Articles Tagged with felonies

In the District of Columbia, there are multiple assault offenses that you can be charged with. Two of the most common are misdemeanor simple assault and felony assault with significant bodily injury. There are many differences between the two crimes including the added element of significant bodily injury to felony assault. The maximum penalties are also different and whether the defendant is entitled to a jury trial is different. However, some similarities exist. For example, the United States Attorney’s Office prosecutes both offenses and the same defenses are available to each offense.

What are the Maximum Penalties for Felony and Misdemeanor Assault?

The main difference between the two are the potential maximum penalties and the requirement for felony assault to cause a “significant bodily injury.” Simple assault is a misdemeanor charge with a maximum penalty of 180 days in jail and up to a $1,000.00 fine. Assault with significant bodily injury carries a maximum penalty of up to three years in prison and a maximum $3,000.00 fine. Continue reading

In the District of Columbia, prosecutors must secure an indictment to charge someone with a felony. To secure an indictment, prosecutors must convene a grand jury and present evidence to the grand jury. A grand jury is made up of members of the community just a like a regular jury in court. However, grand jury proceedings are secret, and the defendant or “target” of the investigation has no right to put on a defense.

The decision to indict is up to the grand jury if they determine that “probable cause” exists to believe that the target committed the alleged offense. Evidence the grand jury may consider typically involves witness testimony. To get witnesses before the grand jury, prosecutors will normally subpoena the witness.  This article will go over what your legal rights are if you receive a grand jury subpoena and outlines what legal obligations you have. First, its important to note that a grand jury witness has several important legal rights. First, you have the right to an attorney. Anyone subpoenaed to the grand jury has a right to a lawyer and in DC if you cannot afford a lawyer the Court will appoint one for you. Second, you have a right to know what the grand jury is investigating. Finally, you have a right against self-incrimination, which means you do not have to answer questions that may incriminate you.

Continue reading

black-and-white-gun-1409524-mLast year, in Palmer v. District of Columbia, a federal judge in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia held that the District of Columbia’s carrying a pistol statute was facially unconstitutional. In a lawsuit that had been pending for several years, the judge granted the plaintiffs’ request for an injunction. The judge enjoined the city from enforcing provisions of the D.C. Code that imposed an absolute bar on carrying pistol in the District of Columbia.

The Court also held that the Court could not categorically bar out of state residents from possessing a firearm in the District of Columbia solely on the basis that they are out of state residents. The consequences of this ruling were far reaching and the full effect of this decision has yet to be seen.

Continue reading

DC Gun Lawyer

A common, unfortunate scenario that often occurs in the District of Columbia because of its strict gun laws, goes something like this:

Average out-of-state, law abiding citizen with no prior criminal record travels through or to the nation’s capital. We will call him John.  John commits one of the hundreds of possible District of Columbia traffic infractions while driving.  And this traffic infraction could involve something as innocuous as hanging something from the rear view mirror or having window tint that is too dark.  One of the dozens of law enforcement agencies that has jurisdiction in the District pulls the person over.  We will call him Officer Friendly.  Officer Friendly either asks Johns: “Do you have any weapons in the vehicle” or John, accustomed to the laws of his home state, voluntarily announces to Officer Friendly that he has a firearm in the vehicle.  John then tries to show Officer Friendly his home state concealed carry permit for his lawfully registered firearm.  In John’s mind, all of this is no big deal.

Continue reading