CRIMINAL LAW DC
Even the minutest of criminal act could have a life-altering impact on the accused. Getting charged with an offense under the Criminal Law in DC will not only scar your reputation but will traumatize you forever. Aggressive investigation and the possibility of a trial are bound to leave you in trauma for a long time. You can try to avoid all the ramifications associated with a criminal case by hiring a reputed law firm Washington DC with a vast experience like the Law Office of SRIS, P.C.
Retaining a good criminal law firm who handles cases in Washington DC is essential if you want to try and prevent a jail term or a fine. Do not worry, help is round the corner! Speak to our attorneys at the criminal law firm defending cases in Washington DC and maintain your silence till we help you. No one in D.C. can stop you from calling a Criminal Law DC Lawyer. Whatever the severity of your case is, hiring a Criminal Law DC attorney from a reputed criminal law firm Washington DC will always be to your advantage.
All you need to do is just call our Criminal Law DC attorney at the Law Offices of SRIS, P.C. and explain your situation. Our criminal law DC attorney can work towards trying to obtain your quick release.
Let us learn about DC Criminal offenses in Detail
Criminal Law DC classifies criminal violations as misdemeanors and felonies depending on the severity of the offense and the maximum penalty associated with each crime. Felonies are referred to as much serious crimes by the criminal law DC, and they have a maximum incarceration period of 1 year or more. Any crime, under the Criminal Law DC, that is punishable by a maximum period of 1 year or less, will be classified as a misdemeanor.
According to Criminal law DC, felonious offenses are dealt with by 2 prosecuting bodies – The Office of The Attorney General and The U.S. Attorney Office. The Office of The Attorney General handles criminal matters like traffic infractions, juvenile cases and violations of the D.C. municipal code. The U.S. Attorney’s Office is a federal entity and handles all the other criminal offences.
We will discuss some of the most common Offences under Criminal Law DC, for your better understanding:
DC Federal Drug Charges
DC Code Section 48-904.01(a) clearly states that it is illegal for an individual to manufacture, possess or distribute controlled substances. There are a range of drug crimes that an individual can be charged with. Each drug charge has a different penalty associated with it. The more severe the charge, the longer would be the incarceration period. Here are the 4 most common drug charges imposed on individuals as per Criminal law DC guidelines.
- Possession of Drugs
Intentional or unintentional possession of drugs can get you booked under criminal law DC especially if you were found possessing it on federal land. The quantity of the drugs being possessed will usually be considered while awarding penalties. If you are found possessing controlled substance even in small quantities, you could be held eligible for a diversion program along with a small amount of jail time. In such situations, it is advisable that you call a Washington DC federal drug crime lawyer for immediate assistance.
If you were found in possession of drugs in an uninhabited region, then you may be able to avoid harsh penalties but you would still be charged for the crime.
- Manufacturing of Drugs
It is a very rare charge but if you are found involved in mass production of drugs with the intent to sell them, then you can be penalized with a 30-years jail sentence and a fine of not more than $75,000. The penalties can seem unjust, especially if you are charged wrongly. Connect with our Washington DC federal drug crime lawyer, and we can help collect ample evidence to try and get rid of your charges. Besides collecting evidence, our Criminal Law DC attorney will take steps to try and justify the fact that you have neither direct nor indirect control over the drugs being manufactured.
- Distribution or Trafficking of Drugs
If someone is found distributing drugs, Criminal Law DC allows for an immediate arrest by the law enforcement or police officers. In some cases, an individual may not be found possessing the drugs during the time of arrest, but the law permits arrests based on phone records and other evidences proving the possession at an earlier time. Our Washington DC federal drug crime lawyer can help defend you even in the severest of all situations. Unless you were found possessing drugs during the distribution, defending you in the court may not be a problem for our Criminal Law DC attorney. We can help build a strong defense strategy on your behalf. Connect with our Washington DC federal drug crime lawyer right away. Our criminal law DC attorney will offer instant guidance on drug-related charges.
According to Criminal Law DC, a Drug Conspiracy charge is usually imposed when mass distribution or trafficking of drugs is conducted. Usually there is a network involved in such cases and the police may arrest more than 20 suspects at a time. There are situations when the arrested individuals may not have any idea about the misconduct and were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. If you are in a similar situation, call our Washington DC federal drug crime lawyer. Our criminal law DC attorney will get to the roots of the case and will assist you in keeping your criminal records clean.
