Criminal Defense in DC
There are three types of assault that can be charged in the District of Columbia: simple assault, assault with significant injury, and aggravated assault. Simple Assault is a misdemeanor and carries a maximum sentence of 180 days in prison, and/or $1,000 fine. Assault with significant injury is usually charged when injuries to the victim require immediate medical attention or hospitalization. Assault with significant injury carries a maximum prison sentence of three years, and/or a $3,000 fine. Aggravated Assault is the most serious. Assault is “aggravated” if it causes substantial risk of death, obvious disfigurement, extreme physical pain, or unconsciousness. The maximum penalties for aggravated assault are 10 years in prison, and/or a fine up to $10,000.
ASSAULT ON A POLICE OFFICER
Assault on a police officer, or APO, is a criminal offense that can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the severity of the offense. DC assault on a police officer charges are prosecuted aggressively in the District of Columbia. The definition of assault on a police officer is so broad that often people are accused of APO even if they showed no physical aggression against the law enforcement officer. According to the Code of the District of Columbia, misdemeanor assault on a police officer can include actions ranging anywhere from “opposing” to “assaulting” a law enforcement official. The offense is considered a felony crime if the person performs any of the actions included in the misdemeanor charge and also causes significant bodily injury to the law enforcement officer.
Burglary is a criminal offense that is sometimes referred to as trespassing, housebreaking, or B&E (breaking and entering). In Maryland, Burglary is broken down into four different degrees. It is important to know that there are specific types of burglary that may be classified as a felony or a misdemeanor under certain circumstances. One example is Breaking and Entering with explosives. If convicted, the potential jail time will vary greatly depending on the severity of the crime and which degree of burglary you are being charged with committing.
An individual is guilty of theft in the first degree if the property taken or used was worth at least $1,000. If an individual is convicted of theft in the first degree, the penalties include a fine of up to $25,000 and up to 10 years in prison.
An individual is guilty of theft in the second degree if the property taken or used had some value (but the value was less than $1,000). If an individual is convicted of theft in the second degree, the penalties include a fine of up to $1,000 and up to 180 days in jail.
Robbery requires a person to (a) Use force or violence (regardless of whether it is met by resistance or accomplished through stealth and/or speed), or put another person in fear, and (b) to take from the person anything of value. If an individual is convicted of robbery the individual faces the penalty of up to 15 years in prison and/or up to $37,500 in fines.
If a person has “attempted” a robbery through an overt action, that person may face up to three years in prison, and/or up to $12,500 in fines.
It is illegal to knowingly or intentionally possess a controlled substance in the District of Columbia. Simple possession: Simple possession of a controlled substance carries a potential jail sentence of 180 days, a fine of $1,000, or both. Distribution or Possessing with intent to Distribute: A conviction on either charge carries a potential maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and/or a fine of $500,000.
Prostitution is defined as sexual contact with another person in exchange for the giving or receiving of a fee. Because of the law being written this way, both a prostitute and his or her solicitor could be charged with prostitution in the District of Columbia. Convicted offenders can be punished by a fine of up to $300, imprisonment for up to 180 days, or both. Because of the way that the law is written in the District of Columbia, A person who is soliciting a prostitute can be found guilty of solicitation and/or prostitution. A first offense carries a maximum penalty of up to 90 days in jail and/or a fine up to $500. A second offense carries a maximum penalty of up to 180 days in jail and/or a fine up to $1,000. A third or subsequent offense carries a maximum penalty of up to two years in prison and a fine up to $4,000.
If you are found to be carrying a pistol without a license, you could potentially face maximum penalties of five years in prison, a $5,000 fine, or both.Contact usif you are charged with any crime involving either a pistol or other unregistered firearm.
You may be charged with Driving While Intoxicated in the District of Columbia if you are found to have a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of over .08. A first-time violation of these laws could bring a maximum sentence of 180 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine. If you are found to have a BAC of .20 or over, you face a potential mandatory 10 days in jail. The penalties for DUI or DWI, including the mandatory term of imprisonment, increase substantially as your BAC increases and if you have prior convictions for traffic alcohol offenses. Operating While Impaired (OWI) is considered a less serious criminal offense, but the legal standard necessary to sustain a conviction on this charge is much lower. Please visit our DWI lawyer page for more information about those laws and the penalties.
CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY IN WASHINGTON, DC
If you are facing a criminal charge or believe that you are the target of a criminal investigation in Washington, DC, your freedom is at stake. Hector Oropeza is ready to help you. Call (202) 558-6539 to schedule a free consultation with an attorney.