Month: May 2017

Being charged with prostitution or solicitation can be nerve-wracking. Not only does the charge have serious penalties, it also exposes you to societal stigma and public embarrassment. The charge can harm both your professional and personal life. An experienced DC solicitation and DC prostitution attorney can work with you to decrease the negative consequences and achieve the best outcome to the charge.

Prostitution vs. Solicitation

When one person offers sexual contact in exchange for money and the other accepts, both parties can be charged with criminal offenses. The person offering the sexual contact can be charged with prostitution. The person accepting the offer can be arrested for solicitation.

To be technical, the DC Code defines prostitution as the act of giving or receiving sexual contact in exchange for money. Solicitation of prostitution is defined as the act of enticing, inviting or persuading someone to agree to have sex in exchange for money.

Many people find themselves in court for solicitation of prostitution after being nabbed in undercover sting operations. If this has happened to you, you need the advice of an experienced DC solicitation attorney.

DC Undercover Police Operations

Many people are arrested for solicitation of prostitution when the District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department engage in sting operations focused solely on prostitution/solicitation.

A common sting involves an undercover police placing advertisements on online websites such as Backpage.com or Craigslist.com where they chat, exchange messages and make phone calls with unsuspecting people. The undercover officer and the unsuspecting respondent will then meet in a hotel where the two agree on a price for sex. As soon as an agreement is struck, the undercover police signal her colleagues who charge in and arrest the person for solicitation of prostitution.

Possible Charges For Solicitation In DC

Under Washington DC law, a first conviction for solicitation of prostitution carries a maximum sentence of ninety (90) days in jail and/or a $500 fine. A second solicitation conviction carries a maximum of one hundred and thirty-five (135) days in jail and/or a fine of up to $750. A third solicitation conviction carries a maximum of one hundred and eighty (180) days in prison and/or a fine of $1,000.

More Prostitution-Related Charges

DC Police have also earmarked some places as “Prostitution Free Zones.” If the solicitation or prostitution arrests occur in any of these places, the penalties are enhanced. This crime carries a potential 180-day jail sentence and/or a $300 fine.

DC laws also make it illegal to recruit or compel persons into prostitution or to run a prostitution house.

Furthermore, DC laws make it illegal to entice children (under 18 years old) into prostitution or to abduct children for prostitution-related purposes. Such an offense carries a maximum sentence of twenty (20) years and/or a maximum fine of $20,000.

There are defenses to each of these charges. For example, in solicitation, you can argue that the police jumped the gun by arresting you before an agreement was struck. You can also argue entrapment, that the police arrested you even though you were not seeking sexual favors or that you only sought non-sexual services such as a massage.

With the help of an experienced DC solicitation lawyer, you or someone you know who has been arrested for solicitation of prostitution or a prostitution-related offense can clear their names and be free from the damaging accusations.

Social Media

Twitter: Accused of solicitation or prostitution in DC? Find out what may be in store for you: http://bit.ly/IFHzvO #dcasolicitationattorney

Facebook: Been busted in a prostitution or solicitation sting? Find out what charges you may face from a DC solicitation attorney.

In DC, you can be arrested and charged with a DUI even if you do not think you were actually impaired. In order to be convicted of a DUI, all the government has to show is that the driver was impaired to an extent that would impair his or her ability to drive. The government does not need an actual specific Blood Alcohol Concentration (“BAC”) level in order to win in a DUI trial. In addition, because the state has a zero tolerance policy on underage drinking, people below the age of 21 can be charged with DUI if they operate a vehicle with evidence that there was any alcohol in his or her system.

Even if the DUI is your first contact with the criminal justice system, if not handled correctly, that single charge can have significant effects including jail time, high fines, and license revocation.

If you have been arrested for a DUI, it is crucial that you contact a DUI immediately for a number of reasons.

DC DUI Attorneys Can Reduce Jail Terms And Fines

First, the sentences for DUI convictions can be severe. Even the first DUI conviction carries a maximum imprisonment of 180 days and/or a fine of $1,000. There is no minimum mandatory imprisonment.

A second DUI conviction carries a maximum sentence of one year and/or a fine of $2,500 to $5,000. When a person is convicted of a DUI for a second time, the judge has no choice but to sentence the driver to ten days in jail or more.

A third DUI conviction carries a maximum prison sentence of one year and/or a fine of $2,500 to $10,000. A third conviction requires the Judge to sentence the defendant to at least fifteen (15) days in jail.

Each of these prison sentences can increase by 10 to 30 days if the driver’s BAC tested higher than 0.20%.

To make matters worse, certain factors can increase these penalties exponentially. For example, if the vehicle was a commercial vehicle such as a bus or delivery truck, the driver face an additional mandatory five-day jail term on the sentence if convicted. If there were children in the car when the driver was stopped, the sentence will include a mandatory addition 5-10 days of jail time and a minimum fine of $500 for each child that was in the car.

An experienced DC DUI attorney can work to mitigate these consequences by negotiating with the prosecutor and working with the facts of your case to ensure the best possible outcome.

DC DUI Attorneys Can Help You Avoid or Reduce License Cancellations

When someone gets arrested for a DUI in the District of Columbia, an officer will often issue a Notice of Proposed Revocation.

