The Criminal Justice System in Richmond
The main agencies that investigate crimes in Richmond are the Richmond City Police, State Police and the VCU Police, VCU being Virginia Commonwealth University which is the main college in downtown Richmond. In addition to those agencies, on certain cases involving drugs or firearms the FBI and DEA can get involved as well.
If you are arrested by any of theses agencies it is important you contact a Richmond criminal lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your case and build a strong defense.
Law Enforcment Priorities in Richmond
The City of Richmond is trying to crack down on DUIs and weapons charges. With the high percentage of young adults and students in the City, law enforcement has taken a zero tolerance policy toward DUIs in the area. In addition, due to its history of violent crime, the City of Richmond has always strictly enforced gun laws throughout the City and if they see a violation they will cite you for it and the Courts will punish you accordingly.
Priorities for Prosecutors in Richmond
Prosecutors in Richmond also take a heavy-handed approach toward DUI charges as well as violent crimes that involve weapons. With DUI cases you have public safety concerns for the community. With a high percentage of young adults and students coupled with easy access to alcohol throughout the city prosecutors are very firm in punishing DUI cases.
In addition to that, with the history of violence in the city, law enforcement and the prosecutors in particular have taken a very active approach in prosecuting these crimes as strictly as they can to serve as a deterrent in the area.
Richmond courts take DUI charges as well as weapon charges very seriously, In particular weapons charges that involve drugs and/or with weapons when they are used in an assault. The Courts view DUI as a public safety hazard to the entire community and punish accordingly. Regarding weapons charges, Judges have used severe punishments to serve as a deterrent to use of firearms in the City.
The Role of a Criminal Defense Attorney
The main role for a Richmond criminal lawyer is to investigate the facts, interview witnesses, and review the case information and evidence. Furthermore a defense attorney will research the case law that applies to that case and then to try and build a defense strategy for that case.
One of the prime goals an attorney has is to determine if there enough evidence for the state to prove their case. If there is not, then a defense attorney will try and challenge it. If in some cases there is enough evidence, what an attorney then will attempt and do is build up a mitigating factors for the client to lessen the sentencing or to try and get a case reduced. For example is there a substance abuse issue, and looking for what other mitigating factors can be used such as children, jobs, security clearance, etc.