Code of the District of Columbia

§ 23–546. Applications for authorization or approval of interception of wire or oral communications.

(a) The United States attorney may authorize, in writing, any investigative or law enforcement officer to make application to a court for an order authorizing the interception of wire or oral communications.

(b) The United States attorney may authorize, in writing, any investigative or law enforcement officer to make application to a court for an order of approval of the previous interception of any wire or oral communication, when the contents of such communication —

(1) relate to an offense other than that specified in an order of authorization;

(2) were intercepted in an emergency situation; or

(3) were intercepted in an emergency situation and relate to an offense other than that contemplated at the time the interception was made.

(c) An application for an order of authorization (as provided in subsection (a) of this section) or of approval (as provided in paragraph (2) of subsection (b) of this section) may be authorized only when the interception of wire or oral communications may provide or has provided evidence of the commission of or a conspiracy to commit any of the following offenses:

(1) Any of the offenses specified in the Act entitled “An Act to establish a code of law for the District of Columbia”, approved March 3, 1901, and listed in the following table:

Offense: Specified in -
Arson sections 820, 821 (D.C. Code, secs. 22-301, 22-302).
Burglary section 823 (D.C. Code, sec. 22-801).
Destruction of property of value in excess of $1000 section 848 (D.C. Code, sec. 22-303).
Gambling sections 863, 866, 869e (D.C. Code, secs. 22-1701, 22-1705, 22-1713).
Kidnapping section 812 (D.C. Code, sec. 22-2001).
Murder sections 798, 800 (D.C. Code, secs. 22-2101, 22-2103).
Robbery section 810 (D.C. Code, sec. 22-2801).

(2) Bribery as specified in the Act of February 26, 1936 (D.C. Code, sec. 22-704).

(3) Threats as specified in section 1501 of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (D.C. Code, secs. 22-5106, 22-1810).

(4) Offenses involving the manufacture, distribution, or possession with intent to manufacture or distribute controlled substances as specified in sections 401 through 403 of the District of Columbia Uniform Controlled Substances Act of 1981, effective August 5, 1981 (D.C. Code, secs. 48-904.01 through 48-904.03).

(5) Any of the offenses specified in the District of Columbia Theft and White Collar Crimes Act of 1982, and listed in the following table:

Offense: Specified in -
Extortion section 151 [D.C. Code, § 22-3251].
Blackmail section 152 [D.C. Code, § 22-3252].
Bribery section 302 [D.C. Code, § 22-712].
Obstruction of justice section 502 [D.C. Code, § 22-722].
Receiving stolen property of value in excess of $1000 section 132 [D.C. Code, § 22-3232].
Theft of property of value in excess of $1000 section 111 [D.C. Code, § 22-3211].
Trafficking in stolen property section 131 [D.C. Code, § 22-3231].


(July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 620, Pub. L. 91-358, title II, § 210(a); Dec. 1, 1982, D.C. Law 4-164, § 601(f), 29 DCR 3976; Apr. 30, 1988, D.C. Law 7-104, § 7(c), 35 DCR 147; June 3, 2011, D.C. Law 18-377, § 14, 58 DCR 1174.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 23-546.

1973 Ed., § 23-546.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 23-547 and § 23-556.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 18-377, in subsec. (c)(1), substituted “value in excess of $1000” for “value in excess of $200”; and, in subsec. (c)(5), substituted “value in excess of $1000” for “value in excess of $250”.

Cross References

Blackmail, see § 22-3252.

Bribery, see § 22-712.

Extortion, see § 22-3251.

Obstruction of justice, see § 22-722.

Receiving stolen property, see § 22-3232.

Theft, see § 22-3211.

Trafficking in stolen property, see § 22-3231.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 514 of Public Safety Legislation Sixty-Day Layover Emergency Amendment Act of 2010 (D.C. Act 18-693, January 18, 2011, 58 DCR 640).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 514 of Public Safety Legislation Sixty-Day Layover Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2011 (D.C. Act 19-45, April 20, 2011, 58 DCR 3701).

References in Text

“Section 1501 of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968,” referred to in paragraph (3) of subsection (c) of this section, was codified as § 22-2306 (1981 Ed.). Section 22-2306 (1981 Ed.) was repealed by § 602(mm) of D.C. Law 4-164.

“(Section) 22-1810,” referred to at the end of paragraph (3) of subsection (c) of this section, derived from § 1502 of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968.

The “District of Columbia Theft and White Collar Crimes Act of 1982,” referred to in paragraph (5) of subsection (c) of this section, is D.C. Law 4-164.

Bracketed translations of the references to the District of Columbia Theft and White Collar Crimes Act of 1982 have been inserted in paragraph (5) of subsection (c) of this section for the convenience of the user.

Editor's Notes

Section 7(c) of D.C. Law 7-104 purported to substitute “33-502” for “33-402,” “33-516” for “33-416,” and “33-602” for “33-702” 1981 Ed. in subsection (c)(4), apparently without regard to the amendment of this section by D.C. Law 4-164.