In many adult and juvenile cases the criminal defense lawyers of Carlson Collier can make the difference between an acquittal and a conviction. By applying the rules of evidence, making appropriate pre-trial motions, and being an aggressive, effective advocate for our clients, we can achieve a substantially more favorable resolution in your case.
Nothing is more important than an individual's freedom. If you, a loved one or a friend has been accused of a criminal offense, immediately contact our criminal defense law firm toll free at 800-583-1212 or 804-270-1400 for an initial free consultation. For emergencies we have criminal attorneys available 24 hours daily and we represent clients throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia in all state and federal courts.
Based in Richmond, Virginia and serving the entire State of Virginia
Criminal law involves prosecution by the government of a person for an act that has been classified as a crime. In a criminal case the state, through a prosecutor, initiates the warrant for arrest in most felony cases and some misdemeanor cases. In Virginia, misdemeanor warrants can also be initiated by a person making a sworn statement before a Magistrate that a crime has occurred. Persons convicted of a criminal offense may be incarcerated, fined, or both.
A "crime" is any act or omission (of an act) in violation of a public law forbidding or commanding it. Although there are some common law crimes, most crimes in Virginia are established by the local, state, and federal governments.
Crimes include both felonies (more serious like murder or rape) and misdemeanors (less serious offenses like petty theft or simple assault). Felonies are criminal offenses punishable by imprisonment in the state penitentiary of a year or more and/or a fine. Misdemeanors are criminal offenses punishable by 12 months or less in jail and/or a fine.
All statutes describing criminal behavior can be broken down into their various elements. Most crimes consist of two elements: an intentional act or a mental state. Prosecutors have to prove each and every element of the crime to yield a conviction. Furthermore, the prosecutor must persuade the jury or judge "beyond a reasonable doubt" of every fact necessary to constitute the crime charged.
The effects of convictions of criminal offenses can vary from case to case. For instance, the conviction of a felony will result in the loss of civil rights such as the right to vote, the right to own a firearm and the right to travel abroad. Whereas in a misdemeanor conviction, generally you maintain all of your civil rights, however some employers may discover your criminal record and employment may be frustrated as a result. In addition, in either misdemeanor or felony cases, not only may a jail sentence be imposed, but you may be subjected to supervised or unsupervised probation.
Nearly a million juveniles a year are processed through the justice system, and admitted to public or private facilities after their convictions. Many of the offenses for which children and young adults under the age of 18 are charged are similar to adult crimes, ranging in seriousness from a misdemeanor for public misbehavior to a felony for felonious assault or attempted murder.
Unfortunately, when it comes to violent juvenile crimes, quite often today's prosecutors attempt to try juveniles as adults. This could result in the youth receiving adult punishment, with heavy sentences that could include life imprisonment and possibly the death penalty.
Our Criminal Defense Lawyers Provide Representation in the Following Areas
|Violent Crimes||Sexual Offenses||White Collar Crimes|
|Murder / Homicide Assault & Battery
Illegal Possession of Weapons
Assault & Battery
Sale and distribution of guns
Terrorist Threats/Criminal Threats
Unlawful possession of a weapon
Sex with a Minor
Failure to Register
|Drug/Alcohol Crimes||Property Crimes||Other Legal Matters|
Transportation / Distribution
Manufacture / Sales
Possession for Sale
Sale or distribution of
|Theft / Armed Robbery
Violation of Probation / Parole
Read our Criminal Law FAQs