Virginia Criminal Defense Attorney
Virginia is home to several great schools such as Virginia Military Institute (VMI), the University of Virginia, and Virginia Tech. It is also the home of the Cape Henry Lighthouse, the First State National Park, and other attractions. However, while the state is proud of the hospitality it extends to natives and tourists alike, it doesn’t mean that you won’t be subject to serious penalties for breaking the law while spending time here.
Offenses That State Officials Typically Deal With
State authorities in Virginia tend to handle cases such as drunk driving, larceny, or arson. Furthermore, offenses such as murder, sexual assault, or drug possession are also likely to be handled at the state level. Computer crimes or financial crimes may initially be investigated by state government agencies before being handed off to federal officials. This is often true if there is evidence suggesting that crimes occurred across state lines or that federal sources of funding were the targets of a fraud or money laundering scheme.
What to Know About Drunk Driving
Officially, you are driving while under the influence of alcohol if your blood alcohol level is .08% or higher. However, you can be charged with DUI simply for showing signs of impairment regardless of the results of a chemical test. It’s important to note that you can be taken into custody for DUI if you are under the influence of prescription or illicit drugs like cocaine or heroin.
Larceny May Describe Many Different Events
Generally speaking, larceny is a term used to describe any type of theft. However, whether you have actually committed a crime depends on the facts of the case.
Furthermore, larceny is not the same as burglary as you don’t have to steal anything to be guilty of burglary. It is also different from embezzlement as this offense involves stealing money or property that they have been entrusted with keeping.
Drug Possession Charges May Carry Serious Penalties
You may be charged with drug possession even if you’re found to have an amount sufficient for personal use only. You may face additional penalties if found in possession of a controlled substance near a school. In the event that you’re found with a significant amount of illicit materials on your person, you may be charged with intent to traffic or distribute, which may result in up to 40 years in prison depending on the substance at issue.
Why Hire a Virginia Criminal Defense Attorney?
Regardless of the crime that you’ve been charged with, you could face penalties such as probation, jail or prison time, or a fine. You may also have trouble obtaining student loans, getting an apartment, or finding a job if you have a criminal record.
Therefore, it is generally in your best interest to hire an attorney the moment that you are named in an investigation or arrested. Doing so may reduce the odds that you say or do something that might incriminate yourself or otherwise help the government do its job.
It’s important to remember that you have the right to remain silent and that anything you say can be used against you in court. This is generally true whether you make a statement during an interrogation, to a friend at work, or on social media. Your attorney will likely make you aware of this and encourage you to refrain from discussing your case for any reason.
In addition, your representative will likely gather exculpatory evidence or figure out ways to cast doubt on evidence that the government plans to use against you. Finally, an attorney may be able to talk to the media on your behalf or otherwise control the narrative in your case. This may be especially beneficial if you are involved in a high profile proceeding or are worried that a potential jury pool might be tainted if the state’s words go unchecked.
Variables That Might Influence the Outcome of Your Case
Hiring a Virginia criminal defense attorney may also be helpful as this person may help you obtain favorable rulings before your case even begins. Generally speaking, you have more leverage when negotiating a plea deal when you are allowed to do so while free on bail. Your attorney may cite your connections to the community and other factors to ensure that you are allowed to post bail or to reduce the amount that you must pay.
The fact that our firm employs attorneys who have experience as federal prosecutors and as federal agents may also work in your favor. This is because they know how to negotiate with prosecutors in an effort to obtain favorable plea terms. Your representative may also be able to convince a prosecutor to drop the charges against you altogether.
As you might imagine, the charges you face as well as your criminal history will play a role in determining how your case may play out. For instance, you may be more inclined to plead guilty to a count of reckless driving if it means avoiding a DUI charge. The same may be true if pleading guilty to misdemeanor assault means that you won’t face a murder charge.
However, if you do have a criminal history, it’s possible that accepting any type of plea might result in significant penalties. Therefore, you may be more inclined to take your case to trial or more likely to appeal a conviction that you might if your current case represents your first offense.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who will serve as my attorney?
Typically, the person who represents your interests throughout the legal process is chosen during the initial consultation. We choose someone based on the facts of your case, your location and other variables that may be relevant to your case. As soon as someone has been assigned to your case, that person will get in touch with the government and take other steps to protect your rights. It’s important to note that anything that you say to your attorney is confidential, which means that you should be as open as possible while your case is pending.
What does exculpatory mean?
Exculpatory evidence is anything that proves that you didn’t commit the crime that you’re charged with. For instance, an eyewitness statement claiming that someone else was involved in the murder of your best friend may be enough to create reasonable doubt in your case. Prosecutors are generally required to turn over any information that might aid in your defense. Failing to do so may be grounds for an appeal that may lead to charges being thrown out.
What types of defense strategies might be used in my case?
The strategies that we use to defend your interests depend on the facts of the case. For instance, if you say that you were tricked into transporting drugs to your friend’s house, we may try to get charges dropped as there was no intent to break the law.
However, if the evidence is difficult to refute, we may claim that you acted in self-defense or to prevent something worse from happening. For instance, if you shot someone who entered your home, you generally have the right to defend yourself. Failing to do so could have caused harm to yourself, your spouse, or any animals in the residence at the time of the break-in.
Will I go to jail if convicted?
It’s impossible to predict the outcome of a case before you have been tried, convicted, and sentenced. However, whether jail or prison time is part of your sentence depends mostly on the type of crime you committed and your criminal history. It’s possible that you will avoid jail if you agree to a plea deal.
Why should I consider a plea deal?
A plea deal may provide you with a sense of certainty that you typically don’t have when you take a case to trial. If your plea deal allows you to avoid jail or prison time, you may be able to take care of your family or find work immediately after your case has been resolved. If you are already out on bail, taking a plea that allows you to avoid jail or prison time may minimize the risk of losing your job or losing custody of your kids at any point throughout the legal process.
Contact The Criminal Defense Firm Today
You can get in touch with the Virginia criminal defense attorneys at The Criminal Defense Firm by calling the nationwide number at 866-603-4540 to learn more about how we can help, or fill out our contact form and we’ll get back to you quickly.