4TH AMENDMENT: RECENT SUPREME COURT CASES: WARRANTLESS EXCEPTIONS

The Fourth Amendment protects individuals from unreasonable search and seizures: Specifically the 4th Amendment provides: THE RIGHTS OF PEOPLE TO BE SECURED IN THEIR PERSONS, HOUSES, PAPERS, AND EFFECTS, AGAINST ANY UNREASONABLE SEARCHES AND SEIZURES, SHALL NOT BE VIOLATED, AND NO WARRANTS SHALL ISSUE, BUT UPON PROBABLE CAUSE, SUPPORTED BY OATH OR AFFIRMATION, AND PARTICULARLY DESCRIBING THE PLACE TO BE SEARCHED,AND THE PERSONS OR THINGS TO BE SEIZED. Over the years the Supreme Court has carved out numerous search exceptions to the warrant requirement of the 4th Amendment. These exceptions are: 1. CONSENT Knowing and voluntary consent to the search
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DISTRICT DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIP LAWS DEFINED

In the District of Columbia domestic partnership is defined as relationship between two individuals that have registered the partnership (pursuant to § 32-702) The term domestic partner is defined as being in a committed relationship with an individual who is: Eighteen years or older, Competent to enter into a domestic partnership/contract The only/sole domestic partner of the other Not married In a committed relationship In order to register a domestic partnership in the District, the domestic partners each will have to declare under oath and affirm the items listed above. The registration document other than the address of the individuals involved
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LEGAL COMPETENCY IN ADOPTION CASES: DC ADOPTION LAWYER

The Court of Appeals in IN RE PETITION OF J.O. & P.O., decided on December 12, 2017, reversed and remanded the trial court’s grant of an adoption petition. The central issue in the case was the viability of the two competing adoption petitions filed at the trial level. The child was born to a mother who had known mental health issues and on the day of the child’s birth, the mother was admitted to a psychiatric ward for treatment. Shortly after birth, the child was placed in an Child and Family Services (CFSA) pre-adoptive foster home and over the course
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RECENT COURT OF APPEALS DECISION: REVERSAL OF ASSAULT CHARGE: DC CRIMINAL LAWYER

The DC Court of Appeals on November 9, 2017 in Elaine Jones v. U.S. reversed the defendant’s conviction for simple assault and possession of prohibited weapon. Elaine Jones was charged with simple assault and possession of prohibited weapon a cigarette lighter as she had attempted to ward off another homeless person from her personal space designated by cardboard boxes. She has set a section of her cardboard box taken over by the intruder on fire momentarily to scare off her adjacent homeless neighbor intruding on her and not respecting her personal space. At issue here was employing reasonable amount of
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CRIMINAL CONSEQUENCES OF CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT: DC FAMILY LAWYER

The Child Abuse and Neglect Statute in Washington DC has both a civil and also a criminal component and at times run on separate tracks but concurrently. If there is a referral for child abuse to the Child Protection Services (CPS), in cases of alleged physical child abuse — there will be a civil as well as criminal investigation when warranted. Thus charges may be brought in the Family Court as well as in the Criminal Court Systems. According to the DC Civil Neglect Statute, the term neglected child encompasses the following categories: 1) A child who has been abandoned
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4TH AMENDMENT VIOLATION: LEGALITY OF STINGRAY: DC CRIMINAL LAW

The Court of Appeals in Prince Jones v. U.S., decided on September 21, 2017, considered and evaluated the legality of the police force use of cell site simulator commonly known as “stingray” without a search warrant. The Court in short concluded that deployment of “stingray” without a valid search warrant violated the 4th Amendment of the Constitution and evidence hence collected would be excluded as “fruits of a poisonous tree.” Prince Jones was convicted for sexual assault and robbery (stolen cell phones). The police force shortly after the incident deployed a cell tower simulator to pinpoint his location via his
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DC Voyeurism Statute: Recent Court of Appeals Decision: DC CRIMINAL LAWYER

The DC Court of Appeals in David Thomas v. U.S., on October 12, 2017, issued an opinion on a conviction pursuant to the DC Voyeurism Statute, which provides: D.C. Code 22-3531 (c)(1) in pertinent parts provides: (c)(1) Except as provided in subsection (e) of this section, it is unlawful for a person to electronically record, without the express and informed consent of the individual being recorded, an individual who is: (A) Using a bathroom or rest room; (B) Totally or partially undressed or changing clothes; or (C) Engaging in sexual activity. The Defendant in this case was convicted for taking nude photographs of his
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WASHINGTON DC DIVORCE v. LEGAL SEPARATION; CRITERIA FOR ANNULMENT

The filing requirements for divorce and the legal separation are significantly and materially different. The divorce filing requires proof that: Parties have mutually and voluntarily lived separate and apart without cohabitation for a period of six months before filing of the action or Parties to the marriage have lived separate and apart without cohabitation for a period of one year prior to filing of the action. The filing requirement for the legal separation is less rigorous and it requires only that: Parties to the marriage have mutually and voluntarily lived separate and apart without cohabitation; or Both parties to the
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REVERSAL DUE TO ERRONEOUS JUROR DISQUALIFICATION: DC CRIMINAL LAWYER

The DC Court of Appeals in Mason v. U.S., decided on September 28, 2017, drastically reversed a set of convictions based on trial error in disqualifying a potential juror. Appellant Mason challenged his convictions for tampering with evidence, destruction of property, obstruction of justice, and unlawful entry contending that the trial court committed a reversible error in disqualifying a potential juror. Juror 7575-B was at the center of this ruling and analysis. During the jury voir dire, juror 7575-B was asked if black men in DC are treated fairly or unfairly by the criminal justice system, and she had responded
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CRIMINAL INTENT REQUIRED FOR THREATS CONVICTION; RECENT DC COURT OF APPEALS DECISION

The DC Court of Appeals in Lee Carroll v. U.S., decided on August 3rd, 2017; redefined the legal requisite for criminal conviction under the Threats’ Statute. Factually, the defendant was convicted for assaulting his girlfriend while also verbally threatening her physical harm. The DC misdemeanor as well as the Felony threats statutes do not enlist legal elements nor require facially mens rea or criminal intent. The misdemeanor threats statute (D.C. Code § 22-407) provides: Whoever is convicted in the District of threats to do bodily harm shall be fined not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01 or
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