In Re W.R.: Warrantless Search During a Custodial Arrest

Jejomar Untalan has been busy.  I reported last week on his successful appeal in In re S.B.  This week the D.C. Court of Appeals issued yet another decision bearing Untalan’s name as the appellant’s attorney:  In re W.R.,… Read More

California v. Hodari D: A Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Complaint

California v. Hodari D, 499 U.S. 621 (1991), is a lousy opinion. It used to be that a person was seized for Fourth Amendment purposes the moment his or her liberty was “restrained” by “some physical force or… Read More

SCOTUS on Flight: Alberty v. United States

“[I]t is a matter of common knowledge that men who are entirely innocent do sometimes fly from the scene of a crime through fear of being apprehended as the guilty parties, or from an unwillingness to appear as… Read More

The “Corpus Delicti” Rule: Statements Alone Are Not Enough

My client was walking along one night in Philadelphia when he was jumped by three men who took his money and firearm. When he went to the police to report the robbery, the police ran his record. They… Read More

Thorne v. U.S.: You Can’t Penalize the Defendant for Exercising His Constitutional Rights

It is a challenge for every criminal defense attorney. You want to do everything you can to put the government’s case to the test. At the same time, recognizing that you still might not win, you don’t want… Read More

A Prosecutor’s Justice

Guest Post By “Hamilton Burger” I first became a Prosecutor when I was in law school. As a Third Year Law Student, having passed my Evidence courses, my state permitted me to try cases in court while under… Read More

Bringing the Judge Into A Plea Bargain

“That’s as low as my office is willing to go for this type of offense.” This is what the prosecutor tells me. We are talking about the number of hours of community service my client would be required… Read More

Dawkins v. United States: How Far Must A Party Go To Preserve Issue For Appeal?

In an opinion issued last week, Dawkins v. United States, 41 A.3d 1265 (D.C. 2012), the D.C. Court of Appeals addressed the issue of how far a party must go in order to preserve an issue for appeal. … Read More

The ABCs of “Character Evidence” in a D.C. Criminal Case

Over 65 years ago, Justice Robert H. Jackson, writing for the U.S. Supreme Court in Michelson v. United States, 335 U.S. 469 (1948), complained about the “helpful but illogical options” available to a defendant attempting to introduce evidence… Read More

Morgan v. U.S.: Inconsistent Evidence at Trial and “Show Cause” Hearing

One of the things that surprised me when I first began to practice criminal law was the notion that you could be acquitted of a particular offense at trial and then have that very same criminal charge –… Read More