In Re S.W.: Context is Critical When Proving Criminal Threat

Jefferson Memorial

I have never been a fan of D.C.’s “threats to do bodily harm” statute. For one thing, it criminalizes behavior that is already covered under the assault statute.  After all, is there any real difference between threatening to… Read More

Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle: Applying the Notion of a “Grace Period”

Jefferson Memorial

  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 Criminal Charges Can Jeopardize a Security Clearance

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  Of all the collateral consequences of a criminal arrest or conviction, one of the issues of greatest concern in the DC/Maryland/Northern Virginia area could be the effect of an arrest or conviction on a person’s security clearance. … Read More

English v. United States: Aiding and Abetting Flight in a Motor Vehicle

Darnell Anderson was the passenger in a car involved in a shooting.  The car sped away at high speed when police arrived at the scene.  Anderson continued to flee on foot even after the car was stopped.  The… Read More

On Challenging a Prostitution/Sexual Solicitation Case in D.C.

U.S. Capitol building

A couple of years ago, I was representing a client on a prostitution solicitation charge in Philadelphia. I had worked out a deferred prosecution agreement with the government according to which the assistant district attorney would postpone prosecution… Read More

Rakofsky Dismissed in D.C. Murder Trial

I have always been somewhat suspicious of reports in the criminal law blogosphere about lawyers who misrepresent their credentials or who otherwise fail to meet the needs of their clients. Maybe I am naïve but I have questioned… Read More

Erik Prince Meet Susan Burke

U.S. Capitol building

  My wife Susan Burke heads to the United Arab Emirates this weekend to depose Blackwater Founder Erik Prince as part of one of her civil lawsuits against him. As reported in yesterday’s New York Times, Susan has… Read More

Disorderly Conduct: D.C. Court Narrows The Scope

  Disorderly conduct is a really annoying charge. The first problem is that the offense is usually so broad and poorly defined that it is too easy for police to charge and too easy for the government to… Read More

On Michael Malone and the Jeffrey MacDonald Case

U.S. Capitol building

I have written a number of posts over the last couple of months about the Donald E. Gates case. As you will recall, Gates was convicted of a crime he did not commit and initially spent 16 years… Read More

A Probation Officer Should Be A Client’s Best Friend

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It is amazing to me how many clients spend more time in custody than they need to.  The sad fact is, violating the terms of probation is frequently a major cause of people going back to jail when… Read More