District of Columbia Criminal Lawyer

Call (888) 519-6013 to speak with a criminal defense attorney.

Criminal law governs all aspects of criminal offenses and the legislation applicable to dealing with criminal suspects. If you have been accused of a crime taking place within the jurisdiction of the District of Columbia, whether or not you are guilty, you need to hire an attorney. A qualified District of Columbia criminal lawyer attorney will be able to competently handle all phases of criminal trial actions, including precautions that may be necessary to handle arrests, pleas and pretrial hearings, as well as the actual trial proceedings. A good criminal defense lawyer must also be proficient in handling other legal issues, such as selection of appropriate jurors, the motions and evidence interrogation, and any possible remedies that may help in the event of a conviction, including but not limited to, pleas filed in appellate courts.

A 'crime' can be defined as any act in violation of a public law forbidding it, or an omission of an act in violation of a law commanding it. Though there are some common law crimes, most crimes in the United States are established by local, state, and federal governments. Criminal laws vary significantly from state to state. Crimes include both felonies and misdemeanors.

Felonies are the more serious of the two, and include such crimes as arson, aggravated assault, murder, rape and grand theft. Felonies can also be defined as crime requiring incarceration in a state or federal prison, for a period of over one year. Misdemeanors are lesser crimes such as vandalism, simple assault, DUI, drug possession, and prostitution. Misdemeanors are also crimes that are punishable by incarceration in a local or county jail, for less than one year.

The legal system requires that any accused must be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in order to be convicted of a crime. This means that a prosecutor as well as the jurors, in case of a jury trial, must begin with the assumptions of innocence until proven guilty. Crimes are dealt with in terms of severity and whether they are state or federal crimes.

The justice system is variable by jurisdiction and the nature of the proceedings in different jurisdictions can also be quite different. An experienced criminal attorney who is conversant in the nuances of state laws can provide a qualified defense to an accused facing a trial in a court of law. This means that the attorney is obligated by the legal system to protect the rights and best interests of the client during the trial process. Also, a criminal lawyer retained by an accused or even consulted briefly owes complete confidentiality and cannot reveal case-related details even after the trial, unless compelled by law. In the event that a case goes to trial even after filing guilty pleas and negotiations with the prosecutor, the criminal lawyer can arrange for bail if the accused has been taken into custody.

If you are facing a criminal charge, seeking professional legal representation immediately is your best course of action. If you are ready to contact a District of Columbia criminal lawyer or attorney, visit the website of the American Bar Association. Few people qualify for a court appointed lawyer at the publics expense, and you do not want to go at it alone. The ABA's website features a lawyer locater, which can help you search for a criminal lawyer or attorney in the District of Columbia. Access is free.