What’s Unique About Defending Criminal Cases in Loudoun County Court?
The uniqueness of handling criminal cases in Loudoun County courts can be seen by its local rules, its local customs, and the particular personalities that a Loudoun County criminal defense attorney will encounter in the area. By personalities I mean dealing with specific law enforcement officials, dealing with specific judges, and dealing with specific prosecutors. For example, cases involving petit (petty) larceny are typically handled much differently in Loudoun County than they are in Fairfax County or in Prince William County. While these three large jurisdictions all border each other that same misdemeanor theft charge in one county may yield a vastly different result than in the other two with the exact same factual circumstances. So that’s just one example of how the criminal procedure and local rules differ and how they affect the case.
Are There Any Crimes or Behaviors That Loudoun County is Trying to Crack Down On?
The most common behavior that law enforcement in Loudoun County is trying to crack down on are crimes that are perceived as crimes of violence and that means burglary, robbery, assault, malicious and unlawful wounding, things of that nature. In addition, as in most of Virginia, there is also an active enforcement effort to try to rid the area of serious drug offenses, in this area in particular that means methamphetamines, heroin, and prescription drugs.
Are There Any Charges That Loudoun County Prosecutors Are Trying to Crack Down On and Prosecute Firmly?
Well, Loudoun County prosecutors try to prosecute the majority of cases that come before them firmly and aggressively. They’re not going to let a lot of things slide but they’re going to handle every case on the unique facts and circumstances of that case. They prosecute drug offenses and crimes involving children and the elderly firmly. Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorneys also rely on a strict interpretation of DUIs and prosecute them thoroughly.
Are There Any Charges That Loudoun County Courts Treat Very Seriously?
If you’re talking about courts and therefore judges, I think the question is more about the specific crimes that are penalized more strictly by a judge at the sentencing phase. Each judge has their particularly offensive crimes, but generally crimes of violence, drug distribution and crimes involving persons taking advantage of others, particularly children and the elderly, are punished harshly in Loudoun County.
What Are Some of The Problems You See With The Criminal Justice System and How it Currently Operates?
My primary critique of the current justice system are that there are not enough options. Too often cases are viewed as “wrong or right” without taking the individual’s entire situation into consideration. An additional critique I would have for Virginia would be that we do not have enough first offender or diversion programs for young adult offenders.
Difficult diversion programs for persons charged with a criminal offense for the first time, I believe, would be a substantial deterrent to future criminal activity if they had to undergo a lengthy and dedicated process to maintain a clean record.
In Virginia, if you are convicted of an offense it stays on your record forever. That is especially hard for young people. It is also very tough in this area where security clearances and a clean background check are very important for the purpose of schooling, employment, and even future federal benefits. So my critique of the current system in Virginia would be that we do not have enough opportunities for persons charged with a first offense to avoid conviction and prove that they made a one-time mistake.