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» Criminal Defense

Underage DWI / DUI in Virginia: Young drivers find themselves held to a higher standard than over-21 drivers, but they face the same severe penalties.

Virginia has a law that specifically targets underage drinking and driving. This law is similar to a regular DWI / DUI, but it is much more stringent in its application. In effect, the under-21 driver is held to a higher standard than an over-21 driv… Read More
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Categories: Criminal Defense

For inmates in Virginia: your phone calls are being recorded!

From the Virginian Pilot comes this article: “Jails are all ears for inmates’ phone calls.” The article is long, but well written. It explains the various ways that jail phone calls can, and often do, impact the outcome of a criminal case. Eve… Read More
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Categories: Criminal Defense

[Video] Seriously. Don't talk to the police.

“[A]ny lawyer worth his salt will tell the suspect in no uncertain terms to make no statement to police under any circumstances.” Watts v. Indiana, 338 U.S. 49, 59 (1949) (Justice Robert Jackson, concurring in part and dissenting in part… Read More
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Categories: Criminal Defense

I missed my court date for my case. What happens next? Do I have any options?

You missed your court date for a case in a General District Court in Virginia. Now what? If you missed your court date for a minor traffic case, you were most likely found guilty in your absence. (See below for reckless driving charges and other crim… Read More
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Can I get my criminal conviction expunged / cleared from my record?

This is a question I get fairly often. A criminal conviction can follow a person forever. It can cause all kinds of difficulty with employment opportunities, security clearances, and even collateral issues like child custody. Conviction vs. Charged v… Read More
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Categories: Criminal Defense

What happens after a driver's license suspension?

Many people do not realize that driving on a suspended license is a Class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia. It is punishable by up to 1 year in jail, a $2500 fine, and an additional license suspension.Moreover, on the third or subsequent conviction, the ju… Read More
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I'm supposed to go to an arraignment. What the heck is an arraignment?

In General District Court, an arraignment is when someone is formally advised of the criminal charges against them and advised of their right to an attorney. It is very likely that a person will need to appear at an arraignment on charges of Driving… Read More
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Categories: Criminal Defense

Of the many concerns with criminal juries...

…they are unpredictable. The decision to take a criminal case to a jury is a very tough decision. Compared to a bench trial, which occurs only in front of a judge, a criminal case in front of a jury is an entirely different ordeal. In weighing… Read More
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Categories: Criminal Defense

I have to go to a preliminary hearing in a General District Court in Virginia. What is a preliminary hearing?

When a person is charged with a felony in Virginia, their case will usually proceed through two different phases:  A preliminary hearing in the General District Court. A trial in the Circuit Court.  The preliminary hearing is a very important… Read More
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Categories: Criminal Defense

I am charged with possession of marijuana in Virginia. What are the possible consequences? Can I avoid a conviction if it is my first offense?

In Virginia, possession of marijuana is a criminal offense. It is often referred to as “simple possession” to distinguish it from more serious felony drug charges, such as Possession with Intent to Distribute (PWID). Possession of marijuana is a… Read More
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Categories: Criminal Defense

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