If you are charged with drug related crimes in Washington DC, take immediate steps to try and have it reversed. Once you are convicted of a federal drug offense, your crime would stay in your records permanently, with no option for expungement. The criminal record is made public (except for some exceptions) and you know how a public record can affect your reputation and social life.
Difference between Actual and Constructive Possession
As per criminal law DC guidelines, in order to convict a person with drug charges, the government has to establish two things – first the nature of the controlled substance, and second, evidence of possession by the individual.
Substances like distilled spirits, wine and malt beverages cannot be classified as controlled substances, but other forms of drugs or narcotics that are usually obtained as immediate precursor of a substance can be considered as controlled substance. When the type of possession comes into question, there are basically two types – Actual and Constructive Possession.
Actual Possession means that the controlled substance was found in the physical custody of the accused. It was either obtained from his wallet, pocket or purse. Constructive possession means that the individual did not have the drug with him but his call records show evidences of interest towards using or controlling drugs.
If you are arrested for possession of drugs, contact our Washington DC drug crimes lawyer and discuss the nature of charges imposed. Our Washington DC drug crimes lawyer will try everything in our control to get rid of the charges at the earliest.
What Should I do if I am booked under Drug Charges?
Here are a few things to remember and actions to take when booked under a drug-related charge:
- Connect with our Criminal Law DC Attorney
The very first step to take when charged with a federal drug offense is to connect with our Washington DC federal drug crime lawyer. Our Criminal Law DC attorney can educate you on the fundamentals of drug charges and will also assist you in confronting the case procedures.
- Remain Silent
You must avoid talking to the law enforcement officer unless our Washington DC drug crimes lawyer advices you to do so. Police officers will try their best to extract information out of you and use it against you during the trial. So, inform the officer in charge that you will speak only if your Criminal Law DC attorney is by your side.
- Avoid Damaging Evidence
Do not try to destroy the drug package or any other evidence recovered from you. Criminal law DC guidelines clearly state that the mere attempt to damage evidence can be used to prove you guilty of the crime. Similarly, avoid fleeing from police custody.
We understand that confronting a drug charge is not an easy job and it can make anyone panic. Remember every action of yours can be used against you during prosecution; hence, try to stay calm and wait for our Washington DC drug crimes lawyer to handle the defending part.
How can Our Criminal Law DC Attorney Help with Drug Charges?
Criminal Law DC allows Law Enforcement Officers to arrest and seize property but they do not have the rights to invade your privacy. Our Criminal Law DC attorney can protect your rights and if you are wrongly accused of a drug crime, our Criminal Law DC attorney will take all legal steps to try and prove you are not guilty. The most common defenses that our Criminal Law DC attorneys use are:
- Re-examination of the Alleged Controlled Substance
Our Criminal Law DC attorney will question the exact specification of the item seized. Our Criminal Law DC will force the prosecution to have the alleged controlled substance re-examined. We do this when our Criminal Law DC attorney is sure that there has been some mistake in assessing the identity of the seized substance.
- Asserting that the Accused Was Framed
If the police officer fails to preserve and document the details of the seized substance, then our Criminal Law DC attorney will raise doubts on whether the seized substance was the same as the one presented in the court.
- The Drug Belongs to Someone Else
Our Criminal Law DC attorney will make claims that the seized drug actually belongs to someone else and you were not aware of its presence in your vehicle. The prosecutor has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you held the drugs with an intention to use or sell it. Our Criminal Law DC attorney will find loop holes in the facts presented by the prosecutor and will prove the allegations pointless and unreasonable.
Why Should I Hire a Criminal Law DC Attorney to Defend my Drug Charges?
Besides dealing with law enforcement officers, prosecutor, collecting & verifying evidences and representing you in court, there are 2 other important ways how our Criminal Law DC Attorney can help:
- Protection of Rights
Criminal Law DC prohibits Law Enforcement Officers from stopping and conducting a vehicle-search unless you were found violating the traffic rules. No one is allowed to forcefully enter your house and search through your property without a search warrant. Our Criminal Law DC Attorneys have vast knowledge about the laws associated with drug crimes. Our Criminal Law DC will not only educate on your rights but will also help protect the same.
