DC Child support obligations are correlated and connected with the award of child custody.  They are inversely proportional.  That is, increase in child physical custody reduces the child support obligations.  Thus it is beneficial to litigate the child support and child custody matters simultaneously to both potentially reduce the child support obligations and also to increase the physical time spent with your child. In the District, the award of child custody may take one of the following forms but it is always based on the best interest of the child criteria: (i) sole legal custody; (ii) sole physical custody; (iii) joint legal custody; (iv) joint physical custody; or (v) other custody arrangement deemed to be in the best interest of the child. In determining the best interest of the child, the court balances the following elements: 1) child’s preference toward each parent;  2) the wishes of the child’s parent as to the child’s custody; 3 ) interactions and interrelationship between the child and each parent, and other siblings; 4) the child’s adjustment to home, school, and community; 5)  physical and emotional health of all involved; 6) any intrafamily (domestic violence) offenses; 7) the abilities of parents to work together with
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Categories: Family Law.

DC Drinking and Driving Implied Consent Statute; submit or not to the blood alcohol content test?

Upon being stopped for suspected drinking and driving, and before being administrated or submitting to alcohol/drug detection devices, the police officer has to inform you explicitly as to your right to refuse test submission pursuant to DC Implied Consent Act. DC Statute Sec. 50-1905 makes it clear that refusal to submit to two chemical tests pursuant to Sec. 15-1902 (blood, urine, or breath), will result in an automatic suspension of the driving privileges in the District for a period of 12 months.  Before suspension, the arresting officer has to submit an affidavit stating that the implied consent act was explained, and thereafter submission refused knowingly.  To prevent the automatic suspension, for DC residents, there has to be a written formal request to DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles), within 10 days and for non DC residents, 15 days.  At the DMV administrative hearing, evidence can be presented to rebut automatic suspension especially if the criminal case has been dismissed, or a verdict of non-guilty is obtained. On the criminal side, refusal has more impact.  Generally but not always, eliminates the first time offender treatment – the diversion program.   The diversion program allows in certain cases dismissal of the criminal case after completing
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Categories: Criminal Defense.


RECENT COURT OF APPEALS: V.C.B. v. U.S., No. 10-CO-89 (Decided February 16, 2012)  Available at: Challenge to trial court’s refusal to seal arrest records after case dismissed.   Significant as the case involved child witnesses –Remanded. Patterson v. U.S., No. 08-CF-876, 10-CO-1611 (Decided February 16, 2012) Available at: Expert testimony and requirements for admissibility. OTHER NEWS: Failed Adoptions Lead to More Homeless Youths (NYTimes) Available here. Calls for More Reporting of Suspected Child Abuse (NPR) Available here. Poverty Thinning Out But Still Hurting District (Washington Examiner) Available here.
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Categories: Legal News.