MENS REA NEEDED FOR LEAVING AFTER COLLIDING CONVICTION: DC COURT OF APPEALS: DC DUI LAWYER:

The Court of Appeals in Crawford v. D.C. decided on September 6, 2018, reversed a conviction for Leaving After Colliding (“LAC”) due to lack of sufficient evidence for the conviction. The appellant had argued specifically insufficient evidence to satisfy the mens rea element of the offense, which requires that: The appellant “know[] or ha[ve] reason to believe that his . . . vehicle has been in a collision.” D.C. Code § 50-2201.05c (a). Factually, the appellant was observed by the Police Officers with his vehicle abutting the car in front of him in the parking space and it appearing that
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RECENT COURT OF APPEALS DECISION: DC CHILD CUSTODY LAWYER: SPECIAL IMMIGRATION JUVENILE STATUS

The Court of Appeals in Benitez v. John Doe, decided on September 6, 2018, reversed the trial court decision in denying an Special Immigration Status for a juvenile (“J.V.B”) subject of this appeal. The “SIJ” statute provides, in relevant part: [A special immigrant juvenile is] an immigrant who is present in the United States: (i) who has been declared dependent on a juvenile court located in the United States or whom such a court has legally committed to, or placed under the custody of, an agency or department of a State, or an individual or entity appointed by a State
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HANDGUN LICENSING REQUIREMENTS LESS RESTRICTIVE NOW: RECENT COURT OF APPEALS DECISION: WASHINGTON DC CRIMINAL LAWYER

The DC Court of Appeals in Hooks v. U.S., decided on August 30, 2018, in effect modified the DC handgun licensing requirements to be consistent with the D.C Circuit Court Decision in Wrenn. The DC Statute currently applicable to licensing is codified under D.C. Code § 22-4504 (a) and provides: The Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (“Chief”) may, upon the application of a person having a bona fide residence or place of business within the District of Columbia, or of a person having a bona fide residence or place of business within the United States and a license to
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AWARD OF ATTORNEY’S FEES: WHEN APPLICABLE? WASHINGTON DC DIVORCE LAWYER

The DC Divorce Statute provides a provision for Pendente Lite (while pending) award of: Alimony Child Support Spousal Support Health Insurance coverage Cash Medical support And Attorney’s fee and suit money That is, while the matter is filed and pending, either party may request financial assistance while the litigation is pending and the issues are being decided through the court system. This is important as a typical contested divorce involving property division and child custody can stretch out for months. In awarding the pendente lite support, the court will consider and evaluate factors enumerated in §16-913 (d) award of alimony
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DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED (E-SCOOTER): ARREST-ABLE? VERY MUCH SO … DC DUI LAWYER

The Personal Mobility Devices are becoming prevalent and turning into a significant commuting and recreational use device/vehicles. There is the BYRD electric scooter, LIME, SKIP, etc. The legal issue is whether these devices are categorized as vehicles subject to the DUI/DWI Statute and enforcement or there is an exception. The short answer: they are categorized as vehicles subject to DUI/DWI arrest but not a motor vehicle subject to chemical testing submission. The DC Driving Under the Influence Statute provides that: No person shall operate or be in physical control of any vehicle in the District While the person is intoxicated;
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MARIJUANA BREATHALYZER DEVICES: DC DUI LAWYER

The current DC DUI laws although provide details regarding alcohol consumption and corresponding penalties associated with BAC (Blood Alcohol Content)  — are silent on marijuana use, level thereof, and driving a motor vehicle while under influence of marijuana. The DUI Statute clearly penalizes and provides minimum sentence for schedule I drugs: Specifically the Statute provides:  A 15-day mandatory-minimum term of incarceration shall be imposed if the person’s blood or urine contains a Schedule I chemical or controlled substance as listed in § 48-902.04, Phencyclidine, Cocaine, Methadone, Morphine, or one of its active metabolites or analogs. However there is no mention of
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EMERGENCY HEARINGS IN FAMILY CASES: DC FAMILY LAWYER

In the Family cases often times certain facts and events give rise to necessity for an emergency and immediate court intervention and ruling. For example a parent may be seeking to transport a child permanently or temporary out of the jurisdiction without a prior court approval or permission from the other parent. Court order child visitation may be blocked or access to the child is denied by a parent having physical custody to  a parent with visitation rights. Child’s safety or security may be at risk or jeopardy. The child may be in need of medical treatment and intervention with
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REVERSAL DUE TO ERRONEOUS JURY INSTRUCTIONS: DC CRIMINAL LAWYER

The Court of Appeals in Dawkins v. U.S., decide on July 26, 2018, reversed a manslaughter conviction based on erroneous and incomplete jury instructions on technicalities of the self-defense law and its application. An effective employment of self-defense can negate or diffuse the malice of an intentional act.   That is, even an intentional killing based on a valid self-defense is not malicious and thus it is excused and accordingly no crime at all. Here the defendant was in a fistfight with the victim and as the fight escalated, the defendant fatally stabbed the victim as claimed in the self-defense. The
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RECENT COURT OF APPEALS DECISION: ENHANCED REUNIFICATION SERVICES UNDER ADA: DC FAMILY LAWYER

The Court of Appeals in IN RE H.C.; K.C decided on July 5, 2018, redefined and expounded on what constitutes reasonable efforts toward the goal of reunification when dealing with a parent with intellectual disability and eligible for receiving services through DDS (“Department of Disability Services.”) In this case the child was removed at birth from the mother’s care due to the mother’s cognitive and intellectual disabilities. The trial court had held that mother’s intellectual disabilities and mental health needs rendered her incapable of properly caring for the child even with the wrap around services, parental training and other assistance
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JURY DEMANDABLE WHEN DEPORTATION CONSEQUENCES: DC CRIMINAL LAWYER

The DC Court of Appeals in Jean-Baptiste Bado v. U.S., decided on June 21, 2018, reversed the appellant’s conviction for misdemeanor sexual abuse of a minor and after a bench trial, on the ground that he was denied the right to a jury trial guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment. The question before the Court was whether the Sixth Amendment guarantees a right to a jury trial to an accused who faces the penalty of removal/deportation when the underlying maximum penalty for the crime was only 180 days of incarceration and not by itself jury demandable. The Sixth Amendment guarantees a
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