Although “claim of right” is a valid defense to robbery and other theft offenses, the defense fails when the defendant takes more than the property whose ownership is in question.
There is a “buyer’s agent” defense in D.C. after all – at least with respect to drug distribution charges involving marijuana.
The standard for asserting self-defense in an assault case involving a police officer is still whether or not the police officer used excessive force during the arrest.
You are allowed to use a reasonable amount of force to protect property. This is true “regardless of any actual or threatened injury to the property by the trespasser.” Moreover, upon timely request with sufficient clarity for special… Read More
When it Comes To Self-Defense, it is the Immediacy of the Response Needed, Not the Immediacy of the Threat
Words in the law do not always mean what their dictionary definitions say they mean. With respect to a prior consistent statement, for example, it is not really, as suggested by the rule, that such a statement must… Read More
The D.C. Court of Appeals was apparently feeling charitable. In Adrian Lee v. United States, 61 A.3d 655 (D.C. 2013), a decision issued last week, the Court bent over backwards to justify and explain mistaken jury instructions issued… Read More
Your client is heading home, minding his own business, when he comes across what appears to be a homeless man sleeping on a bench at the metro station. Sticking out of the man’s coat pocket is a shiny… Read More
The judge doesn’t like my idea of a “grace period.” In fact, he chuckles when I propose it: “I have never seen any case law on that,” he says. I was not trying to be funny. My… Read More
How can you not love the criminal defenses? With the government burdened with proving every element of an offense beyond a reasonable doubt, one criminal defense strategy is to challenge the identity of the perpetrator. Yes, says… Read More
Assuming you did nothing to encourage or instigate the activity, there is nothing illegal about being present during the commission of a crime. There is also no duty, upon coming across a crime in progress, to prevent… Read More