Blog Posts in 2015

  • Hate Crimes in Virginia

    || 30-Dec-2015

    Hate crimes are offenses which are committed against specific individuals based on their race, gender, religion, ethnicity, disability, or sexual orientation. When an individual commits assault or assault and battery against the mentioned groups, the offense is associated with more severe penalties than simple assault. The following evidence must be determined if bias had been demonstrated by the ...
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  • What is Malicious and Unlawful Wounding?

    || 28-Dec-2015

    A malicious wounding charge is committed by deliberately causing injury to another person with the intention seriously injuring, disfiguring, maiming, disabling, or killing the victim. The malice intention to badly harm an individual is what separates that type of violent crime from assault and battery charges. Aggravated malicious wounding occurs when an individual sustains permanent and severe ...
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  • What is Disorderly Conduct?

    || 24-Dec-2015

    Governed by Va. Code § 18.2-415, disorderly conduct is a crime which typically involves offensive or disruptive public activity. This can be executed in two different ways with the intention to cause or disregard the risk of causing public alarm, annoyance, or inconvenience. First, disorderly conduct can be committed if a person’s behavior provokes a violent action towards another. ...
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  • Virginia's Pretrial Diversion Program

    || 23-Dec-2015

    If you were recently arrested for a nonviolent crime in Richmond, you’ll be interested in learning about Virginia’s Pretrial Diversion Program – a program that helps criminal defendants while saving the courts money. The Pretrial Diversion Program was created to prevent defendants from developing long-term, destructive behaviors that result in a pattern of criminal activity. The ...
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  • What Does Statute of Limitations Mean?

    || 22-Dec-2015

    Every state has laws on the statute of limitations for criminal cases. This is the time it takes for the prosecutor to press charges against a person suspected of committing a crime. Understandably, as criminal cases can be quite complex, it does take time to find someone culpable of a criminal offense and subsequently charge them with that crime. Prosecutors are held to these time limits to file ...
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  • Penalties for Domestic Violence in Virginia

    || 9-Dec-2015

    Have you recently been accused of committing domestic violence or family abuse? If so, it’s critical that you become familiar with Virginia’s penalties for domestic violence, whether or not you are actually guilty of the offense. Usually, a domestic violence case begins when a victim, family member or neighbor makes a 911 call to the local police. In Virginia, the police have the ...
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  • What is a Motion to Dismiss?

    || 23-Nov-2015

    A motion to dismiss is a formal request for a court to “throw out” a case, due to procedural issues. Generally, a legal document filed by the defendant once the plaintiff files a complaint, a defendant is able to file a motion to dismiss as opposed to filing an answer. Although the defendant didn’t file an answer which clearly denies the allegations in the complaint, most courts ...
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  • How Is DNA Evidence Used in a Criminal Trial?

    || 16-Nov-2015

    Using DNA as evidence is commonplace in trials, as the technology improves, simplifying the investigative process. In fact, using DNA as evidence is a prime example of how cases are handled differently, even from a few years prior. It is the reason some cases can be resolved many dozens of years later on down the line. Either to convict a person or, in many cases, prove innocence and absolve ...
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  • Are Virginia Laws Harsh on First-Time Offenders?

    || 13-Nov-2015

    Many people believe that first-time offenders are given more leniency and lighter sentencing because of a clean record. Many factors influence the judicial system and the outcome of a case. From the nature of the crime to the location of the venue, Virginia laws respond to the sentence in a variety of ways. Under the Virginia Code a first-time offender may be eligible to complete their terms of ...
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  • How the Court Determines the Bail Amount

    || 11-Nov-2015

    If your loved one was recently arrested, or if you’re new to the criminal process, you may be wondering how judges set bail, and it’s understandable why. Ordinarily, judges will set bail at a suspect’s first court appearance following their arrest, which happens at the arraignment or the bail hearing. Generally, judges adhere to a standard procedure, for example, setting a bail ...
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  • How Prosecutors Decide Which Charges to File

    || 2-Nov-2015

    Criminal arrests and prosecutions are distinct from one another primarily for protecting citizens from the arbitrary use of law enforcement’s power. Generally, well-meaning officers make arrests when they feel they have probable cause to believe that someone has committed a crime. However, not all arrests lead to convictions or even formal charges. While the police have their place in ...
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  • If It's Just a Misdemeanor, Should I Just Plead Guilty?

    || 26-Oct-2015

    If you are charged with a misdemeanor, there are many considerations you must mull over before you decide if a guilty plea is the right decision. In Virginia, misdemeanors are divided into four classes based on the maximum punishment enforced. The classes and punishments associated include: Class 1: Up to 12 months in jail, a fine worth up to $2500, or both Examples: Carrying a gun without a ...
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  • Early Termination of Probation in Virginia

    || 20-Oct-2015

    If you were convicted of a crime in Richmond, perhaps you heard that you may get an early release from probation if you complied with your conditions and paid on time. What if you paid everything and had zero violations – not even a parking ticket, do you still have to complete your entire probation? After all, you did everything the judge asked you to 100%. You have held down a steady job, ...
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  • Is My Case Eligible for Appeal?

    || 16-Oct-2015

    Have you been convicted of a criminal offense ? You may have a chance for appeal. Initiating the appeals process is possible in cases where there were legal or judicial mistakes made during the trial. It gives those who believe the proceedings of the trial were unfair or the evidence had no merit. These are the two primary grounds for appeal: The courts made a serious legal error or judgment ...
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  • Why Should I Hire a Private Attorney Over a Public Defender?

    || 15-Oct-2015

    Having the right to a court-appointed attorney may provide you with a financially-friendly option for your case; however, the benefits of hiring a private attorney substantially outweigh those of a public defender. Amount of Time Available to You Public defenders are assigned to an enormous case load, meaning they have a limited amount of time to become fully acquainted with their clients. They ...
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