Recent Posts in Criminal Process Category

  • Why You Should Never Jump Bail

    || 25-Mar-2016

    You might already be aware that jumping bail is not wise. Granted, it is not a common occurrence, but doing so can land you in hot water almost tenfold, particularly if you are facing criminal charges. Jumping bail because someone wants to avoid being criminally prosecuted will almost always lead to some very serious consequences. This is an unwise decision—something we would never recommend ...
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  • You Are Innocent Until Proven Guilty

    || 18-Mar-2016

    Our laws protect anyone from being considered automatically criminally responsible. “Innocence until proven guilty” is one of the tenets of our justice system. Essentially, it places the burden on prosecutors, who have pressed the charges, to break down, analyze, and decipher the evidence. If prosecutors can prove that the person has committed a crime without a shred of doubt, then a ...
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  • Will an Arrest Stop Me From Owning a Firearm?

    || 16-Mar-2016

    As Americans, we take our right to bear arms under the Second Amendment very seriously. Most gun enthusiasts embrace their right to use firearms to protect themselves and their families from intruders and dangerous individuals. Some people enjoy target shooting with handguns and rifles for fun, while others take their rifles to the woods to hunt deer and other animals. Often, guns are needed for ...
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  • The Fifth Amendment: The Right to Not Self-Incriminate

    || 11-Mar-2016

    A tactic that law enforcement often uses against a suspect is to force a false confession. The police might detain you or ask you to report to the police station for questioning. This is when you become vulnerable, a party to their overall scheme, and a pawn in their game of extracting as much information as possible to secure a conviction. More than likely, you already know that you have the ...
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  • What Happens to Evidence Obtained in Illegal Searches?

    || 15-Feb-2016

    The laws regarding illegal search and seizure were established to protect their legal right. If any evidence was obtained in such an instance, then it cannot be used in trial and the prosecution of the accused. This is otherwise known as the “exclusionary rule.” In some cases, it may be necessary to file a motion to suppress the evidence. Bear in mind, however, that although one piece ...
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  • What Evidence Is Admissible in Trial?

    || 1-Feb-2016

    Who determines what evidence is admissible in court? The law defines any document, witness testimony, or physical evidence are admissible in trial. This is often introduced to the jury and to the judge to advocate for an argument or highlight some missteps in the trial. The types of admissible evidence include the following: Real evidence Testimonial evidence Documentary evidence Demonstrative ...
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  • What Is Reasonable Suspicion?

    || 25-Jan-2016

    If a police officer stops or arrests a person, there must be “reasonable suspicion” that the individual has some involvement or has participated in a crime. Reasonable suspicion is based on whether or not the facts and other circumstances surrounding the case support the need to stop someone. We have a constitutional right to be free from unreasonable searches of our person and our ...
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  • Your Right to Retain an Attorney

    || 15-Jan-2016

    Our laws tell us that each and every person has the right to retain an attorney to provide defense for their case. The law further states that every person has the right to remain silent. Why is it, then, that so many people when they are arrested feel the need to speak when they are arrested? This can only set up prosecutors to bulldoze defendants, wearing them down until they admit to some ...
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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Do I Have Any Alternatives to Jail?

    || 1-Oct-2015

    If you’re like most people, you have no desire to go to jail. Once you’re locked behind bars, your life on the outside can fall apart. How would a jail sentence affect your job, your family, and your relationships? Jail is known for being a dangerous place; after all it houses violent criminals and gang members, which is especially the case with state prisons. While state prisons have ...
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  • Can I Get a Nol Pross for My Case?

    || 30-Sep-2015

    Nolle prosequi is a Latin term meaning “will no longer prosecute”. It is a way of the defendant’s charges being dismissed from a case. The prosecution will invoke nolle prosequi when they want to want to dismiss a prosecution or part of it. Our Richmond criminal defense attorney further explains nolle prosequi and how encouraging the prosecution to invoke it can lead to favorable ...
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  • How to Clear a Criminal Record in Virginia

    || 15-Sep-2015

    Having a criminal record can make a lot of things difficult that you might have taken for granted. For example, getting hired at a new job, working in certain fields, purchasing a gun or rifle, or simply getting approved for an apartment or a rental property can become exceedingly difficult once a background check reveals that you have a criminal history. Under certain circumstances, a person may ...
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  • What is a Motion to Suppress?

    || 1-Sep-2015

    When defendants are charged with crimes, sometimes there is a doubt over a key piece of evidence. When this happens, sometimes the defense attorney can get the evidence thrown out at trial. The issue isn’t over the defendant’s guilt or innocence, rather it’s about the “admissibility” of the evidence in question. As experienced Richmond criminal defense lawyers, we ...
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  • The Virginia Appeals Process

    || 13-Aug-2015

    If you are facing criminal charges, you may be curious to learn more about the appeals process, in case you are convicted. To “appeal,” means to ask a higher court to reverse the decision of a lower court after the final judgment or ruling. If a defendant was to be found guilty, the criminal defendant (the appellant) can file a notice of appeal, and file briefs with the appeals court ...
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  • Understanding a 'Motion to Dismiss'

    || 5-Aug-2015

    A criminal lawyer may file a motion to dismiss at the early stages of a case, before both sides have conducted discovery. In that case, the material presented in the complaint is the focus of the motion, which the defense argues is legally invalid. When deciding on a motion to dismiss, the court must consider all of the facts contained within the complaint. Generally, a motion to dismiss is based ...
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  • Can the State Re-File a Criminal Charge?

    || 2-Jul-2015

    If you or someone you love has been arrested for a criminal offense in Richmond, you may be wondering if the state can re-file a criminal charge once it’s been dropped. This is a good question, especially if the charges are dropped in your case. Essentially, a prosecutor, be it through a motion to dismiss or nolle prosequi is at liberty to drop charges against a defendant at any time, ...
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  • What Are the Steps in the Criminal Process?

    || 18-May-2015

    There are several steps involved in the criminal process, some of which will depend on the exact specifics of your case. For example, if you decide to accept a plea bargain, there will be no need for a trial. On the other hand, you may have to navigate every step of this process if a ruling is given and you have the opportunity to appeal it. Either way, our firm can be here for you throughout the ...
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