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02. Criminal Law

Criminal Law

There are two prosecutorial entities in the District of Columbia: the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) and the United States Office of the Attorney General (USAO). If you have been charged with a crime by either entity, you are not alone. At Wagner PLLC, attorney Camille Wagner will zealously defend your case in both D.C. Courts and Federal Courts. 

Assault & Violent Crimes

Assault: In DC, assault charges are governed by D.C. Code §§ 22–401 – 22–408. When you hear the word assault, you probably go straight to thinking of a physical altercation. In DC, however, you could also be charged with assault for threatening violence – without any physical contact actually occurring. Assault charges in DC vary in severity from misdemeanor simple assault to felony aggravated assault. If you have been charged with any form of assault, you will potentially be facing heavy fines and/or jail time. 


Threats: In DC, threat charges are governed by D.C. Code §§ 22–407, 22–1810. There are two forms of the criminal offense of “threats” in Washington, D.C.: (i) threats to do bodily injury, and (ii) threats to kidnap or injure a person or damage his/her property. Threat charges in DC vary in severity from misdemeanor threat to do bodily injury to felony threats. If you have been charged with any form of threats, you will potentially be facing heavy fines and/or jail time.


Kidnapping: In DC, kidnapping is governed by D.C. Code § 22–2001. Traditionally, kidnapping was defined as the forcible asportation (carrying away) of the individual to another country. DC has broadened its statute to include seizing, confining, abducting, or carrying away an individual against his/her will. Kidnapping may be charged as either a violation of DC law or federal law. If you have been charged with kidnapping, you are facing up to 30 years in prison. 


Arson: In D.C., arson is governed by D.C. Code §§ 22–301 – 22–303. Under these codes, a person commits arson when he or she destroys another person’s or entity’s property by fire. The property can be either real or personal property not belonging to the alleged offender. It is also criminal to burn your own property if doing so was intended to defraud or injure another person. Depending on which underlying arson code you are being charged with, you could face up to $1,000 in fines and/or up-to 15 years in prison. 

If you have been charged with any kind of Assault or Violent Crime, call us now! With an experienced criminal attorney by your side, Wagner PLLC will fight for you.

Homocide


In DC, homicide charges are governed by D.C. Code §§ 22–2101 – 22–2107. 

 

In DC, a person is guilty of first-degree murder when he/she intends to kill another purposely, with premeditation and deliberation, or kills while in the process of committing a felony. An individual is guilty of second-degree murder if he or she has the required mental state before the killing, but the crime was not premeditated. The distinction between first-degree and second-degree murder is that first-degree murder requires premeditation, while second-degree murder requires only proof of malice after the thought.

When someone acts upon a sudden quarrel or heat of passion on sufficient provocation or kills in the unreasonable, but good faith belief that deadly force is necessary for self-defense, then murder can be reduced to voluntary manslaughter. Similarly, death caused by criminal negligence can reduce the murder charge to involuntary manslaughter. 

In DC, the punishment for murder is a mandatory minimum 30-year prison term and can be up to life imprisonment without release. The punishment for manslaughter could also include a fine of up to $250,000.
 

If you have been charged with any kind of Homicide, call us now! With an experienced criminal attorney by your side, Wagner PLLC will fight for you.

Solicitation & Prostitution 

In DC, solicitation and prostitution charges are governed by D.C. Code §§ 22–2701 – 22–2725. 


Prostitution: Prostitution is defined as sexual contact with someone else in exchange for a fee. The contact does not have to be intercourse and the fee does not have to be cash. In DC, the Metropolitan Police Department combats prostitution in a variety of ways. One of these is by marking what are called “Prostitution Free Zones”. Penalties for violating such a zone include a potential $300 fine and/or a 180-day jail sentence.


Solicitation: Solicitation is the act of offering, inviting, enticing, or persuading someone to engage in prostitution or agreeing to participate in prostitution. DC solicitation is a misdemeanor offense. This means the first time you are convicted of solicitation, you will face up to 90 days in jail and/or up-to $500 in fines. However, if this is not your first offense, the penalties are increased. For example, a second offense of solicitation carries penalties of up to 180 days in jail and/or $1,000 in fines.
 

