

In 2001, the actress Winona Ryder was arrested for shoplifting $5,500 worth of goods from a store in Beverly Hills.  As captured on the store’s surveillance tape, Ms. Ryder went into a Saks Fifth Avenue store and stuffed… Read More

The Difference Between Robbery and Burglary in D.C.

How many times have you heard someone complain that he or she has been robbed?  A person returns home from vacation and finds a backdoor broken and a computer missing.  Oh my goodness, dear, we’ve been robbed!  A… Read More

The Vermeer and Modigliani Frauds

In researching forgery and fraud laws in Washington, D.C., I was reminded of two of my favorite stories.  I tell the stories now not just because I find them entertaining, but also because I think they illustrate the… Read More