Archives for Criminal Defense

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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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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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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JURY DEMANDABLE WHEN DEPORTATION CONSEQUENCES:

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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US SUPREME COURT SIDING WITH THE PRIVACY RIGHTS:

The US Supreme Court in a significant privacy rights case in Carpenter v. U.S., decided on June 22, 2018, reversed a the lower court decisions allowing for Cell Site Location Information (“CSLI”) to be used to obtain a conviction without a proper application of warrant. Carpenter was convicted of armed robbery and weapons’ charges as the investigators were able to map his whereabouts for a 27 days period with 107 data points or location tracker per day through the CSLI data collected by his cell phone carrier. The government had only to show a “reasonable grounds” for believing that the
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DC Marijuana POP-UP Events — Legal? DC CRIMINAL LAWYER

In the midst of another major arrests at the pop-up marijuana event this past Saturday (June 17, 2018) in the NE DC where about thirty vendors were arrests, the legality of these events certainly has been put to the test. The vendors and the event coordinators have pushed the limits of law and in effect have forced the narcotic task force to intervene and make arrests. In the Saturday’s events three weapons were also seized which will heighten the DC police scrutiny of these events. At the heart of promulgation of these events is the DC decriminalization Statute that for
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DUI REMAND: DC COURT OF APPEALS: DC DUI LAWYER

The DC Court of Appeal in TOWNSEND v. DC on May 31, 2018, remanded a DUI (“Driving Under Influence”) conviction based on erroneous admission of scientific evidence. Townsend was found behind the wheels of a running car partially on a curve, and on the wrong side of a street by the police officers. As she appeared under the influence and incoherent, the officers had administered several field sobriety tests to determine or to establish drug or alcohol use. The standardized field sobriety tests performed were: Walk and turn test: To place the right foot on a line and the left
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EXIGENT EXCEPTION TO WARRANTLESS SEARCH: 4TH AMENDMENT: DC CRIMINAL LAWYER

The Court of Appeals in Ball v. U.S. decided on May 24, 2018, narrowly affirmed weapons’ conviction under the exigent exception to warrantless search under the 4th Amendment of the Constitution. The trial court had dismissed motion to suppress the evidence based on illegal search and seize paving the way to a conviction. The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution under certain emergency and exigent circumstances allow an officer to enter a dwelling without a warrant if the officer has an objectively reasonable basis for believing that: The entry is necessary to render emergency assistance to an injured occupant, or
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BREATHALYZER DEVICE: CHALLENGING RESULTS IN COURT: DC DUI LAWYER

The most prevalent form of measuring intoxication by the law enforcement is the breathalyzer. The device is designed to measure the levels of alcohol in the lungs and not in the breath. Thus a sip of alcohol and testing right after would not and should not register any measurable levels of alcohol. Alcohol consumed however gets processed in the body. It gets absorbed from the mouth through throat and stomach and distributes into the bloodstream.  Alcohol­ is not digested upon absorption and remains chemically the same in the bloodstream. As the alcohol infused blood travels through the lunge membranes it contaminates
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