If you have been charged with any kind of solicitation or prostitution, call us now! With an experienced criminal attorney by your side, Wagner PLLC will fight for you.

Drug Possession & Distribution

It is important for any individual who is arrested or being investigated for illegal drug activity to contact an attorney as soon as possible. There are constitutional concerns with searches and seizures associated with the tactics used by law enforcement. It is very important to have an experienced attorney by your side to ensure your rights are not violated. 

In DC, drug charges are governed by D.C. Code §§ 48–901 – 48–907. When someone is charged with a drug crime, the penalties will be dictated by the circumstances of the individual's arrest and how the prosecutor forms their case. Those variables can include the:

  1. Type of drug

  2. Classification of crime 

    • Misdemeanor

    • Felony 

  3. Type of crime

    • Drug possession

    • Possession with intent to distribute

    • Distribution of drugs

    • Conspiracy to distribute

    • Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute

    • Possession of drug paraphernalia

  4. Criminal history of the defendant

  5. Location of the crime

If you have been charged with any form of drug crimes, you will potentially be facing heavy fines and/or jail time. This is why it is so important that you call us now!

With an experienced criminal attorney by your side, Wagner PLLC will fight for you.

Weapons Violations

Although the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees your right to bear arms, there are many restrictions and laws that also exist to ensure this right is exercised responsibly. Not abiding by these restrictions can result in serious criminal charges. In DC, weapons charges are governed by D.C. Code §§ 22–4501 – 22–4517.

  • Types of Weapons Violations

  • Carrying a Pistol without a License

  • Carrying a Dangerous Weapon

  • Unlawful Possession of a Firearm 

  • Possession of a Prohibited Weapon

  • Possession of an Unregistered Firearm 

  • Possession of Ammunition

  • Possession of a Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device

 

Gun Penalties in DC


For a misdemeanor gun offense like possession of an unregistered firearm or unregistered ammunition, the maximum penalty is one year in DC jail, a fine of up to $1,000, or the person could be put on a period of probation in lieu of jail or in addition to the jail term.
For a felony gun charge, an individual is looking at years in prison. For example, for carrying a pistol without a license, an individual could receive a penalty of up to 10 years in prison and fines in the thousands of dollars.
 

If you have been charged with any kind of firearm/weapon possession, call us now! With an experienced criminal attorney by your side, Wagner PLLC will fight for you.
 

Theft Crimes

In DC, theft and shoplifting charges are governed by D.C. Code §§ 22–3211 – 22–3216 while robbery charges are governed by D.C. Code §§ 22–801 – 22–803.


Theft: An individual may be charged with theft if there is evidence that they took or retained someone else’s property and deprived the rightful owner of it, or converted the use of it to their own or that of another person. The legal penalty the individual would face depends on the value of the goods or service in question. As an example, if the theft is valued at less than $1,000, it is considered a misdemeanor charge and carries a potential of 180 days in jail and $1,000 in fines. On the other hand, if the property is valued at $1,000 or more, it is considered a felony charge, and the accused could face up to 10 years in prison and $5,000 in fines. 


Shoplifting: In general, taking merchandise from stores with the intention to permanently keep the merchandise constitutes shoplifting in DC. There are three elements of shoplifting that the government is required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt to sustain a conviction for shoplifting. If someone is convicted of shoplifting in DC, the maximum penalties a judge could sentence them to are 90 days in jail, a fine of $500, or both. 

Robbery: Generally, the crime of robbery is taking property directly from another person’s possession and using physical force or violence in order to take it. A person could be charged with attempted robbery, robbery, or armed robbery. An attempt to commit robbery is punishable by a maximum of three years in prison, a $12,500 fine, or both. A robbery is punishable by a mandatory minimum of two years in jail but cannot be greater than 15 years. A fine may also follow a conviction of robbery but cannot exceed $37,500. Armed robbery, where a person commits a robbery with a firearm or other dangerous weapon, increases the potential punishment to 30 years in prison.
 

If you have been charged with any kind of theft crimes, call us now! With an experienced criminal attorney by your side, Wagner PLLC will fight for you.

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If you have been charged with any kind of misdemeanors or felonies, call us now!

 

With an experienced criminal attorney by your side, Wagner PLLC will fight for you.