- Handle Plea Deals
Our Criminal Law DC attorney will never accept a plea deal unless there is no other alternative left to protect our client. Our Criminal Law DC attorneys will try their best to dismiss all charges but if pleading guilty is the only choice, we will negotiate and have the penalties lessened to the maximum extent possible, thereby favoring our client.
With the evolution of digitalization, dependence on the Internet and its utilities has been growing endlessly. From banking to making online purchases, people have started depending on the internet more than ever. But with advancement comes risks. Hacking and illegitimate acquisition of user data is on the rise and all of such crimes involving the internet are referred to as Computer crimes or Cybercrime under Criminal Law DC.
Hacking may not be a new term to you. Most television series and web series have at least one show with hackers in the lead role. While you might enjoy watching them crack into bank locker systems, it isn’t that enjoyable in real life.
Here are a few common computer crimes that are classified as offences under DC computer crime laws:
- Purposefully introducing virus into a system and disrupting an entire network
- Using the computer with a scheme to illegally obtain money or documents commonly termed as Cyberexortion.
- Hacking another person’s social account or system with the intent to cause trouble.
- Cloaking email addresses and sending out scam mails to illegally retrieve user data
- Modifying, copying or stealing important data from a system.
- Cyberstalking and Purposeful Online Harassment
Cyberbullying too is considered a computer crime under DC computer crime laws. If you are a victim of cyber crime, you must report the crime through IC3 or the law enforcement right away.
DC Computer Crime Laws Concerning Federal Cybercrime
According to DC computer crime laws, when someone illegally tries to access or acquire the government’s system or network, they will be charged with a cybercrime offense. An important point to note here is that the accused need not have acquired important data; even trying to access governmental systems and networks can get them convicted.
Steps involved in a Cybercrime Arrest
Before the law enforcement officers conduct an official arrest, they carry out a thorough investigation to confirm the identity of the accused. Crimes that involve the internet are quite difficult to trace since it allows users to mask their identities. So, in order to confirm the identity of the offender, police officers conduct pre-arrest investigations.
They cross-check chat rooms, monitor the internet and also use forensic tools to search for exact IP addresses of the system used by the offender. In more serious cybercrime cases, officers may also conduct undercover operation to catch the real culprit. Sounds interesting right? But have you ever imagined getting caught for a crime that you were never involved in? If this situation sounds similar to yours, connect with our Criminal law DC attorneys who have a vast knowledge about DC computer crime laws.
Penalties Associated with Cybercrime Violations
As per Criminal Law DC guidelines, illegal access of system or a network can result in a jail-sentence of 5 years. In more serious computer crime cases, a maximum jail period of 20 years may be awarded to the convict.
The amount of fine imposed upon the convict will depend on how much loss the victim had to incur because of the convict’s illegal activities or how much money the convict was able to make out of the cybercrime. The victim can file a lawsuit against the offender and request for a compensation. Speaking to our Criminal Law DC Attorney can prove helpful in such a situation because we can negotiate with the defendant and obtain compensation for your loss.
How can an Attorney Adept at Criminal Law DC help?
One of the most important aspects of Cybercrime is that all of the evidences are obtained from the computer. Hence, you need to choose a Criminal Law DC Attorney who is tech-savvy and experienced in cybercrime. Our Criminal Law DC attorneys at the Law Offices of SRIS, P.C. have dealt with a number of cybercrime cases. Our Criminal Law DC attorneys are well aware of the type of evidence the prosecution would possibly look for in such cases. If you are accused of a cybercrime, connect with our Criminal Law DC attorney right away.
Besides helping you collect potential evidence to prove your innocence, our Criminal Law DC attorneys can represent you and stay by your side all throughout the investigation. Understanding your rights is very important if you want to keep your records clean. Our Criminal Law DC attorney will guide you throughout the process so that you try and avoid divulging information to the federal agents conducting the interrogation.
Here are some defenses our Criminal Law DC attorneys use while representing Cybercrime cases:
- Mistaken Identity – Most cyber criminals steal Wifi and IP addresses, hack into systems and use proxy locations while committing computer crimes. Due to this, the wrong person gets accused during the investigation. Our Criminal Law DC attorneys will help prove them otherwise and can offer references on how your system was being misused by someone else.
