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Common Questions and Definitions in Loudoun Criminal Cases

Below are frequently asked questions regarding criminal cases in Loudoun County, Virginia. To learn more about the legal process or to discuss your case schedule a consultation with a Loudoun County criminal lawyer today.

What Does a Grand Jury Mean in Loudoun County?

A grand jury is a group of citizens to whom felony matters are presented. The grand jury reviews information presented to them by law enforcement officials or private citizens and decides whether or not there is enough evidence to issue what is something called a true bill. This is a historical piece of Virginia law that comes from colonial times and common law, and remains even when the charges are waived in General District Court and are still presented to a grand jury in most cases.

There are also cases in which the grand jury may do something called a direct indictment. A direct indictment is when the grand jury is presented with information from law enforcement officials without the person necessarily knowing that this is being presented or even knowing that they’re being investigated. The grand jury does the same thing, they determine whether or not to issue a true bill. There is another grand jury function that is not commonly used in Loudoun County, although it is enjoying a rebirth in other parts of the Commonwealth. That is something called a special grand jury. A special grand jury can be initiated by the Commonwealth Attorney’s office for investigation purposes. They may investigate a crime and that has issues as to probable cause or is of a particularly sensitivity to the public.

What is An Indictment?

An indictment is when you are formally charged with a criminal offense in the Circuit Court.

Can a Criminal Charge Conviction Affect One’s Immigration Status?

Yes. Depending on the nature of the criminal offense your immigration status or your ability to obtain status in this country may be affected. I am not an immigration attorney; however, another advantage of working with our firm is that we have experienced immigration counsel on staff that can give specific answers to how the specific facts of your case may have immigration consequences. In Virginia, most defense attorneys are required to advise clients of potential immigration consequences that could arise.  Therefore you should not shy away from discussing your immigration status and discussing how it may be affected by a criminal charges that your attorney is duty bound to discuss that with you and assist you in coming to an understanding of the full extent of your case.

Can a Criminal Charge or Conviction Impact Security Clearance?

Yes, it can absolutely affect your security clearance. In the Northern Virginia area, especially in Loudoun County, security clearance is a big deal. There are a lot of military and government employees as well as government contractors. In order to understand the ramifications to your security clearance it may be necessary that your attorney work with security officer or know exactly what you’re facing in the long run.

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