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Criminal Defense Lawyer Serving Washington, DC

Have you been charged with a crime in Washington D.C.? The District's legal system can be complex, the majority of criminal violations are prosecuted in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. 


Being arrested and charged with a criminal offense is oftentimes a traumatizing experience. In a matter of moments, your life could be turned upside down and you are staring at the prospect of a potential criminal conviction on your record. If you are convicted, or agree to a plea deal with a conviction included, the offense could follow you for years down the road and hinder your future options.


If you were charged with a traffic violation, a misdemeanor criminal offense, or a felony offense,  then it is critically important to retain the services of a skilled criminal defense lawyer in DC. Once you have a knowledgeable DC criminal defense attorney like Edwin Palacio on your side, he will go to work protecting your rights. Edwin will be there to help you, from initial arrest and arraignment or presentment to pre-trial hearings, and all the way through trial.

Types of Criminal Cases Palacio Law Handles Day In and Day Out

Traffic Violations

While many traffic violations result in citations that are merely an inconvenience, there are instances where a traffic offense could result in criminal misdemeanor charges. Whether you need to fight a ticket to keep too many points from accumulating on your license, or whether you are facing criminal charges as a result of a serious driving offense, now is the time to retain the services of a DC traffic defense lawyer. A skilled attorney can help you understand your legal options and take action to protect your rights. 

DUI Charges

In Washington D.C., DUI is one of the few misdemeanors that carries mandatory-minimum jail time in certain cases. In addition to jail time an person convicted of a DUI could face expensive fines, driving restrictions such as an interlock device and/or a complete loss of driving privileges. Even a first-time drunk driving offender could be ordered to pay a maximum $1,000 fine and/or serve a maximum sentence of 180 days in jail. 


In addition to the court-ordered fines and jail sentences, a DUI conviction can lead to the revocation of your driver’s license, increased auto insurance premiums, decreased credit ratings, travel restrictions, and various other costs. For additional information related to DUI, reach out to a Palacio Law, PLLC for legal help.

Domestic Violence Charges


Domestic violence in the DC area encompasses criminal offenses involving people who are in certain relationships, including: 


  • being married;

  • being in a romantic or sexual relationship;

  • having a child in common;

  • sharing a home; or 

  • sharing a partner either currently, or in the past.


Domestic violence charges are best addressed with the assistance of a skilled domestic violence defense lawyer in DC, regardless of which category of relationship the crime falls under. Why? Because these types of criminal offenses are extremely serious and carry a variety of life-altering penalties.

Drug-Related Offenses


Being charged with a drug or counterfeit substance offense in Washington DC is very serious, and could result in either misdemeanor or felony penalties depending on the severity and nature of the offense. In general, controlled substance crimes involving possession of a small amount of a drug results in a misdemeanor and the possibility of fines and jail time. However, if you are charged for a drug-related offense involving larger amounts of a controlled substance, you could be looking at a potential felony conviction. When it comes to felony criminal offenses, the associated penalties often include years in prison and potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines. This, in turn, can make it difficult for the defendant to find stable employment, housing, loans and other life necessities well after the legal process has finished.


If you are facing a drug-related criminal charge, it is important to hire an effective drug crime defense lawyer in DC. Why? Because a skilled DC criminal defense attorney can provide you with a detailed explanation of the controlled substance laws in the area for your convenience and take steps to potentially reduce your charges, or even have them dropped altogether.

Firearms Charges


Firearm possession laws in the DC area are some of the strictest in the country.  People who have permits to own and carry firearms in other states may face severe criminal penalties if they bring those firearms into the District. Gun possession laws are complex and can be confusing even for gun owners who think they are carrying their firearms responsibly. This makes it easy for people to unwittingly break gun possession laws in DC.


There are several ways that someone may be charged with gun possession in the District of Columbia, however the most common ways are through a search warrant or when an officer comes into someone’s home for another reason.  For example, if the officer has been called about an allegation of domestic violence or some other offense and a gun is alleged to have been in plain sight inside the home, that can lead to a gun charge. Likewise, if a search warrant is executed for some other issue, such as a drug case, and the police search a home for drugs and a gun is found, then they are also likely to be charged.


Another way a firearm criminal charge may arise is during a traffic stop. A police officer may claim to have seen a gun in plain sight during a traffic stop. If a person is arrested at a traffic stop and the person who is driving is subject to a search incident to an arrest, sometimes a firearm is discovered in that fashion as well. Additionally, transporting a firearm through DC can be legal unless they stop within the District and do not have a DC registration.


If you were charged with a firearm offense, contact an effective DC firearm defense lawyer to help guide you through the complexities of the legal system.

Benefits of Hiring a Skilled Criminal Defense Lawyer in DC


If you are on the fence about hiring a lawyer, consider some of the benefits associated with having legal counsel while battling criminal charges. A responsive and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney in DC will work to protect your Constitutional rights during every phase of the case in court. It is also important to remember that every phase of the case is crucial. An initial hearing, known as an arraignment, has the potential to decide important questions moving forward such as pre-trial conditions of release and the production of evidence by prosecutors.


When you have a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer in DC on your side, they will investigate what happened to determine if there are ways to weaken the prosecutor’s case long before the criminal charges get to trial. By examining the legality of the police work that led to the arrest and how the police gathered evidence, your criminal defense lawyer in DC could potentially file pre-trial motions designed to exclude this evidence from a future trial. If the case does go to trial, your DC criminal defense attorney will work to select an impartial jury, cross-examine any government witnesses, and present evidence to challenge the government’s case in a clear and convincing manner.

Being arrested for any alleged violation of the law can be a frightening and intimidating experience. It is essential that people charged with a crime in the DC area be aware of their legal rights and are able to take steps to protect their future. A DC criminal defense lawyer like Edwin Palacio can provide valuable representation and a strong defense in court. Edwin will work tirelessly to protect your Constitutional rights and to formulate a defense that meets your specific goals and that is fitted to the facts of your case.

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