Washington DC Criminal Defense Lawyer
Being accused of a crime, or even investigated for involvement in criminal activity, can drastically disrupt your life and potentially change the course of your future. With legal representation from an experienced Washington, DC criminal defense lawyer, you can preserve your rights and your freedom. Criminal defense attorney Jason Kalafat is committed to providing superior legal services and aggressive defense against an array of misdemeanor and felony criminal charges which will give you the confidence you need as you prepare to defend your legal record, and your future.
The sheer vastness of the legal field can be daunting. And when it comes to the subset of criminal law, the seemingly endless variety of cases, and potential risks, can be frightening for those individuals who find themselves charged with such crimes. Most people have heard of misdemeanor and felony charges, but it can be hard to grasp the immense range of crimes that fall under those two categories, as well as the range of penalties that can result from these charges. Whether you’re looking at your first DUI charge, or federal prosecution, it is important that you find a well-qualified and dedicated Washington, DC criminal defense attorney.
Driving under the influence is among the most common criminal charges doled out in the District. The term DUI strikes fear into most heart and it’s a crime that is universally condemned. However, the vast majority of DUI cases don’t involve blatant disregard for safety, but rather stem from minor traffic violations and involve people who made the easy mistake of not realizing that extra glass of wine at dinner, or one more beer with the gang at happy hour after work, put them over the legal limit. DUI charges can run the gamut from misdemeanor to felony. No matter the severity of the DUI charge, they all have the potential to result in significant ramifications. An employer might deem a DUI conviction worthy of termination, and potential employers may view a DUI conviction as a sign of liability in new job recruits. You may find your driving privileges restricted, or revoked, making it difficult to get to school or your place of work, or care for your daily needs. A dedicated DUI defense attorney understands that the first DUI charge is not only upsetting, it’s humiliating. That same attorney understands every subsequent DUI charge brings with it harsher penalties and the risk of devastating consequences.
Federal crimes are also frequently investigated and filed in the DC Metro region, and a conviction of a federal crime can carry some of the worst court-ordered penalties — from extensive prison terms to massive fines and restitution fees. These cases are heard in federal court, not state courts — where caseloads are severely back-logged and where many judges and prosecutors are willing to work with defense attorneys on plea agreements and other positive resolutions in an effort to alleviate the heavy caseloads. Federal law enforcement agencies and federal prosecutors typically do not suffer from those same crowded conditions, and they have an almost unlimited amount of resources at their disposal when it comes to prosecuting your case. Meanwhile, the mere investigation for a federal crime can carry heavy professional and social shame. Just being charged or accused of these crimes can forever alter your professional and personal paths. You need to ensure that you have a strong federal criminal defense attorney who is equally focused and dedicated to your case, and your rights.
If you have been charged with a crime in the District of Columbia, whether it be a misdemeanor DUI or a federal offense, it is critical that you retain a criminal defense attorney with a proven track record of winning cases similar to your own. You need an experienced defense lawyer who is able to handle your case, no matter how complicated it may be, in an efficient and effective manner, so that you can focus on maintaining and moving forward with your life. A knowledgeable Washington, DC criminal defense attorney will thoroughly scrutinize every facet of your case in the search for exonerating evidence as well as evidence of wrong-doing by authorities. A well-qualified DC criminal defense attorney will craft a defense strategy that can anticipate, and dismantle, serious obstacles before they arise in court. And a dedicated criminal defense lawyer will never stop working to protect your interests, whether it is pushing for a not guilty verdict or mitigating any exposure you may face if you are convicted. All these skills will not only benefit you in the courtroom, they will ease your fears and comfort you during a time that can be extremely challenging on both an emotional and psychological level. Never underestimate the peace of mind that comes from knowing you have a skilled and aggressive Washington, DC criminal defense attorney fighting for you.
Jason Kalafat is well-qualified to handle a variety of criminal cases, including misdemeanor, felony, DUI, and federal criminal charges.
In 2012, the District of Columbia adopted stricter standards and more stringent penalties for driving under the influence. The minimum BAC (blood alcohol concentration) level for which you can be automatically charged with driving while intoxicated is still .08, unless you are operating a commercial vehicle at the time of your arrest, in which case the BAC level for which you can be charged is just .04. These limits, however, are only the limits for which the district is legally allowed to assume you were intoxicated without any other evidence; if there were other observable indicators that you were driving drunk, you may face charges even if your BAC was below the legal level.
If you are convicted of driving under the influence, the penalty for a first time violation is a fine of $1,000 and a prison term of no longer than 180 days. The penalties increase as your BAC at the time of the arrest grows, with more serious penalties at BAC levels of .20 and .25.
