Choosing a Virginia Criminal Attorney
Criminal charges are not easy to deal with. They are often associated with serious penalties and can leave a lasting and ugly mark on your permanent record. In order to avoid having their lives negatively impacted in the future, you will want to do thorough research before selecting a Virginia criminal defense lawyer for your case.
Differences Between Private & Public Defenders
Public defenders are offered to people who make below a threshold level of income and are facing serious criminal charges. The public defender is offered by need, and if you find yourself in financial difficulty then you should certainly use them. If you have the means, either through yourself, or through friends, family, or community assistance, it is to your benefit to consider hiring a private Virginia criminal lawyer.
If you do not qualify for the public defender’s office, you should never falsify the financial affidavit in order to secure public defender services.
Benefits of a Private Attorney
Private attorneys generally have a lighter case load than a public defender’s office, which allows them to pay personal attention to each case. In addition, there are certain types of cases that private attorneys may handle more often than public defenders, such as DUI cases or cases involving driving. Lastly, private law offices may have additional resources that the public defender’s office simply does not have the time or funds for, including private investigation services, experienced law clerks, as well as the ability to talk to experts.
There are many advantages that a private Virginia criminal defense attorney brings to your case. Some of those include their experience, local relationships, and an expansive variety of resources.
Steps to Hiring a Virginia Criminal Lawyer
There are many important aspects to choosing which attorney is best for you. The attorney that may be best suited for your friend or family member may not necessarily be right for you.
First, you want to find an attorney that is experienced in Virginia criminal law and practices regularly in the jurisdiction in which you are charged, especially criminal defense. Local relationships matter. Having a Virginia criminal attorney with strong local relationships who knows what to expect from the judges and prosecutors can be used to your advantage.
Secondly, you want an attorney who takes cases to trial on a regular basis. You want to know that your attorney will be there for the full extent of the case and will try the case if necessary. You want to find a lawyer you believe will work to help you receive the best possible results.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, you want an attorney with whom you can communicate with well and trust. You are going to be taking lot of very important advice from your criminal defense attorney and you are going to be sharing a lot of important information with them.
You want to make sure that you understand your attorney and that your personalities work well together. Some attorneys and clients match very well in experience and need, but their personalities are like oil and water, and this will never work. Because your attorney will be your advocate throughout your case, it is important to find someone you work well with and that you believe will listen to and address your concerns.
Common Mistakes Made After a Virginia Arrest
The most important thing to remember when being arrested is that it is imperative that you avoid making aggressive or violent actions towards the police, which may result in additional charges or violent responses. There are a number of other things that you should be aware of when you are interacting with the police, as well.
The first thing you should know is that the police will use any statements you make against you. Often, people want to tell their side of the story. This is generally not a good idea. Immediately after being placed under arrest is not the time and place for you to tell the officer your side of the story. The reason for this is that your side of the story may provide important corroboration or important details that the officers need to prosecute you. Details included in what you may say innocently, such as time, dates and places, may be later used to corroborate certain factual and circumstantial evidences against you.
If you are placed under arrest in Virginia, you should avoid talking to law enforcement about the facts and circumstances of the case. You should use your right to counsel and speak with an experienced Virginia criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.