Navigating D.C. Superior Court

Jefferson Memorial

Everything you need to know (webpages, emails and phone numbers) to navigate your way around D.C. Superior Court’s Criminal Division during the pandemic.

On the right to testify in Graves v. U.S.

DC Superior Court front

It is reversible error for the trial judge to prohibit the defendant from testifying that he was acting in self-defense when the court had already concluded that the arresting officer had not used excessive force.

Withdrawing consent for a search

D.C. Court of Appeals foyer

Although a person can always revoke consent to a warrantless search, such a withdrawal of permission must be clearly and unequivocally communicated. So held the D.C. Court of Appeals in Ford v. United States.

There, there

D.C. criminal defense lawyer

Because the grandmother is deaf, she does not hear the police officers assembling on the front porch of her rowhouse.

Unsealing your criminal record in Washington, D.C.

Person filling out criminal background check

In the limited circumstances in which this is necessary, DC Code §16-806 provides for the unsealing of a criminal record that has previously been expunged/sealed.

Bureaucratic delays plague motions to seal

criminal record binders

In a cynical attempt to elicit the court’s sympathy, the government blames Covid-19 for its delays in responding to motions to seal criminal records. Bureaucratic incompetence is the true culprit.

Are criminal records ever truly expunged?

Graffiti used to demonstrate expungements from a D.C. criminal defense attorney

Use of the phrase “expungement of a criminal record” suggests that the record in question is truly erased/obliterated such that it no longer exists. Whether this actually happens – both practically-speaking and from a legal standpoint – is a bit more complicated.

How does the Covid-19 pandemic affect a defendant’s speedy trial rights in D.C.?

Jefferson Memorial

Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the time between March 18 and November 9, 2020 will be “tolled.” In other words, it will not count when calculating whether a defendant’s speedy trial rights have been violated.

Expunging marijuana arrest/conviction in D.C.

Marijuana conviction in DC - graffiti on wall

Offenses that have been decriminalized (for example, the possession of a small amount of marijuana) present one of the most promising options for sealing or expunging a criminal record in Washington, D.C.

Dealing with the crazies in C10

Graffiti used to demonstrate expungements from a D.C. criminal defense attorney

With almost 100 people making their way through arraignment court every day, it is inevitable that there will be a melt-down or two. After all, we are dealing with people who are finishing what for many of them will be the worst day of their lives.