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July 5, 2012

Choose D.C. Defense Lawyer Carefully

Choosing a criminal defense lawyer in D.C. is not a matter to be taken lightly.hidingface.jpg

This was further evidenced recently by the recent conviction of a D.C. criminal defense lawyer on charges of promoting perjury and fabrication of evidence.

We know that of course lawyers want to win their cases - but they need to do so within the bounds of law. Otherwise, not only do they suffer, but so will your case.

According to the Washington Post, the 66-year-old attorney was found guilty of six felony counts relating to his illegal attempts to score a win at his client's trial for drug crimes. He was acquitted, though, of a single charge of witness tampering. His trial lasted nearly a month, and two of his staff private investigators were also charged with conspiring to obstruct justice.

The three had waived their rights to a trial by jury, instead opting to have a judge decide their fate.

In the end, the judge voted to convict, saying the evidence against them was "overwhelming."

It started in September 2008, with the trial of a 28-year-old drug dealer, who was being tried on charges of possession of crack cocaine with intent to distribute.

A few months prior to that trial, Metro D.C. police had executed a search warrant at the defendant's grandmother's home. There, they reportedly found nearly 125 grams of crack, as well as about $2,000 in cash, a digital scale and one very expensive pair of boots.

The defendant was subsequently arrested, and was facing more than two decades behind bars - minimum.

His attorney had tried to negotiate a plea deal, but his client rejected it.

As the case was approaching trial, the attorney reportedly directed his investigators, the drug dealer, the drug dealer's girlfriend and relatives to create evidence that was fake and to lie in court. The investigators and the relatives reportedly staged certain photographs to indicate that the drugs reportedly were the dealer's younger brother's. Additionally, a lease document was created to make it seem as if the dealer was living somewhere other than with his grandmother at the time of the raid.

The staging reportedly even went so far as to have the girlfriend drive to New York on the eve of the trial, purchase a pair of those same expensive boots, which were smaller than the original pair, that were then introduced at trial as belonging to the younger brother.

In the end, the jury deadlocked, with 11 of 12 jurors voting to convict. But the one hold-out forced the federal judge to declare a mistrial.

It's not clear what exactly tipped prosecutors off to what had reportedly happened, but once they realized, they charged the drug dealer and his family with obstruction of justice. He ultimately pleaded guilty to the drug dealing, as well as obstruction and witness tampering. His girlfriend, as well as two of his brothers, also pleaded guilty to a number of charges, though they agreed to cooperate with investigators in the case against the defense attorney.

The bottom line is that there are a number of ways a skilled attorney can defend your case. Instructing you to lie under oath is not one of them.

Continue reading "Choose D.C. Defense Lawyer Carefully" »

February 4, 2012

Occupy D.C. Protesters Vow To Stay in McPherson Square

The Occupy D.C. protest movement is still going strong, even though news reports have faded off in recent months.

As the news agencies turn their attention toward the political season, the Occupy movement has lost some steam in news coverage, but not in effort. There are still many people in many cities who are trying to make a difference and improve our country. Yet, for many people, these protests have led to legal problems.megaphone.bmp
Washington D.C. criminal defense lawyers have scoffed at the way city leaders and police have treated these people -- the same people whose rights they are sworn to uphold. Some have been beaten and others have simply been treated unfairly. Many cases have involved juveniles charges in Washington D.C., while others are young adults in or just out of college.

According to a recent story by Agence France-Presse, protesters have said the movement "will never die," vowing to ensure the people in power still feel their pressure.

Some protesters have said that if city officials attempt to evict them from encampments, they will simply grow, as it will show that authorities are trying to abuse their power. Outrage over economic inequities and power over everyday citizens is what has led the protests to go strong now since October.

Groups have since grown to Occupy DC, Occupy Washington and Occupy Congress, among others. Groups are still trying to remain strong despite city leaders trying to evict protest camps nationwide.

While eviction is a major concern for protesters, it isn't the only issue they face. Criminal charges have been been levied against Occupy protesters in D.C. and in other cities across the nation. This is another tactic that police and others have used as a way to intimidate people into leaving.