- Unlawful Search and Capture – Unreasonable and illegal searches & captures are not allowed under Criminal Law DC. If you were being forcefully investigated or your property was illegally searched for without proper warrant, then our Criminal law DC attorney will use it as a defense in the court.
- Presence of Consent – In most computer crime cases, the victim accuses of not having given any permission to the defendant to access their system. But if you are able to prove that they had consented to access their system and credentials, then you may avoid dealing with compensations.
Cybercrime charges should be dealt with immediately, any delay would lead to incarceration. So, talk to our Criminal Law DC attorney and we will start building a defense strategy right away.
DC Sex Crimes
Any coerced sex is treated as Sexual abuse or harassment. DC Code Section 22-3001 under Criminal Law DC consolidates all of the DC sex crimes under two terms – sexual act and sexual contact. It is important to note that Criminal Law DC treats all types of sexual harassment cases with equal severity; even the penalties associated with DC sex crimes are quite harsh.
Different Degrees of DC Sex Crimes and the Penalties Associated With It:
- First Degree Sexual Abuse Sec 22-3002 – It is a Class A Felony and the convict can be imprisoned for life. An additional penalty fine of $125,000 too may be imposed.
- Second Degree Sexual Abuse Sec 22-3003 – Penalties include a 20-year jail sentence and a fine of up to $50,000.
- Third Degree Sexual Abuse Sec 22-3004 – The penalty for felony conviction, as mentioned under Criminal Law DC, is up to 10 years of jail-time and a fine of $25,000.
- Fourth Degree Sexual Abuse Sec 22-3005 – The penalty for 4th degree DC Sex Crimes includes 5 year prison-time and a fine of not more than $12,500.
- Misdemeanor Sexual Abuse Sec 22-3006 – The penalty for misdemeanor, as mentioned under Criminal Law DC, is up to 180 days in jail and $1000 fine.
Besides jail sentencing and penalty fines, a conviction for sexual contact could lead to unemployment and a scarred social reputation. If you are a divorcing parent claiming custodianship, a conviction could deprive you of your eligibility to claim for your child’s guardianship. You may even lose your license to work as a medical professional, social worker, and sometimes your license to practice law could get cancelled. Accusations alone can ruin your fame and if media is notified about the incident, there’s no way to easily gain back the lost fame. Talk to our Criminal Law DC attorneys and we will guide you with the right steps to take to try and avoid further complications.
Federal Sex Crimes Washington DC – Investigation
The US Attorney’s Office gives special attention to federal sex crimes in Washington DC and direct their complete focus and energy into prosecuting these cases. There are a number of task forces that combine federal as well as state law enforcement to investigate and deal with federal sex crimes Washington DC. If child pornography was found on a government agency’s computer, then the investigation would involve an Inspector General’s Office, Customs and Border Patrol, or Department of Homeland Security. Depending on the case specifics, the FBI and the TSA could also be included to handle the investigation.
Most of the Federal Sex Crimes in Washington DC involves the internet and computer rather than real victims. So, in such federal level crime cases, computer professionals would also be involved during the initial research and investigation.
Primarily the investigators would go on an undercover operation to keep a continuous eye on the suspects. They would monitor chat rooms and messaging forums to check for potential interactions among people intending to engage in Federal Sex Crimes in Washington DC. Transfer of digital images or videos will also be kept under surveillance by federal agencies. If the exact IP address of the culprit is tracked down, the law enforcement officers will issue a warrant to arrest the offender.
In the recent years, the number of sex crime related investigations has skyrocketed and federal agencies are allotting more number of resources and monetary assistance to track down such heinous offenders.
The DC Federal US Attorneys’ office has two full time federal investigators that are dedicated to enter into chat rooms and engage individuals who are contemplating distributing child pornography. Understand that a mere first offense conviction for distribution of child pornography carries a minimum mandatory penalty of 5 years in the penitentiary. If you are facing a possession of child pornography, receipt of child pornography or distribution or manufacturing of child pornography before DC Federal Courts, it is imperative you immediately contact a DC Federal Sex Crimes Lawyer. The Law Offices of SRIS, P.C. has multiple Federal Sex Crimes Lawyers who can help you against any kind of federal sex crime offense including but not limited to child pornography. Again, keep in mind, the US Attorney’s office focuses on distribution of child pornography cases as one of their primary crimes.
