Unlawful Entry in the District of Columbia – Nonsense Unlawful entry case

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Unlawful Entry in the District of Columbia – Nonsense Unlawful entry case

Unlawful entry in DCSo, I just finished another unlawful entry case that took six months to resolve because the US Attorneys Office had not read the Court of Appeals case that dealt with the same client, same charge, and same facts.      The Court of Appeals case is a 2015 case called Winston v. United States of America.

Facts of the 2013 Winston case

2013 CMD 016329: United States Vs. WINSTON, DARIUS

In 2013 Mr. Winston was barred from a residential housing building located in the District of Columbia.  The barring notice gave no specific reason for why he was barred.   The barring stated “you may not enter the premises located at 200 block of W Street. ”   The entity given the barring notice was the residential property management company.    Mr. Winston’s mother lived at the property and expressly gave him permission to be a guest on the property.   In 2014 police officers stopped Mr. Winston and said you were barred from the property for 1 year and therefore, charged him with unlawful entry in the District of Columbia.    The mother testified at the trial and stated that she gave her son permission to be on the property as her guest.  The District of Columbia argued that under  DC Code § 22–3302, the government must prove that there was (1) entry on the property and (2) the entry was unauthorized.

The Court of Appeals disagreed with the prosecutor and stated that where an individual is claiming to have the authorization by the lawful owner to be on the property the government must establish that the barring order was authorized and valid pursuant to the policies of the property.    In other words in order to properly bar an individual from the property, the barring notice must abide by the policies of the entity that issued the barring notice for the barring notice to be valid.

2015 Again the District of Columbia charges him

2015 CMD 017517: United States Vs. WINSTON, DARIUS

In 2015 Mr. Winston again is arrested for being on the property.  The same facts, same client, same charge.  A few months later the District of Columbia dismisses the case for failure to prosecute.

2016 Again the District of Columbia charges him

2016 CMD 008387: United States Vs. WINSTON, DARIUS

In 2016 Mr. Winston again is arrested for being on the property.   The same facts, same client, same charge.  A few months later the District of Columbia again dismisses the case for failure to prosecute.

Current Case

2017 CMD 001553: United States Vs. WINSTON, DARIUS

Fast forward to 2017.  Yes you guessed it – The same facts, same client, same charge!!!!!  Did they expect a different result?   So after six months, the prosecutor decided to dismiss the case.  Arrghh.   Yes, Mr. Winston again had the permission of his mother to be a guest on the property.  Yet the police still arrested him without a valid barring notice.

I rarely write about my clients because of confidentiality; however, in this case, my client consented to discuss his case on my website.  Stay tuned.   I can only hope this stops in 2017 but again we are dealing with the bureaucracy of the District of Columbia.

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