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When your personal liberty and freedom to drive are threatened you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to aggressively fight for your rights. The loss of your liberty for even one second is worth defending. The loss of your ability to independently transport yourself is tantamount to having 2nd class citizenship. A so-called “minor traffic charge” could result in a criminal record, the suspension or revocation of your drivers license or CDL, an increase in your car insurance, the loss of employment, security clearance, public humiliation and jail time.
Riley Legal works tirelessly to defend his clients. Sean Riley is a D.C. criminal defense and traffic attorney with over 14 years of experience successfully representing people charged with drunk driving offenses and other criminal and vehicular offenses. Attorney Riley is known for zealous client representation and a commitment to results.
Riley Legal will help you understand all your legal options and all the consequences you may be facing. Attorney Riley works to maximize your choices in order to obtain the best possible resolution of your case. Riley Legal provides comprehensive counsel so you can make informed, confident decisions about your case.
Over the course of his career, Sean Riley has defended the rights of adults and juveniles facing everything from Subway Fare Evasion to Aggravated Assault. While every case is different, the goal is always the same: not guilty or a dismissal.
Criminal traffic violations are generally misdemeanors that are punishable by jail time and or a fine. The loss of your liberty for even one second is worth defending. Importantly, if you have been arrested for a criminal traffic offense in D.C. you should understand that in addition to your court case you also may face separate civil sanctions and collateral consequences at the D.C. DMV. In addition to the creation of a criminal record, a conviction for a traffic offense could result in; a negative entry on your driving record, the imposition of points, the suspension or revocation of your license, an increase in your car insurance, the loss of employment or security clearance and/or jail time. Also some charges such as DUI may not ever be expunged from your record.
Major traffic crimes include DUI, DWI, leaving after colliding, vehicular homicide, reckless driving, aggravated reckless driving, speeding 30 mph over limit, fleeing from police, driving on a suspended/revoked license and driving without a permit.
Due to the fact that most traffic offenses carry criminal and administrative sanctions it is essential for you to obtain legal counsel who will provide a vigorous defense and a comprehensive legal strategy that addresses all the consequences of your case.
CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS ARE YOUR PROTECTION AGAINST GOVERNMENT AUTHORITY
CAN THE POLICE STOP ME ON THE STREET? 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 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 simply for not identifying 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 (a ticket). 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? No. Plead the Sixth Amendment: “I will not answer any questions without my lawyer.” 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. Believe it or not the Supreme Court has ruled that 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.
Riley Legal provides criminal defense in all cases including:
Hit and Run