In the face of criminal charges, you may be feeling physically, mentally, and emotionally drained.
Especially when wrongful criminal charges threaten your future, you will need an aggressive and strategic fighter on your side to champion your defense.
DC criminal lawyer Raymond R. Jones has handled thousands of criminal cases throughout his career, and he will put his many years of professional litigation experience to use on your criminal case.
From recreational and criminal marijuana use in DC or driving under the influence, to assault and domestic violence, the DC Law Office of Raymond R. Jones is equipped to strategize your criminal defense in a DC court and fight for your right to a second chance.
When Should You Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney?
You should hire a criminal defense attorney soon as you can. Preferably, it would be helpful to have an attorney present at the moment of your arrest. However, in reality, that is not an option.
That being said, it is highly recommended to attempt to speak with an attorney immediately after being released from your arrest.
Call (202) 640-2889 to speak to our criminal defense attorney in Washington DC about your criminal case today.
Recreational & Criminal Marijuana Use
The District of Columbia, like most states, has specific laws in place for controlled substances and marijuana.
Limited recreational use of marijuana is legal, and a person at least 21 years of age is allowed to:
- Possess up to 2 ounces of marijuana
- Transfer up to 1 ounce of marijuana to another person who is at least 21 years old, so long as there is no payment made or any other type of exchange of goods or services
- Cultivate within their residence up to 6 marijuana plants, no more than 3 of which are mature
- Possess marijuana-related drug paraphernalia (bongs, rolling paper, cigar wrappers) that are associated with up to 1 ounce of marijuana
- Use marijuana on private property
However, certain marijuana-related activity is still illegal, and a person in DC can be arrested and charged for:
- Selling any amount of marijuana to another person
- Possessing more than 2 ounces of marijuana
- Operating a vehicle or boat under the influence of marijuana
- Smoking, eating, or drinking marijuana or carrying a lighted roll of paper or other lighted smoking equipment filled with marijuana in any public space
A DC police officer is authorized to seize any marijuana possessed by a person under age 21, though in most criminal cases they will not arrest the minor or issue a ticket if the amount in possession is less than 2 ounces.
If the person under 21 possesses more than 2 ounces of marijuana, they can be arrested in Washington DC. Also note that using medical marijuana in public remains a criminal offense and could result in arrest.
Visit our page on drug crimes to learn more specific information about the penalties in DC for criminal use of marijuana and other illicit controlled substances.
Driving Under the Influence
The District of Columbia has also implemented serious criminal laws for driving under the influence.
Depending on the situation, Washington DC can charge a driver with operating while impaired by drugs or alcohol (OWI), driving while intoxicated (DWI), or driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI).
Note that actual driving (when the car is in motion) isn’t required to face one of these criminal charges; the motorist merely needs to be in actual physical control of the vehicle.
The charges for drunk or drugged driving are based on the severity of the offense and, primarily, on the number of prior DUI or OWI convictions within the last 15 years.
For a first-time DUI offense in DC, a driver could be facing up to 180 days in jail and/or $1,000 in fines, and a first-time lower-standard OWI offense will carry up to 90 days in jail and/or $500 in fines.
Subsequent offenses will increase in the amount of jail time and fines; visit our DUI page for more specific information on the sentencing guidelines in Washington DC.
The District of Columbia also has an implied consent law that presumes all drivers have consented to testing their breath, blood, or urine to determine the presence of alcohol or drugs.
A DC driver who unlawfully refuses a test will be subject to a 12-month license revocation. This refusal can also be used as evidence against the driver in a DUI trial.
Assault & Domestic Violence Laws
Assault and domestic violence are also crimes with significant weight in the District of Columbia.
It is a misdemeanor to assault another person or threaten them in a menacing manner, where assault is generally a physical act or a show of force that puts another person in fear of imminent harm or offensive physical contact.
Washington DC criminalizes both assaults and threats, so neither injury to nor physical contact with an alleged victim is necessary to face conviction.
Any form of misdemeanor assault charges are punishable by up to 180 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
Domestic violence is a specific crime labeled as an "intrafamily offense" in Washington DC, and charges of domestic violence are applicable to any interpersonal, intimate partner, or intrafamily violence, where an offender commits violence upon a person with whom they:
- Share or have shared a mutual residence
- Are or were married or in a romantic relationship
- Are related to by blood, adoption, legal custody, marriage, or domestic partnership
- Have a child in common
Be aware that a DC police officer has the authority to arrest an allegedly violent partner if they have probable cause to believe that the person committed an intrafamily offense that resulted in physical injury.
Additionally, in many domestic violence cases, an alleged victim may seek to file a protection order against a partner they have deemed to be violent.
The protection or restraining order could set forth certain terms of behavior that, if violated, the defendant could be criminally penalized for in addition to their domestic violence charges throughout DC.
Any violation of a protection order could warrant a fine of up to $1,000 and/or up to 180 days in prison.
Visit our page on violent crimes to learn more specific information about such crimes of assault or domestic violence in Washington DC.
If you are facing criminal charges in Washington DC, contact an experienced DC criminal lawyer immediately.
An experienced DC criminal attorney can help you strategize a strong defense solution in the face of your criminal accusations.
DC criminal defense lawyer Raymond R. Jones is an aggressive and experienced fighter who can combat your defense in DC court, arguing for reduced or dismissed criminal charges whenever possible.
- Honest & Proven Advice
- High-Quality Representation
- Nearly 20 Years of Litigation Experience