Virginia Criminal Defense
If someone is charged with a criminal offense in Virginia or they believe they may be charged with a criminal offense in the near future, the very first thing they should do is contact an experienced Virginia criminal defense attorney. An attorney who is well-versed in handling criminal matters can give them prompt advice about what to expect and how to proceed.
An experienced defense attorney is an asset in the early stages of a case because they can analyze which facts are helpful and what evidence should be preserved. It is important to preserve evidence such as witness statements, or crucial physical evidence such as emails and phone calls which may be destroyed if a person waits until much later to contact a criminal defense lawyer on their behalf.
Constitutional Issues in Virginia Criminal Cases
There may be a variety of important constitutional issues present during the defense of a Virginia criminal charge. The type of constitutional defense depends solely on the type of offense you are alleged to have committed, how the evidence was collected in the case, and how the prosecution has proceeded to present certain evidence. For example, cases in which a search of vehicles was performed have Fourth Amendment concerns. The Fourth Amendment guarantees all persons in the United States the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.
This does not mean all searches and seizures, but unreasonable searches and seizures. It is a large body of case law from the United States Supreme Court in which they have let everyone know what they should and can expect for different scenarios implicating the Fourth Amendment.
Depending on the facts and circumstances of the case, there may also be Fifth Amendment and Sixth Amendment concerns. These are the primary three constitutional issues that may arise during a criminal defense for an alleged Virginia criminal charge. However, it is not an exhaustive list.
VA Criminal Lawyer’s Role in Pending Investigations
If you are being investigated but are yet to be charged, an experienced Virginia criminal attorney can act as a buffer between you and law enforcement. In addition, a criminal defense attorney can explain to you what is going on, what to expect, and how to act in the intermediate time period. If for example you are being investigated for a financial crime, it may be in your best interest to cease activities involving the alleged conduct. An attorney can help you understand what activities those may be.
If you are charged with an offense such as conspiracy, having a criminal defense lawyer involved in your case can be invaluable. Many times the prosecution will want people to cooperate early in the investigation in order to work out a lighter charge or even a lighter sentence down the road. There are a variety of different reasons why you want to contact a Virginia defense attorney and a variety of different things an attorney can help you with in the pre-arrest context.