Criminal Defense ATTORNEY


Sean Riley is a criminal defense attorney practicing law in Washington, D.C. and Maryland. He has zealously represented hundreds of juveniles and adults in criminal cases in D.C. Superior Court and the Maryland District Courts. Riley Legal provides exceptional legal service in all major and minor criminal matters, including legal representation for clients charged with:

* Drunk driving (DUI)

* Aggravated Assault

* Possession of unregistered firearm

* Juvenile offenses

CAN THE POLICE STOP ME? Not without legal justification. In order for the police to stop you the Supreme Court has ruled that police must have reasonable articulable suspicion that there is criminal activity afoot and that you are involved in the activity. Police may not act on on the basis of an unclear and unparticularized suspicion or a hunch - there must be some specific articulable facts along with reasonable inferences from those facts to justify the intrusion. Ask the officer if you are free to leave. If the officer says yes then walk away. If you are a passenger in a car, you can ask if you are free to leave. If the officer says yes, sit silently or calmly leave.

CAN THE POLICE TOUCH ME? In order to frisk you the Supreme Court has ruled that the police must have independent reasonable articulable suspicion that the person is armed and dangerous before they may touch you or put their hands on you (a cursory patdown for weapons). Police may not act on on the basis of an unclear and unparticularized suspicion or a hunch - there must be some specific, actual & articulable facts along with reasonable inferences from those facts to justify the intrusion.

CAN THE POLICE DEMAND MY IDENTIFICATION? In DC & Maryland citizens are not required to possess, or carry with them, any means of identification, nor absent unusual circumstances, can citizens be required to account for their presence in a public place. You have no obligation to show ID and cannot be arrested only for failing to identify yourself. 

Police may order you to present your drivers license after a lawful traffic stop. On the street, If police believe you have committed a pedestrian violation they may demand you to reveal your name and address in order to issue you a Notice of Infraction. Also, in DC, if police reasonably believe you possess one ounce or less of marijuana they may demand your name and address in order to issue a Notice of Infraction. You are not required to produce or display documentary evidence of identity unless the police reasonably suspect the information of being fictitious.

However, if the police reasonably suspect that you are committing, have committed or are about to commit a crime, they may briefly detain you for questioning. Under these circumstances, the officers may request your identification and an explanation for your actions.

SHOULD I ANSWER THE OFFICER’S QUESTIONS? “Not without my lawyer.” The 5th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects everyone, even innocent people, from the need to answer questions if the truth might be used to help create the misleading impression that they were somehow involved in a crime that they did not commit. What you say, as well as what you write or sign, can be used against you. Police are often looking for evidence, trying to get it from you – your own words and your documents! The things you say and the information you provide will be the evidence used against you. Police officers are lawfully allowed to lie or use deception that is likely to induce even an innocent suspect to confess or make incriminating statements. For instance, police may exaggerate the strength of their case or minimize the seriousness of the situation or mislead the suspect into believing that his cooperation will lead to immunity or leniency or exoneration. Police are also under no legal obligation to explain the purpose of their questions and don’t have to reveal what they already know.

THE POLICE DIDN’T READ ME MY MIRANDA RIGHTS. Miranda Rights only apply when you are in custody and are being questioned by persons in authority, including the police, informers, and prosecutors or their agents. While you are under custody the police may ask your name, address, and other routine processing questions. But before questioning you about anything else they must Mirandize you.

The loss of your liberty for even one second is worth defending. Even a so-called “minor criminal charge” could result in a criminal record, the suspension or revocation of your drivers license, an increase in your car insurance, the loss of employment, public humiliation and jail time.

When you retain Riley Legal, Sean Riley, not an associate, will personally represent you throughout the entire criminal process. He will help you understand all your legal options and the consequences you may be facing. Mr. Riley provides comprehensive counsel so you can make informed, confident decisions about your case. Riley Legal will not take you for granted and will fight for your rights! 


800 Maine Ave SW

Suite 200


(202) 669 - 2771 

FAX (240) 465 - 0204