• Jay P. Mykytiuk
    Jay P. Mykytiuk Criminal Defense Attorney
    Washington, DC & Northern VA
    Call Today (202) 630-1522

Bad Words and Where They Often Lead: D.C. Threats & Simple Assault

Stick and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me. While that may be true on the playground, Washington, D.C. lawmakers see things a little differently. In the District of Columbia, the law recognizes that words have power, and words that threaten others can be very powerful. Consequently, when you use words intended to communicate threats to others, you could be facing misdemeanor and even felony D.C. Threats charges. 

To convict you of misdemeanor or felony threats, the government must prove that you (1) intentionally (2) communicated threatening words to another that would (3) cause a person to reasonably believe that they would be seriously harmed if you carried out your threat.

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Is This Thing On? The "Just Joking" Solicitation of Prostitution Defense

Generally, when you tell a joke that no one gets, the worst that usually happens is you have to explain the joke. Embarrassing? Maybe.  But when you joke around with an undercover Washington, D.C. police officer posing as a prostitute, the consequences of being unfunny can be more severe. In the case of one defendant, it meant being arrested and charged with solicitation of prostitution. 

As a Washington, D.C. solicitation of prostitution lawyer, I meet with a lot of clients who have been caught up in D.C. prostitution stings.  Until recently, I thought that I had heard every defense. However, a recent defendant offered an explanation I haven’t heard before: He was just joking.  Was this a new defense for me? Yes. But was it a legally sound defense? Absolutely. And the government was not amused.

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