Home State Laws The State Laws of Washington D.C.

The State Laws of Washington D.C.

The State Laws of Washington D.C.


Due to the fact that individual state laws are constantly subject to change, individuals are encouraged to consult an attorney prior to engaging in any activity, action, or event in which the expressed legality may come into question. Furthermore, individuals interested in attaining information with regard to individual state legislature are also encouraged to perform independent research in order to substantiate the relevancy and current state(s) of specific legislation. 

Washington D.C. Abortion Laws

Within Washington D.C., Abortion is defined as the purposeful termination of a pregnancy through procedural means. Subsequent to the decision of Roe v. Wade, abortion became legal within the United States – however, Washington D.C. state legislation expresses a variety of stipulations with regard to a legal abortion process:

•    A legal abortion may occur in the event that the protection and preservation of the life of the mother carrying a fetus is compromised as a result of a pregnancy; an abortion can take place in order to save the life of the mother only upon accredited and sanctioned medical review – only a licensed medical doctor will be permitted to both review and perform cases of abortion within the state of Washington D.C.

•    An illegal abortion is deemed as an abortion process that occurs in the event that the health and wellbeing of the mother is not in danger; furthermore, an illegal abortion is defined as a procedure that occurs outside of legal, accepted, and authorized medical procedural protocol – in the state of Washington D.C., public funds may be used for abortions only in the case(s) of sexual assault and incest

Washington D.C. Marijuana Laws

•    Possession: Misdemeanor, up to 1 yr. and/or $1,000 fine; Subsequent offense: double penalties

•    Sale: Crime with penalty of 1 yr. and/or $10,000 fine; Subsequent offense: double penalties; Within drug-free zone or sale to minor: up to twice punishment

Washington D.C. DWI and DUI Laws

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) and driving while under the influence (DUI) charges exist in the event that an individual ingests illegal drugs, alcohol, or controlled-substances, which may impair their respective ability to safely operate a motor vehicle; the following DUI and DWI laws exist within the state of Washington D.C.:

•    Zero tolerance laws exist in the event that an individual below the legal age permissible to consume alcohol is suspected to be unlawfully operating a motor vehicle; within the state of Washington D.C., the Zero Tolerance Blood Alcohol Content Level (BAC) cannot exceed .02%

•    The BAC limit for individuals operating motor vehicles may not reach .08%; this can constitute a DUI or DWI offense

•    In Washington D.C., there currently exist no supplementary penalties incurred due to BAC levels exceeding the expressed, legal limit

•    Implied consent is a legal instrument that is employed within the realm of a DUI Arrest that entails a verbal or written contract resulting from the willing participation in a regulated activity, such as the operation of a motor vehicle; within Washington D.C., law enforcement agents are permitted to act in accordance with implied consent laws

•    Upon a DUI or DWI conviction, and individuals is subject to undergo the loss of driving privileges for a period of no less than 90 days’ time;  penalties can range upwards of 1 year in addition to the installation of an ignition interlock device

Washington D.C. Gun Laws

•    All firearms in Washington D.C. must be registered with the police by the terms of the Firearms Control Regulations Act of 1975.

•    The previous handgun ban in Washington D.C. was eliminated by the U.S. Supreme Court in the 2008 case District of Columbia v. Heller. The Supreme Court ruled that the 2nd Amendment guarantees the right of the individual to possess and carry firearms.

Washington D.C. Adoption Laws

In Washington D.C., an individual who has been deemed as a law-abiding citizen who is of sound mind and moral character is permitted to adopt a child:

•    Any person may be adopted in Washington D.C.

•    Age that Child’s consent is needed: 14 years and older

•    Any person, provided spouse joins in petition unless spouse is natural parent of adoptee and consents thereto.

•    Mayor or licensed agency/Superior Court of the District of Columbia is the state agency who presides over adoption matters in Washington D.C.

Washington D.C. Employment and Labor Laws

•    Within Washington D.C., the minimum wage is 5 dollars and 15 cents awarded per hour of labor

•    State Holidays are listed as: New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas – Veteran’s Day, Wyoming Equality Day, Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday, and President’s Day result in the closing of public institutions only upon the decision set forth by the local board of trustees and government

•    Within the state of Washington D.C., an individual’s employ cannot be terminated in the event that they report a violation or hazard taking place with regard to their respective employment – or place of employment

Washington D.C. Divorce Laws

Within Washington D.C., a divorce is defined as the termination of a marriage, which can occur upon a decision set forth by one or both partners involved in the marriage:

•    A divorce must be filed subsequent to 60 days residence within the state of Washington D.C.; in the event that an individual –or individuals – were married in Washington D.C. and lived there on a continuous basis, a time constraint for filing does not exist

•    ‘No Fault’ divorce does exist on the grounds of irreconcilable differences

Washington D.C. Death Penalty Laws 

•    Capital Punishment is not authorized in Washington D.C.

Washington D.C. Gambling Laws

•    All wagering on sporting events and horse racing is prohibited in Washington D.C.

•    All casinos and gambling devices are outlawed in Washington D.C.

Washington D.C. Child Laws

Within the state of Washington D.C., the following stipulations with regard to child laws and child custody are recognized:

•    Joint custody is permitted

•    The rights implied within grandparental visitation are recognized

•    The wishes of any or all children involves are taken into consideration with regard to a custody decision