Bernard Crane graduated from George Washington University, and earned his law degree from Catholic University. He's been practicing criminal and business law in the Washington area since 1985. For over 30 years, he's zealously fought for clients accused of all types of crimes - from marijuana to murder and carjacking. There's almost nothing he's not already seen and learned to deal with, both in the courtroom and at the negotiating table. He's helped thousands of people get through some of the worst times in their lives. He can help you, too.
Before becoming an attorney, he was a private investigator, conducting investigations across the county. Prior to that, he served as a police officer, including working undercover in narcotics. He know how investigations are built, so he know where their weak spots are. He's been where the arresting officer has been, so he know what he sees. More importantly, he know what the officer misses.
TRAFFIC ALCOHOL CASES
Mr. Crane has completed an in-depth advanced training course on traffic alcohol cases approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and become one of the few attorneys who have earned certification in Standardized Field Sobriety Testing. This means he's been trained in exactly the same procedures the officers must use to make arrests for DWI or DUI. He can spot errors and omissions in their reports that frequently result in cases being dismissed.
He's advised and handled the legal needs of countless businesses, including accountants, doctors, restaurants, nightclubs, I T vendors (hardware and software), labor services providers, and government contractors. He's guided clients' businesses from start-up to becoming major players, and helped them with government contracts, bid protests, liquor licensing, union disputes, corporate agreements, leases, buy-sell agreements, and all other business matters. He treats YOUR business as if it were HIS business.
- Criminal Law
- White Collar Crime
- Traffic Tickets
- Business Law
- Personal Injury
- Free Consultation
- Credit Cards Accepted
- District of Columbia
- District of Columbia Bar
- English: Spoken, Written
- Fairfax County Bar Association
- DC Superior Court Trial Lawyers Association
- The George Washington University
- B.A. (1976) | Criminal Justice, Sociology, Dramatic Art
- The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law
- J.D. (1976) | Law
- Honors: American Jurisprudence Academic Achievement Awards: Creditors Rights and Debtors Protection, Insurance Law, Professional Responsibility
- District of Columbia Bar
- - Current
- Virginia State Bar
- - Current
- Contact us for free consultation
- Q. can an employer force an employee to purchase a company provided laptop if there are damages?
- A: The other side of the coin to the eloquent answer Mr. Minnick provided is that, Florida is an “at will” state, which means even if you DO pay the money for the laptop, the employer could still fire you the next day. If you don't pay for the laptop and quit or get fired, and the employer tries to take the money out of your last paycheck, you would probably be able to make a claim gainst the employer with the US Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division
- Q. Once a defendant accepts a plea bargain, the charge and its terms, is it a done "deal"?
- A: I think your question is, can you withdraw from a signed written plea agreement PRIOR to actually pleading guilty before the judge. Generally, you can change your mind up until the moment in the plea hearing where the prosecutor reads the proffer of facts and the judge asks "how do you plead." Its not pretty, but probably every defense lawyer has had cases where the plea has broken down during the hearing - usually because the defendant disagrees with the exact wording of the proffer of facts supporting the plea as the prosecutor states them in court. At that point, your lawyer can either ask for a pass to talk with you and see if it can be ironed out, ask for another hearing date to take another whack at getting the prosecutor to agree to amend the proffer and get the plea completed, or set a trial date. If your question is, can you withdraw from a signed written plea agreement AFTER you plead guilty, but before you are actually sentenced, the answer is, it is up to the judge. It usually pisses the judge off, but there are several cases that say the judge should be liberal with letting the defendant withdraw his plea if he has not yet been sentenced. However, you need to realize that any statements or admission you have made in the plea hearing under oath can probably be used against you if you withdraw your plea and go to trial, so your options are fairly limited at that point. If your question is, can you withdraw from a signed written plea agreement AFTER you plead guilty, and AFTER you are actually sentenced, the answer is usually NO. You would have to show some really compelling reason, like severe prosecutorial misconduct. And even then it would be an uphill battle with the judge.
- Q. Can you get probation for carjacking or most of your time be on papers
- A: Many states, if not most, have mandatory minimum sentences for carjacking. IF you are in a state where there is no mandatory minimum sentence for carjacking (or robbery by force and violence, or kidnapping if the victim was transported in the car even a short distance, or any other related chrge they may hit you with), and IF there was no weapon involved, it might be theoretically possible for you to get probation on a carjacking, However, I wold be very surprised (shocked, actually) if any judge would give a straight probation sentence on a carjacking charge.
- Q. If I have a misdemeanor arrest warrant and the police come to my door what should I do? Do I have to answer the door?
- A: No, of course you don't have to answer the door. But if you don't, and they know you're home, they'll break it in. Then not only will you be in jail, but your door will be hanging open. Also, more people get hurt by the police in forced-entry warrant arrest situations than do in cases where the person opens the door for them. Make your choices.
