When you are accused of a crime in Virginia, contacting a Norfolk criminal attorney is a smart choice. An attorney can provide legal representation at every step of your case and help you make tough decisions, from deciding whether to plead guilty to determining how best to present evidence at trial. Get help from a Norfolk criminal lawyer today so you have a legal advocate on your side.
A Norfolk criminal lawyer can talk to the prosecutor on your behalf and try to negotiate a plea bargain if you don’t wish to take your chances in court. The plea deal can sometimes result in more limited penalties, or even reduced charges.
If you get in contact with an attorney early enough in the charge process, he or she can also attend your arraignment and potentially minimize damage right from the beginning. If you are being questioned by police without having been detained, speak with a Norfolk criminal lawyer immediately.
In some cases, charges can be dropped before your case gets to court. A Norfolk criminal lawyer can move to keep illegally-obtained evidence from being used in trial if law enforcement officers violated any of your Constitutional rights. This may mean there is no evidence and the prosecutor has to drop the charges. Your criminal attorney in Norfolk can also make a motion to the court to dismiss the charges and argue that the prosecutor hasn’t made a convincing case to go forward.
Crimes in Virginia can be either misdemeanors or felonies. Misdemeanors typically result in up to a year of jail time, although it is often possible to just pay fines or get probation and not go to jail. Felonies are more serious offenses that can result in more than a year incarceration, sometimes up to life in prison. Some examples of different felony and misdemeanor offenses you could be charged with include:
You are informed of the criminal charges you face when you are arrested and arraigned. You will need to decide whether to plead guilty, not guilty, or not guilty by reason of insanity.
If your case goes to court, a Norfolk criminal lawyer can help you to present defenses to a jury or to poke holes in the prosecutors’ case so you can introduce reasonable doubt. The defenses will vary depending upon the crime prosecutors have charged you with. Some possible options include:
Other defenses are specific to a particular offense. For example, consent is a defense to rape and a claim of ownership to property is a defense to theft. A Norfolk criminal lawyer will review your charges and investigate the facts to find possible defenses and help you handle your case. He or she will also be able to inform you on what defenses do or don’t work with local prosecutors and judges.
Contact an attorney for help with your case as soon as you can after your arrest if you want a legal professional on your side to guide you through the criminal justice system. Retaining a lawyer for your case will make the entire process easier and less complex for you.
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