Were you given a criminal charge? Read these 5 common questions about criminal law, then contact our Virginia attorneys to get started today.
1) What happens at the criminal arraignment?
A criminal arraignment in Virginia can be treated differently depending on the jurisdiction that you’re in. In some jurisdictions, at an arraignment, all they’re doing is advising you of your right to an attorney and making sure that you understand that you can have an attorney if you so choose. There are other jurisdictions in Virginia that take the time at an arraignment to actually take down your plea, whether it be guilty, not guilty, or no contest. You’re always going to want to talk to an experienced attorney before you go into your arraignment to make sure that you understand what you’re getting into and to make sure that you don’t cause harm to your criminal matter.
2) Can I represent myself in a criminal case?
A common question that we get asked by people is whether or not it would be advisable for them to try to represent themselves. We always tell people that the answer is almost always going to be no. You need someone on your side who knows the laws of Virginia and who can help you make the right decisions. The Commonwealth of Virginia is going to have an attorney on their side known as the prosecutor, therefore you need to have an attorney on your side, as well. These are your freedoms at stake and you want to make sure that you don’t do something that’s going to cause harm to yourself.
3) If I get offered a plea bargain, should I take it?
If you’ve received a criminal charge and you’ve been offered a plea bargain in order to try to resolve the case, you’re probably wondering whether or not you should accept it. That’s a difficult question to answer because it depends completely on the facts that surround your case. You want to make sure that you have an attorney review your plea bargain before you make any acceptance of that offer to make sure that you are protecting your rights. An attorney, before accepting any offer or recommending that an offer be accepted, should make sure that they do their due diligence and make sure that they review all of the evidence against you, have discussions with the witnesses, have discussions with the prosecutor to make sure that you are doing the right thing.
4) The police raided my home; how can you help me if I was arrested for selling drugs?
The police have come to your home. They’ve gone through your things. They’ve searched. They’ve found drugs. Now you’re facing felony drug charges. You need someone who can help you navigate through this difficult time. You should contact an attorney right away if you’ve had contact with law enforcement because they can help you make sure that you’re not going to do something that could potentially harm your case.
In situations such as this, an attorney is always going to look to make sure that the search of your home was legal. A lot of times, law enforcement officers do not follow proper protocols, and as a result, it can be potentially beneficial for your case. An attorney is always looking to see what evidence they can have suppressed which can always help provide a more favorable result for your legal matter.
5) I was pulled over and the police used a dog without my consent and found drugs; what should I do?
You’ve been pulled over, and all of a sudden, you see a dog going around your car trying to find something. It’s most people’s worst fear and it’s something that is very common is the criminal justice system. People always want to know if this happens, will they be able to use if they find something in court. The answer depends on the circumstances. In most situations, you don’t have to consent to a dog searching your vehicle. In most situations, all they need is probable cause in order to have a dog search your vehicle for illicit material. As a result, it’s going to be important for you to reach out to an attorney so that they can determine whether or not your rights have been violated. If they have, it could result in a much more favorable result for your case. Make sure that you reach out to an attorney right away to help you with your criminal law matter.
Were you or a loved one given a criminal charge in Virginia? After reading these 5 common questions about criminal law, contact our experienced Virginia criminal defense lawyers today for a free consultation and case evaluation.
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