D.C. skyline

Acta Exteriora Indicant Interiora Secreta

Jamison Koehler Legal Concepts/Principles

Today’s legal maxim is not particularly eloquent, in either Latin (acta exteriora indicant interiora secreta) or English (“outward acts indicate the thoughts hidden within”). But I include it today because it deals with intent, which is a key concept in criminal law. Men rea (or “state of mind”) is an element of most criminal offenses. And since the finder of …

On Ashe v. Swenson: Double Jeopardy and Collateral Estoppel

Jamison Koehler Criminal Procedure, Defenses to Criminal Charges, Legal Concepts/Principles, Opinions/Cases

Many laypersons suffer from misconceptions about the protections offered by the Double Jeopardy Clause contained in the 5th Amendment to the Constitution. As Blonde Justice pointed out in one of her funnier posts, for example, double jeopardy does not cover the situation in which the defendant is forced to show up twice for court appearances on the same charge.  Nor does …

D.C. skyline

The “Collective Knowledge” Doctrine in D.C.

Jamison Koehler Evidence, Opinions/Cases

  The firmly established “collective knowledge” doctrine in D.C. provides that, in determining whether the officers possessed sufficient knowledge to establish reasonable suspicion or probable cause for a search or seizure, it is not what any individual officer knows but what the officers know collectively, whether or not the information is actually communicated from one officer to another. At the …