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Definitions


Armed Robbery
: The essential elements of armed robbery are: 1) the taking of property of some value from someone against that person’s will; 2) from that person’s immediate actual possession or from their person; 3) taking something by force or violence, putting that person in fear, or by sudden or stealthy seizure or snatching; 4) taking the property away; 5) taking something without right to the property, and with the specific intent to steal it; 5) taking property while armed.

Assault: Includes attempted battery and intent-to-frighten. The essential elements of assault are: 1) an attempt or effort, with force or violence, to injure another person; 2) that at the time the attempt or effort is made, there is an apparent present ability to injure that person; 3) that the attempt or effort is made voluntarily and on purpose, not by mistake or accident; and 4) that the conduct is not justified by the use of reasonable parental discipline.

Attorney-Client Relationship: A crucial relationship that must be based on trust and consistent communication between a criminal attorney and his or her client.

Conspiracy: An agreement between two or more people to commit a crime. One of the people involved in the agreement must do something for the purpose of carrying out the conspiracy.

Criminal Defense Attorney (Criminal Attorney): A criminal lawyer licensed to practice law who specializes in defending people charged with or being investigated for committing crimes.

D.C. Law Students in Court Program: One of the oldest and most highly regarded clinical programs in Washington, D.C. Participants represent clients on adult criminal misdemeanor charges and juvenile criminal cases of all kinds in D.C. Superior Court.

D.C. Department of Corrections: In charge of D.C. Department of Corrections and the Central Detention Facility.

Drug Possession: The knowing and intentional possession of a controlled substance.

Drug Distribution: To knowingly and intentionally transfer or attempt to transfer a measurable amount of a controlled substance to another person.

DUI/DWI:“DUI” means “Driving Under the Influence” of alcohol or a drug. To be found guilty of DUI, the government must prove that someone operated a motor vehicle while his or her ability to do so was so impaired by the consumption of alcohol or other substance that it impaired his or her ability to drive in a way that a reasonable prudent unimpaired driver would operate a motor vehicle. “DWI” is an abbreviation for “Driving While Intoxicated.” To be found guilty of DWI, the government must prove that someone operated a motor vehicle while their blood-alcohol level was .08 grams per 100 milliliters of blood or was under the influence of an intoxicating drug.

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI): The principal investigative unit of the Justice Department.

Felony: In the District of Columbia, a criminal offense that carries a potential sentence of incarceration of more than one year.

Fraud: To engage in a scheme or systematic course of conduct with the intent to obtain the property of another by means of a false pretense or promise, and to then obtain property of value as a result of the scheme.

The George Washington University Law School: Located in Washington, D.C., George Washington Law School is consistently ranked among the top 20 law schools in the United States.

The George Washington Law Review: A student publication that examines legal issues of national significance. Usually, only the top 10% of law students are selected to participate.

Gun Charges: Include carrying a pistol without a license, the carrying openly or concealing of an operable pistol knowingly and voluntarily without a license, possession of an unregistered firearm, and unlawful possession of ammunition.

Investigation: A very important part of defending a criminal case. It involves finding and speaking with witnesses, taking statements, uncovering physical evidence, database searches, taking photographs, etc.

Metropolitan Police Department (MPD): The local police department in the District of Columbia. It operates out of seven district headquarters.

Misdemeanor: In the District of Columbia, a criminal offense carrying a potential sentence of incarceration of one year or less. Most misdemeanor offenses in the District of Columbia carry a maximum sentence of 180 days of incarceration.

Murder: Causing the death of someone with either the specific intent to kill and premeditation (planning) and deliberation (first degree murder) or with conscious disregard of an extreme risk of death or serious bodily injury (second degree murder).

Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia (PDS): Organization that represents people who cannot afford an attorney and are charged with serious offenses in Washington, D.C.

Sex Offenses: Includes first, second, third, fourth degree and misdemeanor sexual abuse.

Temple University – Beasley School of Law – LL.M in Trial Advocacy: The longtime leader in teaching trial advocacy, the school offers a Master’s in Laws degree following the completion of an intensive program that includes training in subjects such as litigation strategy, expert witnesses, persuasive speaking, jury selection, and advanced trial evidence.

United States Attorney’s Office: Principal prosecutor for all non-traffic offenses in this jurisdiction.

Washington, D.C. Criminal Defense Attorney (Criminal Attorney): A criminal lawyer licensed to practice law in the District of Columbia who specializes in defending people charged with or being investigated for committing crimes in the District.

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