The “Rule of Lenity” in D.C.

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According to the “Rule of Lenity,” a court should construe any ambiguity in the language of a criminal statute in favor of the defendant.

Civil asset forfeiture in D.C.

Property seized by police during an arrest is often subject to civil forfeiture proceedings whether or not the person is ever convicted of a crime.

Assessing attorney fees in CPO cases in D.C.

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Parties who prevail in a CPO hearing can file a motion asking the court to assess legal fees against the other party. Respondents must prove “bad faith.”

Navigating D.C. Superior Court

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.