Driving under the influence and driving while intoxicated are criminal offenses, and a conviction results in legal penalties such as fines, jail time, and probation, as well as administrative penalties including driver’s license suspension. Furthermore, a DUI conviction carries personal ramifications, such as restricted or revoked driving privileges, financial difficulties associated with higher insurance premiums, and a criminal record that can impact employment options, student status, and security clearance.
A lawyer who is dedicated to your defense, who is trained in the use of tools for prosecution, and who has a proven record of success is a vital ally in protecting yourself against DUI charges.
From misdemeanor marijuana possession to felony drug distribution, there is a range of criminal drug offenses for which one may be prosecuted in Washington, DC. A case of first offense simple drug possession may be successfully negotiated to a diversion program, but more serious felony drug crimes such as drug distribution require more vigorous defense strategies. Jason Kalafat will examine every aspect of your arrest and charge to find the best possible defense for your unique case. From illegal search and seizure to insufficient evidence, there are a number of strategies by which a high-caliber drug lawyer can challenge the state’s case against you.
To be convicted of drug possession in the District of Columbia, prosecutors must prove three separate and important facts of your case: that you were in possession of a substance, that the substance is a controlled or illegal substance, and that your possession of that substance was intentional.
If you are found to be guilty of drug possession, you could face a fine of up to $1,000 and/or a 180-day prison term. The penalties for a conviction will increase if you have previous drug related convictions on your record, or if it can be shown that you had distributed the substance or had the intent to distribute it.
The common use of the term assault typically refers to a physical act of violence, but to be convicted under District of Columbia law, you need only to exhibit the threat of force on another person that causes them to believe that they are in immediate danger. If that threat is eventually followed through on and there is an actual act of violence committed, the penalties for assault increase dramatically. Simple assault, which is tried as a misdemeanor, includes intent-to-frighten, attempted battery and non-violent offensive touching. A conviction of any of these crimes could carry a fine of up to $1,000 and/or up to 180 days in prison.
If you are found guilty of assault with intent to kill, assault with a dangerous weapon, sexual assault or other forms of aggravated assault, you could be convicted of a felony. The penalties for this type of conviction include a maximum fine of $10,000 and/or a maximum prison term of 10 years or longer.
Federal crimes, many of which are often referred to as “white collar” offenses, are violations of federal law. Common Federal charges include fraud, embezzlement, perjury, money laundering, identity theft, and even child pornography. If you are found to have committed one of these acts in violation of federal law, you could be charged and tried in a federal court as opposed to the Superior Court of Washington DC. Jason Kalafat has experience representing clients against these types of charges and will make sure that you get the best possible representation if you are headed to trial. Please contact us to find out how we may be able to help you and the services we are able to provide in this area of criminal defense.
If you have been charged with any criminal offense in Washington, DC, Jason Kalafat has the skill, experience, and knowledge to vigorously protect your interests in the face of prosecution.
What Can an Attorney Do For You?
Unfortunately, too many people think that hiring a defense attorney will make them appear guilty, perhaps leading authorities to the conclusion that they have something to hide. However, having legal representation from an attorney is not an indication of guilt but rather a constitutional right. If you have been accused of a crime, it is important to remember that you are being prosecuted by experienced lawyers determined to prove your guilt. Defense attorneys not only strive to protect clients from unfair prosecution, they protect the legal rights and interests of defendants from arrest through prosecution and court proceedings.
Washington, DC law enforcement officers build a case against you using the full force of government agencies. Having an experienced attorney on your side will help level the field.
It is important to find a DC criminal defense lawyer as early in your case as possible. Keep in mind the following:
- Anything you say to law enforcement officials, police, or federal agents can and will be used against you to prosecute your case. Trying to “clear things up” without advice from a lawyer can lead to the manipulation of your words.
- Most evidence used by the prosecution is gathered in the initial stages of a criminal investigation. A criminal lawyer in DC can protect your constitutional rights, preventing illegal search and seizure, during these early stages of investigation. Furthermore, as prosecutors gather evidence to mount a case against you, a lawyer can preserve evidence to support your defense.
- Prosecutors and district attorneys often push for maximum sentencing. Attorney Jason Kalafat has proven successful at negotiating reduced charges and lighter sentencing, including probation over jail time. Where dismissal is impossible and fighting for acquittal is an unwise legal move in light of the evidence, skillful negotiation is imperative to reach the optimum legal result.
To protect your interests, you need an intelligent, motivated criminal defense team behind you. Defense attorneys understand the urgency of criminal charges and will work diligently to ensure that your rights are preserved at every stage of a criminal proceeding.
Washington DC Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with a criminal offense in Washington, DC, protect your rights and your freedom by retaining a lawyer dedicated to handling your case efficiently and professionally. Whether you are facing misdemeanor or felony charges, Jason Kalafat is in your corner to provide an assertive defense. Call (202) 552-0897, or click here, for a free consultation with experienced DC attorney Jason Kalafat.