Scrofano Law: Top DC Criminal Lawyer
A DC criminal lawyer at Scrofano Law will fight to restore your freedom when facing criminal charges in DC, Maryland, or Virginia.
You Need a Dedicated Washington DC Criminal Lawyer
Facing criminal charges in DC, MD, or VA? You are not alone!
Choosing an experienced Washington DC criminal and DUI defense lawyer is the most important decision you can make after getting arrested. Scrofano Law PC is a premier criminal, cannabis, and DUI defense Washington DC firm that represents clients in the District of Columbia, Southern Maryland, and Northern Virginia.
No matter what type of criminal charges or allegations you are facing, we are here for you every step of the way. Contacting us is the first step to putting your life back together.
A DC Criminal Defense Attorney Who Won’t Back Down
There are many law firms to choose from. Often, when someone is arrested, they want to find the best criminal or DUI lawyer.
While there is no real way to judge who the best Washington DC criminal lawyer is, it’s important to find a firm that will be honest with you and keep you informed every step of the way. Having a DC criminal defense attorney who communicates with you throughout the process can help you ease your anxiety and focus on what matters most: restoring your freedom, future, and reputation.
Founded in 2010 by Managing Partner Joseph A. Scrofano, our firm believes in three core principles: honesty, commitment, and creativity. Our unique approach to criminal cases involves combining the highest quality legal representation with excellent customer service.
We exclusively focus on DC criminal defense and have experience representing clients throughout the DMV area, including Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax, Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, and the District of Columbia.
MEET OUR ATTORNEYS
A passionate trial lawyer who will aggressively fight for your rights in a DC criminal case.
A tough trial lawyer and skilled negotiator with significant experience in Northern Virginia and DC criminal and traffic cases.
Gretchen has over 25 years of trial expertise needed to help individuals charged with every conceivable crime, both as prosecution and defense, ranging from DUIs and theft to murder.
Getting Arrested in the District of Columbia
A typical criminal case in the District of Columbia starts with an arrest. Before explaining the process, it’s important to define a few key terms. A misdemeanor is a crime that has a maximum penalty of one year or less imprisonment. A felony, on the other hand, is a crime with a maximum penalty of greater than one year.
For an officer to legally make an arrest for a misdemeanor in the District of Columbia, one of three things must happen. On scenario occurs where an officer witnesses the commission of a crime in his or her presence. A typical example of that is a DUI or other traffic-related arrest.
Another scenario where a police officer can legally make an arrest in the District of Columbia occurs when the police obtain an arrest warrant for a person. Getting a warrant usually occurs after someone complains to the police about a crime that did not happen in front of the police. The police must investigate the crime and obtain enough evidence to show “probable cause” that the offense happened, and the person accused committed the offense.
A common example of this scenario involves a simple assault where the aggressor flees the scene before police arrive. The complainant in that situation may complain to the police about what happened but the police need to have the person who committed it identified. So, typically they will try to obtain a picture of the suspect and see if the complainant can identify that person in what’s called a “photo array.” Once the officer or detective believes they have probable cause for the offense, they have to write up an affidavit in support of an arrest warrant and get both a judge and prosecutor to sign off on it.
Finally, there is a third scenario where police make an arrest without a warrant where the suspect does not commit the offense in their presence. This situation involves accusations of domestic violence. Because of special laws meant to protect victims of domestic violence, police are actually required by law to arrest anyone accused of domestic violence by someone who shares an intrafamily relationship with the suspect.
An obvious example occurs when a wife calls the police alleging her husband assaulted or threatened her. In this situation, the police do not have the discretion to just let the person go, they must, by law, make an arrest.
Being Charged with a Crime in DC
Felony offenses can either happen by an arrest warrant or an indictment. The process for obtaining a felony arrest warrant is similar to obtaining one for a misdemeanor. It involves the police conducting an investigation after a complaint is made and then petitioning a prosecutor and judge to sign off on an arrest warrant.
One main difference between felonies and misdemeanors in the District of Columbia is that all felonies must be indicted. Getting an indictment is a process where the prosecutor must present evidence to a grand jury in secret. A grand jury is made up of about 20 members of the community and they must decide whether the prosecutor have presented enough evidence to find probable cause for the charged offenses.