While this may cause the movement to expand, it also has worked to disrupt many lives. While a majority of the charges have been misdemeanor charges in Washington D.C., they still can cause major problems. A criminal record for a high school student trying to get into college can be devastating. A college graduate who is trying to make their voice heard could end up with fewer job and career prospects if they are arrested and convicted.

That's why fighting these charges, regardless of how minor they may seem, is important. Job applications often ask about convictions, even for misdemeanor charges. If a person answers yes, they could end up being eliminated from many job opportunities or promotion chances.

While the movement is powerful and necessary, the protesters themselves must ensure that they have sound legal representation if they are in trouble with the law. Peaceful protests are allowed by law and law enforcement should respect that. Many of the arrests made have been on false pretenses and can be cleared up by prosecutors dropping the cases.

But even an arrest can be damaging and police are using their power to intimidate, in many cases. Make sure your voice is heard and you protest peacefully. But if officers trying to break it up through unlawful arrests, contact an experienced Washington D.C. criminal defense lawyer immediately. You have rights and they must be respected.

Continue reading "Occupy D.C. Protesters Vow To Stay in McPherson Square" »

March 11, 2011

Let Our Thoughts and Prayers Be With the People of Japan

cherry blossom.jpgThe Law Office of Daniel A. Gross asks our friends to keep the Japanese people, and all those affected by this great tragedy, in their thoughts and prayers today.

After suffering an earthquake of tremendous magnitude, and now a major tsunami, we pray for as safe and quick a recovery as possible.

Below are some links that you can use to keep up with news and current events:

NHK World English Edition

The Daily Yomiuri Newspaper Online English Edition

March 7, 2011

The Law Office of Daniel A. Gross, Proudly Presents New Washington, DC Resource for DWI, DUI, OWI, and Traffic Violations Defense.

http.jpgI am proud to present my new DUI, DWI, OWI, and traffic violations defense website and the DC DWI Lawyer Blog so that it may serve as resource to people charged with drunk driving a or traffic violation in the District of Columbia. I invite you to read all the articles and frequently asked questions (FAQs), but please understand this information is only general advice and should not be a substitute for speaking with a licensed Washington, DC attorney.

I have found that DUI defense has become an extremely complex area of criminal defense and requires special knowledge and training to get better results for clients. For that reason, I have attended continuing legal education in drunk driving and speeding ticket defense in Washington, DC. I am also trained in administering the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) standardized field sobriety tests (SFSTs). This is the same training required by DC police who administer the tests to suspected drunk drivers.

There are many lawyers who believe that pleading guilty to a first offense is standard practice; a strong defense requires a thorough investigation, knowledge of police procedure and equipment, and a desire to fight the charges in court where appropriate.

December 23, 2010

Best Wishes for a Joyous Holiday Season and a Prosperous New Year

Thumbnail image for 1244412_christmas_background_2.jpgDear clients and friends,

At the close of the first calendar year of operation, I would like to thank everyone for the continuing support and advice you have all given me from the time I first decided to hang my own shingle as a criminal defense lawyer in Washington, DC. As I have been reflecting on all that has happened in the past year, I would like to share a few of my thoughts.

When you first tell people you are planning on starting a private criminal defense firm in a major city like Washington, DC, you often get strange looks from people wondering how a small firm can possibly compete with the many giant law firms that are headquartered throughout the District of Columbia. The answer to this question is that I am not competing with them. I am happy to serve individual clients who could never even so much as afford a consultation at one of those firms. I am happy to be in the trenches fighting for my client's rights at the Criminal Division of the DC Superior Court or fighting for the right's of a parent at DC Public School hearing. It is with the support of all of you that I am able to do this.

I would also like thank some fellow lawyers in the communities who have shared their time and advice on running a small firm in Washington, DC. Lawyers like Jamison Koehler, Matt Kaiser, and Lisa Goldblatt, who have taken time from their busy days to share their experiences and advice with me.

Once again, I would like to extend my best wishes for a joyous holiday season and a prosperous new year.