This notice will automatically revoke the driver’s license in ten (10) days if the driver has a D.C. license, and will automatically revoke the driver’s DC driving privileges in fifteen (15) days if the driver has an out-of-state license. The only way to avoid this automatic revocation is to schedule a license revocation hearing (also known as a “show cause”) hearing with the DMV. Scheduling a hearing will stay the revocation until the outcome of that hearing.

At the hearing, the government has the burden of showing that the driver was operating a vehicle while under the influence. The driver is then given the opportunity to cross-examine the officer regarding their testimony, and can make a statement to defend against the accusations. The government has the burden to prove the allegations by clear and convincing evidence, which is a much lower standard than required in criminal court.

If the hearing examiner does find that the government proved their case, the driver’s license will be revoked. The license will be revoked for a minimum of six months if you are a first offender, two years for second offenders, and three years for third offenders.

Being without your license for such long periods of time can be debilitating and frustrating. Fortunately, a DUI attorney can help to ensure the best outcome for your license revocation hearing for a number of reasons. First, the driver does not have to be present at the hearing when an attorney is representing them. This will save the driver the time and hassle of waiting at the DMV at L’Enfant Plaza for the hearing, which can take hours to be heard. Second, an attorney can ensure that the opportunity to cross-examine the officer prior to the trial is utilized to the best advantage for the criminal case. Third, an experienced DC DMV attorney will know all of the nuanced procedural and evidentiary rules of the DMV that can lead to a dismissal of the order based on issues other than the facts of the cases.

In sum, having a DUI lawyer at your hearing is highly recommended, as they will know the specific defenses to argue as well as how to poke holes in police or witness testimoniesso as to defeat the license revocation.

DC DUI Attorneys Can Help In The Aftermath of Your Case

Your DC DUI lawyer can even help you even after your case is over. They can explain how this charge or conviction can affect you in the future, they can advise the driver how to best address the fact of the arrest with employers, and they can explain how to get the DUI charge expunged (or “sealed”) from the criminal record.

Consult a DC DUI attorney today to avoid DC’s harsh DUI penalties.

Social Media

Twitter:  Faced with a DC DUI? Check out the Top 3 Reasons You Need a DC DUI Attorney:  http://bit.ly/IFHzvO

Facebook: DUI charges can mean long jail sentences and stiff fines. Don’t let a DUI ruin your life. Check out the Top 3 Reasons You Need a DC DUI Attorney.

You already know that a civil protection order (CPO)can impose serious restrictions on your behavior for a specific period of time. Does it, however, prohibit you from possessing a firearm in the District of Columbia? According to DC civil protection order attorneys, it does.

What is a CPO?

A CPO is a court orderthat is issued by a D.C. Superior Court judge that imposes restrictions on the respondent. A CPO proceeding is initiated by the petitioner, who alleges that the respondent has committed has committed a criminal offense against them that requires the court to impose limitations against the respondents’ ability to contact or see the petitioner. The respondent must be the petitioner’s current or former spouse or intimate partner, a relative, a housemate, or a co-parent.

If you have been served with a temporary protective order and have a pending CPO trial, a DC CPO attorney can help you understand your rights and prepare your defense for the CPO trial.

Can I handle a firearm if a CPO is against me?

No. If a CPO issued by a civil court is against you, you cannot buy or possess a gun. Most CPOs contains a provision requiring the respondentto relinquish all firearms in his or her possession to local authorities within 24 hours.

This means that it will be a criminal offense for the respondent to possess a gun once a CPO is in effect. Such an offense can carry a sentence of two to tenyears and/or a fine of up to $15,000.

Federal Law also Bar Gun Possession

In addition to DC laws, federal law also prohibitsa person from possessing, purchasing, selling or otherwise handling guns or ammunition while a CPO is in effect. However, for federal law to apply in DC, it must be shown that the CPO:

  1. Was issued by a court where the respondent had notice of its proceedings and was able to attend the proceedings (even if the respondent did not actually attend);
  2. Was issued after a finding was made that the respondent represented a credible threat to the safety of the applicant;
  3. Specifically prohibits the respondent from assaulting, harassing, threatening or stalking the petitioner or doing anything that may cause the petitioner to be reasonably fearful of his/her life or that of a child under his/her care;
  4. Specifically requires the petitioner to surrender your firearms.

The Case of Temporary Protection Orders

Temporary protection orders are issued by a civil court before the actual CPO trial has occurred. They can be issued the day a petition is filed if a judge believes the applicant or his/her child is facing immediate danger. The respondent does not have to be aware that the hearing occurred.

Generally, a temporary protection order does not bar the petitioner from possessing a firearm. However, if the petitioner makes a special request to the judge for an order prohibiting the respondent from possessing a gun and such special request is granted and provided for in the order, the respondent will be prohibited from possessing a firearm.

If you have been served with a temporary protective order, this means that a CPO trial has been scheduled. Contact a DC CPO attorney to help you protect your rights.

Social Media:

Twitter:  Faced with a Civil Protective Order in DC? You may lose your second amendment right to own a firearm. #DCCPOATTORNEY http://bit.ly/IFHzvO

Facebook: Are you breaking the law? Many Americans hold dear their right to possess a firearm. However, if you have a DC civil protective order in force against you, possessing a gun may get you in more hot water.Local DC CPO attorney talks do’s and don’ts when it comes to CPOs and guns.

 

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