When someone is charged with a misdemeanor, the prosecutors do not have to obtain an indictment from a grand jury. The prosecutor can simply proceed on what’s called a “criminal information.” That document is basically just a formal document stating the offense and the D.C. Code provision the defendant is accused of violating. As previously stated, for felonies, the prosecutors must ultimately obtain an “indictment,” which comes from a grand jury.
However, police may arrest an individual for a felony based on a warrant and initiate the charge against them. They do so by the prosecutors filing a “criminal complaint.” This document serves as the charging document until the prosecutor obtains the indictment. Depending on whether the defendant is released or held in jail usually dictates how much time the prosecutors have between the defendant being “presented” on the criminal complaint and the time they must indict the defendant.
Bail in the District of Columbia
In most criminal cases, the defendant must be released if they are only charged with a misdemeanor. However, there are three scenarios in which a judge can hold an individual charged with a misdemeanor for at least five days. First, if the person has another pending case and picks up a new charge, the judge has discretion to hold them in jail. Second, if the person is on parole or probation, the judge has discretion to hold them in custody. Finally, if the person has another pending charge and is pending sentencing in that case, the judge can keep them in jail.
Because of the District of Columbia Bail Reform Act, most people charged with misdemeanors get released. D.C. outlawed cash bail many years ago and instead operates on a condition-based release system. That means while an most people charged with misdemeanors get released, its not unconditional.
Judges will typically order the defendant to abide by certain conditions like report to the Pretrial Services Agency, which is a probation-like federal agency that supervises people on release. Often time, the judge will order the defendant to drug test or to abide by certain things like stay away from a particular person or a particular place. These conditions can be burdensome and, in certain situations, paternalistic.
For almost all felony charges, the prosecution can ask for a three-day hold and the judge is required by law to grant it if the judge finds probable cause for the offense. The judge will only review something called a “Gerstein affidavit,” which is the officers sworn statement setting out the facts they allege make probable cause for the offense.
In almost all cases, the judge finds probable cause at the initial stage of a case. Once the three-day hold is triggered, the felony case will be set for a preliminary hearing where the judge will hold an evidentiary hearing. At that hearing, the criminal defense attorney can again argue for the defendant’s release. In addition, the government must show probable cause for the offense but this time with live testimony—usually by the arresting officer or detective in the case.
Scrofano Law PC is a premiere criminal, cannabis, and DUI defense firm that represents clients in the District of Columbia, Southern Maryland, and Northern Virginia.
Founded in 2010, by Managing Partner Joseph A. Scrofano, the firm believes in three core principles: honesty, commitment, and creativity.
Our unique approach to criminal cases involves providing the highest quality legal representation simultaneously with the highest quality customer service.
We exclusively focus on criminal defense and have experience representing clients throughout the DMV area, including Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax, Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, Prince William, Loudon, Anne Arundel, Howard, Frederick County, and the District of Columbia.
Choosing experienced criminal and DUI defense attorneys is the most important decision you can make after getting arrested.
DUI & Washington DC Criminal Lawyer Practice Areas
At Scrofano Law PC, we have experience defending criminal charges ranging from domestic violence offenses, gun and drug offenses, sex offenses, solicitation, and prostitution as well as federal criminal cases. Whether you are charged with a violent felony or a theft or fraud type offense, we are ready to defend your rights at every turn.
At Scrofano Law PC, every DC criminal attorney provides aggressive DUI defense on behalf of clients charged in the District of Columbia. Whether it’s a first, second, or greater offense or combined with any other traffic offense like a hit-and-run, a DC criminal lawyer must take great care to listen to his clients’ needs and focus on a strategy to help them get through the situation. We represent them at the DMV to protect their license and relentlessly advocate for them in court. When faced with a loss of license or loss of liberty, let us fight for you in Superior Court.
Getting arrested for a criminal offense in the District of Columbia can be an incredibly stressful event in anyone’s life. DC criminal lawyer Christopher J. Mutimer leads our defense practice and is a passionate attorney who makes his clients feel confident and comfortable. Whether it’s a serious felony offense involving guns or drugs or a misdemeanor assault or solicitation case, Scrofano PC has a team of Washington, DC criminal defense lawyers to represent you.
