Tag Archives: VA Criminal Defense Lawyer

Virginia Criminal Case FAQ

Virginia Criminal Case Frequently Asked Questions

Our clients present us with many questions related to Virginia criminal cases. Some of these include:

What is the structure and progression of Virginia criminal case?

What is the bond or bail hearing and how do I know if I will get bond?

Should I plea bargain or go trial?

How do I choose a Virginia criminal defense lawyer?

Should I be tried by a judge (bench trial) or by a jury?

Does my prior criminal record matter for purposes of my current Virginia criminal charges?

Should I testify in my Virginia criminal trial?

If I am convicted of a crime in Virginia, what steps do I take to appeal. Can things get worse if I appeal my conviction?

What is a habeas corpus proceeding in Virginia?

How do I choose a Virginia federal crime defense attorney?

What is the structure and progression of Virginia criminal case? [Back to top ]

A Virginia criminal case usually starts when a citizen or a police officer swears out a criminal complaint and affidavit. Frequently the criminal complaint is presented to a magistrate who determines probable cause. For many Virginia misdemeanor criminal complaints, the magistrate, upon finding probable cause, will issue an arrest warrant against the defendant. For other misdemeanor complaints and frequently for felony complaints, the complaint will be forwarded to a police detective for further investigation.

Sometimes the Virginia police detective will contact the suspect and ask him to come to the station to discuss the matter. Sometimes the Virginia police detective will show up at the suspect’s residence to “talk.” If you re contacted by a police detective regarding a pending investigation it is extremely important that you contact a competent Virginia criminal defense attorney before discussing anything with the police, even if the police indicates to you that “no charges are pending” that “I don’t have a warrant” or that “it is better for you to cooperate now or it might get worse.”

Once a detached magistrate finds probable cause that the suspect committed the offense, an arrest warrant will issue. Bear in mind that a finding of probable cause requires only minimal evidence. It is a far cry from guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, the standard required to convict. If a warrant is issued against you, sometimes the police will contact you to voluntarily surrender yourself. Sometimes the police will show up at your home, work, or any other place you frequent for the purpose of arresting you. In either case, it is important that you contact a competent Virginia criminal defense lawyer for legal advice and to protect your rights. It is extremely important that you are prepared to interact with a highly trained police officer who is on a mission to obtain a “statement” from you. This statement will invariably be used as a confession, whether or not you believe that you actually confessed. A mistake here can land you in a Virginia jail or even worse, in a Virginia prison.

After being arrested, booked, and processed, you will be taken to a magistrate for a bail hearing. At this hearing, you will be asked several questions to determine whether you are a flight risk or a danger to the community. For more details about your bond hearing, please refer to our Virginia criminal law frequently asked question regarding bail determinations and bond hearings. If you don’t agree with the magistrate’s bail decision, you may have bail heard by the General District Court or the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court depending on the type of case. The decision of the Virginia General District or Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court can then be appealed to the Circuit Court, then to the Virginia Court of Appeals, and finally, to the Virginia Supreme Court.

What is the bond or bail hearing and how do I know if I will get bond?

Should I plea bargain or go trial? [Back to top ]

During most criminal cases, there will be a time when your Virginia criminal defense lawyer will negotiate with the Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney. The plea bargain process will result in either an agreed disposition of your Virginia criminal case or a decision to go to trial. We can provide you with legal advice to assist you in making the decision of whether to plea bargain or go to trial.

How do I choose a Virginia criminal defense lawyer? [Back to top ]

Should I be tried by a judge (bench trial) or by a jury? [Back to top ]

There are many advantages to a trial by a jury of your Virginia peers. To convict you, the prosecution must be able to convince the jury panel, your faith will not just be in the hands of a Virginia judge. However, a jury can’t suspend any time of the sentence. Our Virginia criminal defense attorneys ma assist you in making the decision of whether to choose to be tried by a Virginia judge or Virginia jury.

Does my prior criminal record matter for purposes of my current Virginia criminal charges? [Back to top ]

Should I testify in my Virginia criminal trial? [Back to top ]

If I am convicted of a crime in Virginia, what steps do I take to appeal. Can things get worse if I appeal my conviction? [Back to top ]

What is a habeas corpus proceeding in Virginia? [Back to top ]

How do I choose a Virginia federal crime defense attorney? [Back to top ]

Contact a Virginia felony defense lawyer

Virginia (VA) criminal defense, divorce, child custody, reckless driving, dui and federal court attorney representing clients throughout Virginia. Some of the jurisdictions served include:

Henrico County VA, Richmond City, Chesterfield County VA, Hanover County VA, Petersburg County VA, Fairfax County, Prince William County, Hopewell, Petersburg, Dinwiddie, Quantico, Virginia Beach VA, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Fredericksburg, Stafford, Spotsylvania VA, Hampton Roads, Newport News, Hampton, Williamsburg, Amelia, Powhatan, Goochland, Louisa, Manassas VA, Woodbridge, Charles City, James City, Gloucester, Tidewater, Portsmouth, Shenandoah, Prince George, Sussex, New Kent, West End of Richmond, Glen Allen, Federal Court for the Eastern District of Virginia (Richmond, Alexandria, Norfolk, and Newport News Divisions).

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Federal Court Lawyer

Virginia Federal Court Criminal Defense and Virginia Federal Civil Cases

Representing clients in the Virginia federal courts against all federal criminal accusations and in civil matters in the Virginia federal courts. Domingo Rivera has valuable experience handling high-profile federal court cases in Virginia. Mr. Rivera’s cases and commentaries have been reported in the local, National, and even international press.

