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On the Criminal Defenses of “Justification” and “Excuse”

Jamison KoehlerCriminal Procedure, Defenses to Criminal Charges, Legal Concepts/Principles

  How can you not love the criminal defenses? With the government burdened with proving every element of an offense beyond a reasonable doubt, one criminal defense strategy is to challenge the identity of the perpetrator. Yes, says the defense lawyer in an alibi defense. I am sure the crime was committed, and wasn’t it a particularly egregious one at …

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

Jamison KoehlerOther Criminal Offenses

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 and then dismiss the charges against my client if he successfully completed a period of 9 months of probation. As my client …

Disorderly Conduct: D.C. Court Narrows The Scope

Jamison KoehlerDrug Offenses, Firearms/Weapons, Opinions/Cases, Other Criminal Offenses

  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 prove at trial.  For example, since intent to cause a “public inconvenience” is a major element of the offense in Pennsylvania, the …

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Self-Defense in a D.C. Assault Case

Jamison KoehlerAssault, Defenses to Criminal Charges, Law Practice, Legal Concepts/Principles

Self-defense is an affirmative defense to simple assault and other assault charges in D.C. Self-defense is the use of force to protect oneself, one’s family or one’s property from a real or threatened attack.  It is an affirmative defense, meaning that the defendant has the initial burden of raising it. In D.C., once the defendant has been able to introduce …