What Should I Do If I am Accused of a Sex Crime?
Criminal Law DC treats sex-related offense as serious crime, and if you are accused of being involved in child molestation or child pornography, then a conviction would definitely lead irreparable damage to your reputation nothing to forget harsh penalties. In our previous cases, our Criminal Law DC attorneys have noted that false accusations were made either because of misinterpretation or with an intention to ruin the defendant’s reputation (mostly due to past personal grudges). Accusations of inappropriate sexual behavior with an adult or a child must be dealt with immediately to try and avoid conviction. Prosecutors will try their best to have you convicted. So, as the first step, connect with our DC Sex Crimes Lawyer.
While in custody, keep the following tips in mind:
- Avoid Divulging Information
Any kind of written or verbal statement could be used against you in the court. Investigators try their best to get information out of you to make prosecution easier. They engage in friendly conversations to get crucial information. You can easily get tricked into answering their questions. Avoid talking to them until our DC sex crimes lawyer is by your side. You can politely tell the officer that you would prefer staying silent unless allowed to meet your attorney. Even denying the act can sometimes prove harmful, so try to stay calm and silent until our DC sex crimes lawyer arrives.
You may hand over important evidence or information to the law enforcement officer believing that the evidence can help you get rid of the charges. But, in most cases, the same evidence can turn against you and can be used to finally have you convicted. So, never share vital evidence with officers unless our Criminal Law DC attorney advices you to do so.
- Consult with Our DC Sex Crimes Lawyer Immediately
The moment you are accused of sexual harassment, you must contact our DC sex crimes lawyer. Be aware that the conversation between you and your Criminal Law DC attorney is protected by the client-attorney privileges, meaning all the conversations between you and your Criminal Law DC attorney will remain confidential and cannot be divulged unless in the court trial.
- Gather and Preserve Evidence & Documents
Collect all possible evidence related to the incident including photos, texts, videos or physical properties associated with the alleged crime. Either hand them over to our Criminal Law DC attorney, or keep it safely preserved at home. If your name is being brought up over a particular harassment incident, then it is important that you acquire information about your phone and GPS records at the time of the incident.
You must also make a list of all possible witnesses who are willing to vouch for your unavailability at the time of the incident. Try getting their contact details for easy access. Our Criminal Law DC attorneys will contact them and try extracting information that may prove useful for the defense.
- Educate Yourself
Our Criminal Law DC attorney are capable of handling most of the procedures on your behalf but it is always best to learn about the crucial elements involved in sex crime cases. If you are ignorant about the severity of the charges, you may not be able to withstand the harsh prosecution procedures. Our Criminal Law DC attorney takes special effort to keep you updated on the processes and trial dates. Our Criminal Law DC attorney assists in preparing for the interrogation during investigation as well as during the court trials. But a little bit of self-study and self-preparation can go a long way.
- Medical Testing
On consulting our Criminal Law DC attorney, the first thing we do is to clarify the do’s and don’ts. If we feel a medical test would help defend you, our Criminal Law DC attorney will advise you to go for an early medical testing. Even if the prosecutor throws hundreds of accusations your way, you may be able prove all of them wrong with a single test result. Of course, you need to consult with our Criminal Law DC attorney before taking or agreeing to a medical examination.
- Avoid Contact with Victim
You must avoid contacting the victim without the consent of our Criminal Law DC attorney. Even phone calls and simple texts should be avoided. Situation can turn messier if a protection order is issued against you. If you want important information to be passed and you cannot wait until the court lifts the order, then you can do so with the help of our Criminal Law DC attorneys. Also, avoid talking to the victim’s family in order to convince them that you are innocent. Every action of yours will be scrutinized, and if you go against the Criminal Law DC, you could be in unnecessary trouble.
Initial Things That Our Criminal Law DC Attorney Will Look For in a Sex Crime
The moment you contact our Criminal Law DC Attorney to assist you with the sexual abuse charges, we arrange for an initial consultation. The aim of the initial consultation with our Criminal Law DC attorney is to understand the nature of your crime, to what extent you were involved and the series of incidents that led to the real crime.
