Being charged with a criminal offense can be an anxiety-causing event for anyone. But immigrants charged with crimes face not only potential criminal punishments but also the potential impact on their immigration status from a criminal conviction. If you are an immigrant charged with a crime, here are four ways to help your criminal attorney protect your immigration status from the very beginning of your case:
Identify Your Status. It is crucial that you identify your immigration status for your criminal attorney as soon as possible. The immigration consequences of a criminal conviction can vary greatly depending on whether you are a lawful permanent resident, asylee, non-immigrant visa holder, completely without status, etc. If you are unsure of your status, make sure you bring copies of all immigration paperwork with you to the initial consultation with your criminal attorney. Immigration status should be the … Read More »
While most juvenile criminal offenses in Virginia are resolved entirely within the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court (JDR Court), there are certain circumstances where cases are transferred and certified to the Circuit Court for resolution. Cases transferred and certified to Circuit Court result in the juvenile being tried as an adult, and resulting convictions can have substantial and lifelong effects on the juvenile.
There are three different ways that juvenile charges can be transferred to Circuit Court for adjudication in Virginia. They are commonly referred to as Section A, Section B, and Section C transfers based on their corresponding provisions in Virginia Code § 16.1-269.1. Section A transfers can theoretically originate from any felony charge, whereas Section B and Section C transfers can only occur when the juvenile has been charged with certain serious felonies. For any transfer, the juvenile must be … Read More »
It can be an unsettling process when your child faces criminal charges. Many parents worry about the consequences for their child’s future and are confused by both the process and the terminology surrounding the juvenile justice system. Unless you have been intimately involved in the juvenile system for a long period of time, it is very difficult for you to predict what will happen in your child’s case. Having realistic expectations on what you as a parent will face in the juvenile system will ease the stress on your family and put you in a better position to protect your child’s future. Here are five things to expect when your child is facing criminal charges in Virginia:
1. The Juvenile System Is Not There to Teach Your Child a Lesson.
It should be no surprise that for many juveniles facing criminal charges, it is not the first … Read More »
The right to appeal an unfavorable or unjust ruling in a criminal case is at the heart of our criminal justice system. In Virginia there are two categories of criminal appeal: appeals to circuit courts from lower courts, and appeals from circuit courts to higher courts. After briefly touching on the latter, this article will serve as a guide to the former: criminal appeals from district courts to circuit courts in Virginia.
Appeals from circuit courts in Virginia. Rulings by city or county circuit courts in Virginia may be appealed (depending on the area of law) to the Virginia Court of Appeals or Virginia Supreme Court. In those circumstances, the circuit court judgment remains in effect until and unless the appellate court decides to vacate or reverse the lower court’s decision. A relatively small percentage of criminal cases actually go through this level of appeal. … Read More »
We all understand that you hire a defense attorney to help you through a tough situation. It may therefore seem counter-intuitive that you have a duty to help your attorney. However, the direction your case will take is often determined by the steps you take on your own. Whether it is what occurs at arrest or in preparing your case, there is a lot you can do to positively (or negatively) influence your chances of success. Here are the best ways to help us defend you in court:
Don’t Admit Anything to the Police and Don’t Consent to a Search
This should be the cardinal rule of interaction with the police—do not admit to anything illegal and do not consent to a search. It always amazes me the number of cases where there is a confession to a crime or someone consented to a search when they … Read More »
Attorney websites and blogs often provide instruction to you, the potential client, on what you need to do: what you need to expect in a particular jurisdiction or from a particular charge, how you need to dress, how you need to find a lawyer, and on and on. So this article, like the dreaded “selfie,” turns the focus away from you and onto us—the legal professionals. If you have hired an attorney to defend you against criminal or traffic charges, you should hold them to certain standards with regard to how they handle your case. Here are five things you should expect from your criminal attorney:
Responsiveness. You shouldn’t know more about the process in your case than your attorney. A criminal attorney who is annoyed that their client has questions has probably lost sight of this simple fact. If you have a question, you … Read More »
Being charged with a crime is, for almost anyone, a nerve-racking experience. If you are being investigated or have already been charged with a crime in Virginia, the first thing you will want do do is refuse to speak to the authorities without an attorney present. Then of course you will want to find an attorney as soon as possible. Finally, you should do a little research both as to the particulars of the criminal charges you are facing, and as to the overall criminal process in Virginia.
To help you on that last point, here is a guide through the five steps of the judicial process in Virginia, and what to expect from a good criminal defense attorney throughout each stage:
Step 1: Initial Investigation. The best criminal lawyers usually advise clients to remain silent when questioned by law … Read More »
We’ve all heard or seen the stories: a scorned husband posts, tweets, uploads, or emails pictures of his wife engaged in sexual acts with someone other than him. Most people are so angry and hurt in the moment that they don’t think about the repercussions—to their significant other or themselves.
Various websites now allow people to post sexual photos of past lovers or spouses, often with explicit commentary. Some of them, such as myex.com, then demand fees to remove material that has been posted. The aftermath of the online harassment for the victim (which is usually, although not always, a woman) can be devastating.
Activists are lobbying state legislatures across the county to take action and prevent this behavior, which has become known as “revenge porn.”
Delegate Marcus Simon of Falls Church introduced House Bill 49 to address, at least in part, revenge porn in Virginia. … Read More »
In planning for a court appearance in a criminal case, many defendants and witnesses overlook one crucial aspect of preparation—what to wear. Far too many people pay far too little attention to what they wear to court and if you are fortunate enough not to be appearing in a jail-issued jumpsuit, you definitely should follow established courtroom fashion etiquette.
By courtroom fashion etiquette, I am not intending this to be the type of fashion guide you would find in GQ or Vogue. Courtroom etiquette is simply based on tradition and some common sense. You only have one opportunity to make a first impression on the judge, prosecutor, and any jurors. Take advantage of that opportunity by following theses do’s and don’ts in dressing for court:
DO – Wear a suit if you have one, or at least a collared shirt or sweater … Read More »
Are you facing traffic or misdemeanor charges in Prince William County General District Court? If so, this article is for you. I will provide some tips for handling your case, while hopefully helping you decide whether you should hire an attorney. (If you are charged with a felony, my advice is to have an attorney whether you retain one or accept a court-appointed attorney).
Tip #1: Be early and be attentive. The General District Court (“GDC”) in Prince William County hears matters at 9:00 a.m., and occasionally at 10:30 a.m. There are two entrances to the courthouse, but 99% of the people use the main entrance. This can cause a delay in appearing in court when you factor in time for finding parking. 9:00 a.m. is when the judge is scheduled to take the bench, not the time when you should arrive on the courthouse grounds. Once … Read More »