Mandatory vs. statutory minimum sentences

D.C. criminal defense attorney

Both mandatory and statutory minimum sentences set a term of imprisonment that must be imposed. The difference is that a statutory minimum sentence can be suspended.

Writing about Covid-19 and the D.C. jail

How do you write about COVID-19 and the D.C. jail without resorting to hyperbole? How do you ask the judge to bend the rules?

What is a “suspended sentence” in D.C.?

D.C. criminal defense lawyer

Jail time that is “suspended” will only be served if the defendant fails to comply with the terms of the sentence.

The difference between “concurrent” and “consecutive” sentences in D.C.

Baltimore graffiti

Concurrent sentences are served simultaneously.  Consecutive sentences are served in sequence (i.e., back-to-back).  One sentence does not begin until the other sentence has concluded. 

Court-Appointed Lawyers Don’t Get Paid More for a Plea

I have worked with this particular court-appointed client now on a number of cases, and I guess he is beginning to feel more comfortable with me.  “Give it to me straight, Mr. Koehler,” he says to me over the phone.  “You get paid more money if I cop to a plea on this case, don’t you?”

You Can’t Plead Guilty Without Admitting Guilt

I am watching a guilty plea from the gallery. The prosecutor reads out the alleged facts from the police report, and the defendant says, yes, that is what happened. The colloquy continues. The defendant then tells the judge… Read More

No Strong-Arming of Defendants Into Accepting Pleas

When the two defendants opted for trial, rejecting a deferred sentencing agreement that had been offered by the government, Judge Brian Holeman may have been doing them a favor when he warned them that they would face certain… Read More

Let Me Talk To The Judge

Whenever a group of defendants are lined up before the court to do misdemeanor guilty pleas, one or two will often try to back out at the last minute. If the defendant is quibbling with something the prosecutor… Read More

And Sometimes You Go To Jail

Your client is released from jail after serving his sentence, and texts you on his way home.  You were defense counsel in the case that sent him there. You both knew after the conviction but before sentencing that… Read More

No More Weekends in DUI Cases

U.S. Capitol building

Always looking out for the best interests of clients, Michael Bruckheim has come up with a creative way for getting around the new requirement in D.C. that mandatory days of incarceration in DUI cases be served back-to-back. According… Read More