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Constitutional Issues in Henrico County

As a growing community with close proximity to very populous areas like Virginia Beach and Washington, DC, criminal charges are frequently seen in Henrico County. Additionally, as in other areas in Virginia and across the nation, these criminal charges can sometimes lead to constitutional issues that may seriously affect someone’s case.

If you have any further questions about local criminal charges, make sure to contact a Henrico County criminal defense lawyer for a consultation.

Common Criminal Charges in Henrico County

The most common criminal charges in Henrico County are DUI, drug possession, distribution charges, as well as larceny charges, which could range anywhere from shoplifting to embezzlement.

Why They Are So Common

The DUI charges are more common basically because of the layout of Henrico County. It’s a very large county. You need to drive to get anywhere in Henrico County, so it’s very common for folks to drive to a restaurant or bar or party, consume alcohol and then drive home. The drug charges are becoming more common in the county simply because the county is growing exponentially. Also, the proximity to the city of Richmond as well as other cities like Virginia Beach or Washington D.C. make drugs more readily available.

Larceny charges are common mainly just because of the growth of the commercial districts in Henrico County; there are lots of stores and malls in the area, so charges likes shoplifting and petty larceny have become very common.

Constitutional Issues in Criminal Cases

In criminal cases in Henrico County, the primary constitutional issues that arise are usually Fourth and Fifth Amendment issues. Fourth Amendment issues are those involving search and seizure cases involving searches of your person or property to obtain evidence. Here you would challenge if the officer had probable cause for any search.

Fifth Amendment issues will be your right against self-incrimination, in other words did you give a statement under the arrest, and were you advised of your rights to consult with counsel prior to giving a statement to the police.

Asking to Speak to an Attorney

Asking to speak with an attorney in no way implies guilt. It is actually your constitutional Fifth Amendment right not to self-incriminate yourself. In other words, at no time do you have to provide a statement to police or law enforcement with regard to your charge, so in no way does it imply guilt.

Refusing to Consent to a Search

Not consenting to a search does not imply guilt despite what an officer may tell you. If there is no probable cause to search you or to search your vehicle or to search your home, you are under no obligation to allow a search by an officer. In many cases the officers will tell you, “It will make it easier if you allow us to conduct a search,” but again, it’s your Fourth Amendment right against search and seizure, to tell the officers, “No, I don’t consent to a search,” and to request that they obtain a warrant to conduct any search.

Impact of Constitutional Issues on Cases

If a constitutional argument like a probable cause violation is successful, then any evidence obtained via that search would be inadmissible for purposes of prosecuting a case. If you can raise a strong constitutional argument, the result can be that the dismissal of the case or a reduction of the case.

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