U.S. Capitol building

On Challenging a Prostitution/Sexual Solicitation Case in D.C.

Jamison KoehlerOther Criminal Offenses

A couple of years ago, I was representing a client on a prostitution solicitation charge in Philadelphia. I had worked out a deferred prosecution agreement with the government according to which the assistant district attorney would postpone prosecution and then dismiss the charges against my client if he successfully completed a period of 9 months of probation. As my client …

U.S. Capitol building

Lives of “Quiet Desperation”: More on Jailhouse Lawyers

Jamison KoehlerCriminal Procedure

Over at Chicago Criminal Defense, Marcus Schantz writes about the challenge of representing an incarcerated client who fancies himself a lawyer. With much at stake, time on his hands, and access to a prison “library” (often a converted broom closet with a few outdated law books), a client might spend hours poring over law books, drafting motions, and developing strategies for …

Rakofsky Dismissed in D.C. Murder Trial

Jamison KoehlerCurrent Events, Other Criminal Offenses

I have always been somewhat suspicious of reports in the criminal law blogosphere about lawyers who misrepresent their credentials or who otherwise fail to meet the needs of their clients. Maybe I am naïve but I have questioned how frequently this actually occurs. And just as anything I might say could be viewed as suspect, I have been struck by …

D.C. skyline

The “Collective Knowledge” Doctrine in D.C.

Jamison KoehlerEvidence, Opinions/Cases

  The firmly established “collective knowledge” doctrine in D.C. provides that, in determining whether the officers possessed sufficient knowledge to establish reasonable suspicion or probable cause for a search or seizure, it is not what any individual officer knows but what the officers know collectively, whether or not the information is actually communicated from one officer to another. At the …

Jefferson and Washington monuments

Second Chances in Virginia

Jamison KoehlerCriminal Procedure

  Here, for free, is my simple legal advice: Whatever you do, don’t get arrested in Virginia. The Commonwealth is, as far as I can tell, one of the worst places to find yourself when facing criminal charges. The laws are tough, and judges, prosecutors and juries are typically unforgiving.  Offenses that would be considered akin to a traffic infraction …

Aerial view of DC

Two Poems on Snow

Jamison KoehlerMiscellaneous

  Snow I wake, and think so this is how it comes, no thunder, wind, or windstorm’s violence to rend our lower nature, only a presence. Outlines are familiar: light was present yesterday. Without event the miracle is here. Given the day, let crystal loose on me, to see beyond the accident of snow, this brilliance touched with rose. @ …

U.S. Capitol building

On Making Life Easier for Police Officers

Jamison KoehlerCriminal Procedure

Of all the tricks used by police officers, one of the most devious – yet harmless – tricks I have heard is the ploy they use to take a DWI suspect into custody after deciding to make the arrest. The purpose of this particular trick is not to improve detection techniques or to get a reluctant suspect to confess. It …

D.C. skyline

Confronting School Disciplinary Officials

Jamison KoehlerCurrent Events

Nick Stuban was 15-years-old when he committed suicide last month.  Once a “model student” and “quick-footed linebacker” for the football team at W.T. Woodson High School in Fairfax County, Stuban had been suspended from school for 10 days after he was caught buying a capsule of JWH-018, a synthetic compound that produces a marijuana-like effect. Ten days turned into seven …