Criminal and DWI Defense in the District of Columbia

Being charged with a crime – even a simple misdemeanor – can be a frightening and confusing experience.  Being convicted of a crime can jeopardize a person’s job, family, reputation and future.

Our legal system offers a number of protections to safeguard the accused’s constitutional rights.  These rights include the presumption of innocence until proven guilty, the right to remain silent, protection against unreasonable searches and seizures, and the right to effective assistance of counsel.

Jamison Koehler has devoted his entire legal career to defending citizens who, facing criminal proceedings, now confront the tremendous power of the state arrayed against them.  Offering quality legal service and personal attention at reasonable rates, Mr. Koehler will protect the accused’s rights at every step of the process.

Jamison Koehler on Criminal Defense:

On a Person Being Arrested

“Be polite, calm, and respectful. Do not say anything. If the officer asks you any questions, calmly reply that you will not say anything without your lawyer present. Then call your lawyer at the first opportunity. Remember that police officers are professionals. You may not have any experience being arrested; they have lots of experience arresting people. They know how to get people to say seemingly harmless things that come back later to bite them. And again, be polite. When I see someone who is in custody who shouldn’t be, it is usually because the person said something that made the police officer angry.”

On a Person Facing Criminal Charges

“Being charged with a crime – even a simple misdemeanor – can be one of the most frightening things that ever happens to a person. I understand the frustration, anger and confusion people feel when faced with the enormous prosecutorial power of the state arrayed against them. Call your lawyer immediately. There may be things your lawyer can do to cut this off before it goes any further.”

On Zealous Advocacy/Aggressive Defense

“I always do my best to be courteous to opposing counsel, deferential to the court, and respectful of opposing witnesses. But sometimes, when the client’s interests demand it, I may have to mix it up a little bit. This is not unprofessional or unseemly. Our system of justice recognizes this. In fact, our entire system is predicated on the recognition that a defense attorney is the only thing that stands between a person charged with a crime and the vast resources of the state dedicated to sending him or her to jail.  If the lawyer is not looking out for the client’s interests, the whole system will fail.

On Personal Representation

“No one but me represents one of my clients in the courtroom. I limit the number of cases I take on so that I never have to turn a case over to a colleague or associate. There is no typical case of anything, even relatively minor misdemeanors. Each case is different. Each case may rise or fall on a small detail only someone completely on top of the case would know.”

“All clients have my cell phone number and permission to use it when they need to speak to me. I understand that clients are nervous and have lots of questions. I’ll need to answer those questions if my clients are to be active and informed participants in their own defense. In all of my years giving out my cell phone number to clients, I have never had a client abuse the privilege.”

On the Attorney-Client Relationship

“Our system of justice recognizes the very special relationship between an attorney and his client. Everything the client tells me once this relationship has been established is confidential. That means that clients can tell me everything, and they need to do so if I am to represent them effectively. I need to know the good facts. I need to know the bad facts so that I can anticipate and counteract them. And I need to know what might appear to be insignificant facts because those are often the ones that will decide a case.”

On Trial Strategy

“Prepare, anticipate, and then prepare some more. For a trial attorney, there is nothing worse than losing. And, for a criminal defense lawyer, there is nothing better than that moment of stunned silence after a verdict of not guilty has been announced.”