Litigation in the Virginia Federal Courts, whether related to federal crimes defense or civil cases. requires specialized knowledge and experience. The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, and the Local Rules of the Federal Court of the Eastern District of Virginia are different from the rules applied in the Virginia State courts.

The experience of a Virginia federal court attorney can ensure that your Virginia federal case is properly handled. To illustrate why this is of particular importance, take for example the Federal Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. This court is commonly referred to as the “rocket docket.” A Virginia federal court attorney must be prepared to handle the intensity and demands of the Virginia federal courts.

Our firm is your Virginia Federal crime defense lawyer representing clients accused of the following crimes:

Federal Traffic Cases including reckless driving and drunk driving (DUI).

Federal Drug Crimes including possession, trafficking, distribution, possession for sale, prescription fraud and others.

Federal White Collar Crimes including Bank Fraud, Bankruptcy Fraud, Bribery, Credit Card Fraud, Embezzlement, Securities Fraud, Tax Fraud, Theft Crimes, Auto Theft, Bad Checks, Dealing / Stolen Property, Possession / Stolen Property, Forgery, Grand Larceny / Theft, Petty Larceny / Theft, Shoplifting, Theft by Conversion, and Theft of Services

Federal Computer or Internet Crimes including Criminal Copyright Infringement, Computer Hacking, Computer Fraud, Identity Theft, Internet Stalking, Possession / Distribution / Receipt of child pornography.

When you need a Virginia federal crime defense lawyer, a federal court attorney, a Virginia federal lawyer, or an attorney specializing in Federal court practice, we can assist you with all Virginia federal law matters.

Contact a Virginia Federal crime defense lawyer

Virginia (VA) criminal defense, divorce, child custody, reckless driving, dui and federal court attorney representing clients throughout Virginia. Some of the jurisdictions served include:

Henrico County VA, Richmond City, Chesterfield County VA, Hanover County VA, Petersburg County VA, Fairfax County, Prince William County, Hopewell, Petersburg, Dinwiddie, Quantico, Virginia Beach VA, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Fredericksburg, Stafford, Spotsylvania VA, Hampton Roads, Newport News, Hampton, Williamsburg, Amelia, Powhatan, Goochland, Louisa, Manassas VA, Woodbridge, Charles City, James City, Gloucester, Tidewater, Portsmouth, Shenandoah, Prince George, Sussex, New Kent, West End of Richmond, Glen Allen, Federal Court for the Eastern District of Virginia (Richmond, Alexandria, Norfolk, and Newport News Divisions).

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Virginia Felony

Virginia Felony

Virginia Felonies are classified as follows:

Class 1 felonies – death, or imprisonment for life and a fine of up to $100,000.

Class 2 felonies – imprisonment for life or a minimum of 20 years and a fine of up to $100,000.

For Class 3 felonies – imprisonment for five to 20 years and a fine of up to $100,000

For Class 4 felonies – imprisonment for two to 10 years and a fine of up to $100,000.

Class 5 felonies – imprisonment for one to 10 years or jail for up to 12 months and a fine of up to $2,500, either or both.

Class 6 felonies – imprisonment for one to five years or jail for up to 12 months and a fine of up to $2,500, either or both.

Some commonly charged felonies in Virginia include:

* Murder
* Malicious wounding
* Armed robbery, grand larceny, and other serious theft crimes
* Possession or distribution of drugs
* Third offense of Domestic assault (3rd offense or greater)
* Felony DWI

Contact a Virginia felony defense lawyer

Virginia (VA) criminal defense, divorce, child custody, reckless driving, dui and federal court attorney representing clients throughout Virginia. Some of the jurisdictions served include:

Henrico County VA, Richmond City, Chesterfield County VA, Hanover County VA, Petersburg County VA, Fairfax County, Prince William County, Hopewell, Petersburg, Dinwiddie, Quantico, Virginia Beach VA, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Fredericksburg, Stafford, Spotsylvania VA, Hampton Roads, Newport News, Hampton, Williamsburg, Amelia, Powhatan, Goochland, Louisa, Manassas VA, Woodbridge, Charles City, James City, Gloucester, Tidewater, Portsmouth, Shenandoah, Prince George, Sussex, New Kent, West End of Richmond, Glen Allen, Federal Court for the Eastern District of Virginia (Richmond, Alexandria, Norfolk, and Newport News Divisions). Continue reading

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Virginia Sex Crimes

Virginia Sex Crimes Defense

A Virginia sex crime defense lawyer can help you to protect your rights if you are accused of a Virginia sex crime. Common Virginia sex crime charges include:

* Rape
* Child Molestation
* Date Rape
* Indecent Exposure
* Sexual Battery
* Solicitation of a Minor
* Spousal Rape
* Statutory Rape
* Possession of Child Pornography

Contact a Virginia sex crime defense lawyer.

Virginia (VA) criminal defense, divorce, child custody, reckless driving, dui and federal court attorney representing clients throughout Virginia. Some of the jurisdictions served include:

Henrico County VA, Richmond City, Chesterfield County VA, Hanover County VA, Petersburg County VA, Fairfax County, Prince William County, Hopewell, Petersburg, Dinwiddie, Quantico, Virginia Beach VA, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Fredericksburg, Stafford, Spotsylvania VA, Hampton Roads, Newport News, Hampton, Williamsburg, Amelia, Powhatan, Goochland, Louisa, Manassas VA, Woodbridge, Charles City, James City, Gloucester, Tidewater, Portsmouth, Shenandoah, Prince George, Sussex, New Kent, West End of Richmond, Glen Allen, Federal Court for the Eastern District of Virginia (Richmond, Alexandria, Norfolk, and Newport News Divisions). Continue reading

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