Here are a few questions that Criminal Law DC attorneys at The Law Offices of SRIS, P.C. might ask you during the initial consultation:
- What is your relationship with the victim?
- How long have you two been in the relationship?
- Where were you at the time of the incident?
- Do you have a list of witnesses who would be willing to confirm your presence elsewhere
- Do you have footages or recordings as an alibi for the entire time when the alleged incident occurred?
- If you were with the victim, then what was the occasion that let to you two being together?
- If you did not commit the act, then what could be the possible reason behind such a false accusation?
- Have you made any kind of statements to the law enforcement officer?
- Do you have details of the calls or texts exchanged with the victim or other friends prior the incident?
Besides these basic questions, our Criminal Law DC Attorney may ask you to give a detailed account of the incident or the circumstances leading to the incident. We may also ask you to brief us about the conversations you have had with friends, media or with the victim’s family after the incident was brought to limelight.
How Will Our Criminal Law DC Attorney Build a Defense?
Our Criminal Law DC Attorney has witnessed numerous sex crime cases wherein the defendant was wrongly accused. Our Criminal Law DC Attorneys have dealt with many false accusation cases and hence, we know the kind of reports and evidence the prosecutor will present before the court. At first, our Criminal Law DC Attorney will look into the medical examination reports presented by the victim. If a rape kit examination report hasn’t been presented yet, our Criminal Law DC Attorney will ask for reasons to justify the delay. Meanwhile, the Criminal Law DC Attorney may also look into DNA evidence if required. If it is an online sexual harassment case, our Criminal Law DC Attorney tries recovering all technical data pertaining to your system seizure and search. Based on the initial findings of our Criminal Law DC Attorney, we will prepare a strong defense strategy.
Here are the most common defenses to sex crimes:
- Mistaken identity
In case of online sexual harassment cases, we explain how proxy IP addresses were used to cloak the real IP address of the actual offender. If a victim recognizes you as their alleged offender, then we look for reasons why you were framed in the first place. Sometimes it could be due to personal vengeance, in such cases, we present evidence of your presence elsewhere during the time of the incident.
- Police Abuse
If you were wrongly accused and to make matters worse, were treated with misconduct at the time of investigation, then our Criminal Law DC Attorney can come to your rescue. Improper arrest or seizure of objects or property is against Criminal Law DC. Hence, we use all these points to establish the fact that you were treated harshly during the investigation and none of the evidences were obtained in a professional manner.
If it was a mutual act, then the incident is no way considered a sexual assault. Our Criminal Law DC attorney can help justify that the incident occurred on mutual consent and the defendant hasn’t caused any kind of physical harm (that could be considered as an act associated with rape). Consent cannot be used as a defense under only one exception – IDSI Charges.
If you are charged with Involuntary Deviate Sexual Intercourse (IDSI) offence, then Consent cannot be used as a defense point. An offense is referred to as IDSI if the offender commits the act on a victim who is not conscious, is disabled or under the age of 16 years.
Importance of Hiring Our Criminal Law DC Attorney
The very first step that you must take when charged with sex crime, as mentioned before, is to connect with our Criminal Law DC attorney. Sexual Crimes are quite intimate in nature and you cannot go on elaborating the incident in public. The facts and details would be kept confidential. We believe in creating a trusting relationship with the clients, hence you can connect with our Criminal Law DC attorney as your secrets are safe with us.
In some cases, coming out clean and innocent is out of question. During such situations, our Criminal Law DC attorney may be able to negotiate plea bargains to lessen the penalties. Our Criminal Law DC attorneys strongly believe in a second chance, hence we try our best to request for a minimal punishment.
Gathering and preserving evidence is crucial because in sex abuse cases, evidence deteriorates with time. You may forget about the details and you might misplace important evidence or delete crucial texts. Hence, you must connect with our Criminal Law DC attorney as soon as you can. Strike the rod when it is hot, to help collect crucial evidences to be used in your defense. Our Criminal Law DC attorneys will perform a thorough investigation from our end and document all important evidence and information to defend your case strongly.
Do not wait until an arrest is made. Contact our Criminal Law DC attorney the moment you are anticipating questioning or arrest.