- Q. While on community corrections can i get credit for time being supervised if my probation was revoked and I go to prison
- A: If I understand your question, I think you are asking if the time you spend on probation counts against the time you might have to serve if the probation is revoked. The answer might be different in different jurisdictions, but in any jurisdiction I am familiar with, the answer is no. If you are sentenced to three years in prison with all of it suspended and you are put on three years probation, and you mess up and get your probation revoked on the LAST day of your three year probation, you still owe the court three years in prison. The judge may not GIVE you all that time, but he COULD. Judges frequently suspend some of the time if you have done well on probation but mess up at the end. The judge may even suspend ALL the time upon revocation, or just terminate your probation as unsuccessful. but this is entirely in the judge's hands. If I misunderstood your question, and you were actually asking if you get jail credit for time you spent in a community corrections facility or halfway house PRIOR TO your sentencing if your probation is later revoked, the answer is, it all depends. In some jurisdictions, any day you are not free to leave counts as incarceration, and comes off your sentence as credit for time served. However, in other jurisdictions, halfway house time is specifically NOT credited toward your sentence, by statute. You need to discuss this with an attorney in your jurisdiction to see which applies.
- Q. So is it illegal to try to be friends with a minor? And send pictures that are non sexual just face pictures?
- A: How old was the minor, and is the gender the same or different as yours? If we are talking about a 17 year old girl and you are a 19 year old guy, and there was nothing sexual and it was all above-board, you are probably OK. If this was a 12 year old boy or girl and you are over 20, you are probably not in a very good a situation. Either way, you should not have any further contact with the minor, OR with the parents. I wouldn't give them anything, or take their calls either.
- Q. Hello. My cousin did some bad things. I don't know where he is or if he has a court date or a lawyer and I need help.
- A: You can check Vinelink.com to see if he is currently held in DC, or any other jurisdiction. but you have to search DC and each state separately.
- Q. In DC when the police are called, do I have to answer their questions? Do I have to show them my ID? Can I leave?
- A: Its important to realize that in the District of Columbia, ALL Washington Metropolitan Police Department officers (with very few exceptions, such as undercover officers) are now REQUIRED to wear bodyworn video cameras (BUT see the last paragraph, below). They are supposed to turn the camera on as soon as any police enforcement interaction with civilians begins. That means if you do not wish to answer any questions, you should make it clear, loudly, that you do not, and keep walking unless ORDERED to stop. You should make sure both your hands are visible, outside your clothing, so the police can't say they thought you were reaching for a weapon. You need to be clear and loud that, "I am not doing anything wrong, I don't wish to talk to you," and keep walking (don't run, but keep walking). This may not keep you from being arrested, but it will give your attorney something to work with in moving to suppress any illegally seized evidence, and give the judge the evidence he needs to decide whether or not to suppress (exclude) the evidence against you at your trial. If the evidence is ordered suppressed, it usually results in your case being dismissed. Until the police began wearing these cameras, they could write whatever they wanted in their reports about how you were acting suspiciously, giving rise to the right to stop you. The judges would usually credit what the police said over what the defendant said, as the defendant has a great personal interest in being found not guilty and therefore a reason to lie, and the police are considered to have no interest in the outcome. The cameras have changed all this. A tactic DC Police Gun Recovery Unit frequently uses is to say something in a real friendly manner like, "Hi, How 'ya doing'? Can you just please lift your shirt for a quick second just so we know you don't have any weapons?", or "Hi, How's it going? Can you stop for just a second so I can talk to you?", or "Hey, you guys all right? Mind if I just check you out real quick for weapons?" These are requests, not commands. You do NOT have to answer questions or honor a request to stop. However, if the officer says, "STOP!" that is not a request. Its a command, and you do have to stop. If the officer puts his hands on you, you ARE being detained, and you DO have to stop. You still need to say, loudly and repeatedly and calmly, "I am not doing anything wrong, I don't wish to answer any questions, Am I under arrest? I want to leave." Again, this very possibly won't stop you from being stopped, searched and arrested, but it MAY very well help you out down the road at trial. Frequently, Gun Recovery Unit officers will say, "Look, we don't care about drugs, we only care about guns." Trust me (said the lawyer) they DO care about drugs. If they find drugs, you are going to jail! You also need to bear in mind, there are MANY police agencies operating on the streets of Washington, including the US Park Police, the US Capitol Police, the US Secret Service Uniformed Division, METRO Transit Police, DC Housing Police, and others. Most of them do NOT have to wear bodyworn cameras. Therefore, the above paragraphs only apply to interactions with Washington MPD.
- Q. I was pulled over for running a stop sign and got a DUI, but I was exiting a one-way road the wrong way so no stop sign
- A: Sounds like you were stopped for erratic driving, and that gave the officer reason to suspect you might be intoxicated. Driving the wrong way on a one-way street clearly gave the officer enough articulable suspicion to at least stop you. After that, the progression of the arrest is based on the officer's observations and your performance on any field sobriety tests. You should hire a good lawyer right away.