On Judicial Notice and Mejia-Cortez

D.C. criminal defense lawyer

Although a court may take “judicial notice” of commonly known facts, the government must still prove every element of a criminal offense beyond a reasonable doubt.

Criminal threat requires ability to follow through

DC Court of Appeals

Telling someone that you will “slap” his/her “bitch ass” is threatening on its face. But criminal threats require the ability to follow through.

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.

On the “buyer’s agent” defense in Simms v. United States

DC Court of Appeals

There is a “buyer’s agent” defense in D.C. after all – at least with respect to drug distribution charges involving marijuana.

On the “missing evidence” jury instruction in Howard v. US

DC Court of Appeals

Like “reading the white space” on a police report (that is, focusing on what is NOT included), the “missing evidence” jury instruction “essentially creates evidence from non-evidence.”

“Touching” versus “feeling” in Augustin v. United States

D.C. Court of Appeals foyer

For purposes of the misdemeanor sexual assault of minors statute, the D.C. Court of Appeals refused to limit the definition of “touch” to the act of “feeling” with one’s tactile senses — through, for example, the use of one’s fingers, hands, genitals or other sensory organs.

Unlawful Entry in D.C.: Odumn v. United States

Baltimore graffiti

According to D.C. Court of Appeals decision in Odumn v. United States, “a landlord may not prohibit a tenant from inviting a third party onto leased premises for a lawful purpose, nor may the landlord prohibit such third party from entering or exiting the property through the property’s common space.”

Unlawful entry charge dismissed

Baltimore graffiti

According to recent D.C. Court of Appeals opinion, Foster v. United States, D.C. Housing Authority residents cannot be barred from accessing areas covered by their leases.

Defining “possession, custody, or control” for Rule 16 purposes

D.C. criminal defense attorney

In Weems v. United States, 191 A.3d 296 (D.C. 2018), the D.C. Court of Appeals defines “possession, custody, or control” for purposes of Rule 16.