The Commonwealth of Virginia aggressively enforces and prosecutes DWI and other traffic cases. Enhanced penalties can apply for second and greater offenses, and a DWI conviction in Virginia will result in an automatic license suspension. For folks with commercial driver’s licenses, this can be absolutely devastating. Working with Scrofano PC will ensure that you understand what to expect throughout the process and have dedicated Virginia DWI attorneys at your side.
When faced with an arrest or investigation for a criminal charge in Virginia, Attorney Jay P. Mykytiuk is a tireless advocate who has experience representing clients throughout Northern Virginia in both District and Circuit Courts. Mr. Mykytiuk leads the firm’s Virginia practice group and has the right experience whether the charge is an assault, larceny, reckless driving, or a serious felony case. If you are arrested or under investigation in Arlington, Alexandria, or Fairfax, attorney Mykytiuk has the knowledge and experience to help you navigate this difficult process.
Getting arrested for DUI and/or DWI can be an extremely difficult event for the accused and their loved ones. Maryland DUI laws can impose mandatory minimum sentences and the Maryland MVA will often revoke driver’s licenses, even for an arrest. Police will also make arrests when they suspect drivers are under the influence of drugs, including marijuana. Oftentimes a DUI or DWI arrest can lead to additional charges in Maryland for other traffic offenses as well as gun or drug charges when the driver may have contraband in the vehicle. We understand the gravity of your Maryland DUI situation and will tirelessly fight for your future as your criminal defense attorney.
Attorney Morgan E. Leigh heads up the firm’s Maryland practice. Whether the charge involves solicitation, domestic violence, first- or second-degree assault, theft, or prostitution, attorney Leigh will help you navigate the complicated criminal justice system in Montgomery and Prince George’s County. Whether arrested in Rockville, Gaithersburg, Bethesda, Silver Spring, Hyattsville, College Park, or surrounding areas, contact a criminal defense attorney from Scrofano PC where you will find a dedicated legal team that is eager and ready to help you in this difficult time.
COURT TV APPEARANCES
There are many law firms to choose from. Often time, when someone is arrested, they want to know who the best criminal defense lawyer is or who are the best DUI defense lawyers.
While there is no real way to judge who the best is, its important to find a firm that will be honest with you and keep you informed every step of the way. Having an attorney who communicates with you throughout the process can help ease your anxiety and focus on what matters: putting your life back together.
At Scrofano Law PC, every criminal lawyer has experience defending criminal charges ranging from domestic violence offenses, gun and drug offenses, sex offenses, solicitation and prostitution as well as federal criminal defense cases.
Whether you are charged with a violent felony or a theft or fraud type offense, you will discover a team of attorneys at Scrofano Law PC ready to defend your rights. In addition, we have experience both prosecuting and defending petitions for Temporary Protection Orders (TPOs) and Civil Protection Orders as well as other criminal defense practice areas.
If you are facing criminal charges in Washington DC, your freedom may be at stake. A criminal investigation may change your life, even if you are not guilty of the crime you are being accused of. Working with an experienced defense attorney in Washington DC and a law firm you can trust can help, though.
Being arrested and charged with criminal offenses in Washington, DC, can be stressful and intimidating. If you are convicted of a crime, you may face serious penalties that can include jail time and you will need DC criminal defense. When faced with these circumstances, many people want to choose the best lawyer in the Washington DC area. However, prior results can not guarantee the best outcome for your case.
Hiring a Washington DC criminal defense lawyer who can help you understand the charges you are facing, and who will help you get through the process, restore your freedom and reputation is the most important thing. Attorneys at Scrofano Law PC can build a powerful defense, no matter what are the charges you are facing. Experienced and knowledgeable, these DC criminal defense attorneys will do their best to win your case. Reach out and schedule a consultation regarding your case.
Reach Out to a Skilled DC Criminal Lawyer
No matter how challenging or intricate your case is, Scrofano Law PC is here for you. Our skilled attorneys can direct you through the legal process and defend your rights against even the most aggressive prosecutors. To schedule a confidential consultation, contact us today at (202) 618-2943.
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