Experienced Virginia Criminal Defense Attorney Ready To Serve You
Have you been arrested for a criminal charge in the Richmond or the entire Commonwealth of Virginia? Is your job, freedom, or future at risk? The judicial process can be complex and intimidating. The good news is, that you do NOT have to face it alone. Having an experienced criminal defense lawyer in your corner is an indispensable asset that can offer you peace of mind, mitigate the risk of a negative ruling, and reduce the time, stress, and cost of obtaining a favorable resolution in your case.
At Bounds and Bounds, PLLC, our Richmond criminal defense attorneys will be happy to evaluate your case and determine if the police illegally or unconstitutionally stopped, searched, questioned or charged you. If they did, our lawyers can possibly get a reduction or outright dismissal of your charges. In addition, even if you were not illegally stopped, questioned, or searched, we may still be able to obtain a plea agreement with the commonwealth attorney for your charges to be reduced or eliminated. That is because there may be mitigating factors or circumstances that make the offense less egregious from the standpoint of the prosecuting lawyer.
What Is The Difference Between A Felony And A Misdemeanor?
A felony in Virginia is any offense for which there is the potential for incarceration that is more than one year long. Misdemeanors, on the other hand, can only result in a maximum of 12 months of incarceration. The maximum fine for a misdemeanor conviction cannot exceed $2,500. In addition, a conviction for a felony can result in the loss of certain constitutional rights such as the right to bear arms, the right to vote, the right to serve in the military, and the right to hold public office.
One of our attorneys has experience as a public defender and trial lawyer. This gives us insight into how prosecutors and judges approach specific cases such as yours. The sooner we hear from you, the better equipped we will be to negotiate for your charges to be lessened or dismissed, or, if we go to trial, to achieve a reduction or an acquittal.
‘If My Case Is Completely Bogus, I Don’t Need A Lawyer, Right?’
Do not be misled into believing that your case will surely be dropped because you know that it is based upon lies and/or misperceptions. Even if that is the case, very often the prosecution will proceed anyway. Not always, but often. If this is your situation, you need a skilled criminal defense attorney even more than a person who might have actually committed a crime.
It’s important to keep in mind that prosecutors work with the police in order to apprehend and convict people accused of crimes in the commonwealth. Therefore, prosecutors are likely to believe whatever an officer says in their report or verbally. The problem is that officers can get things wrong – either intentionally or unintentionally. But a prosecutor will go forward with an officer’s testimony unless that testimony is vigorously challenged by someone. You need an experienced criminal defense lawyer who knows just how to challenge the evidence and perceptions of the officer and witnesses.
It is by challenging these witnesses that we are able to get:
- The prosecutor to drop the charges
- The judge to dismiss the charges
- The judge to suppress key evidence (thereby increasing your odds of winning at trial or getting a better plea deal)
- Get the charges lowered in severity, say from a felony to a misdemeanor
- Get the sentence reduced
As you can see, an experienced criminal defense attorney is crucial for the success of these endeavors. So do not rely on chance or on the integrity of the prosecutor when you know your case is based on lies. Get a strong advocate in your corner to protect you.
‘I Blew A .16 When I Was Arrested For DUI. Shouldn’t I Just “Take My Lumps” And Plead Guilty?’
Again, not necessarily. It is always in your very best interest to have a skilled criminal attorney look at your case. If the officer overstepped any legal boundaries in their stop of your vehicle or in their investigation, we may be able to get the case dismissed. It is certainly not a given, but before you take that plea deal, talk to a professional who cares.
What Are Some Common Defenses Against Criminal Charges?
There are hundreds of ways to defend someone against criminal charges, depending on the nature of the charges and the surrounding circumstances. Some of these defenses target the sufficiency of the evidence, others target the conduct of the police, while still, others assert that the alleged criminal act was justified under the circumstances. Below are a few of the most common defenses:
- Alibi: You could escape a conviction by proving that you were somewhere else when the crime occurred.
- Discredited witnesses: If the evidence against you is based on witness testimony, your attorney will likely try to discredit them so that the jury will not believe their testimony.
- Entrapment: Entrapment occurs when a law enforcement official persuades you to commit a crime that you would not ordinarily commit, just so he can arrest you for it. This defense doesn’t work if you were already inclined to commit the crime or if law enforcement simply provided you with the opportunity to commit a crime. It is difficult to plead entrapment, for example, if you bought drugs from an undercover police officer.
- Illegal search and seizure: If the police searched your home without a warrant or an exception to the warrant requirement and subsequently found evidence in your home, you can have the evidence excluded from your trial. If the prosecutor lacks enough additional evidence to convict you, you could be acquitted.
- Failure to “read you your rights”: “You have the right to remain silent,” etc. If the police failed to read you your rights after arresting you, nothing you say after that, including a confession, can be used against you.
- Self-defense or defense of others: You are entitled to use proportionate violence to repel an unprovoked physical attack against you or someone else.
Remember, under the U.S. Constitution, you are considered innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. What that means in practice is that your Virginia criminal defense lawyer does not have to “prove you innocent” – all he has to do is establish reasonable doubt.
Get help from a trusted criminal defense lawyer today. Contact us immediately by phone, fax, or email for a free confidential consultation.
The criminal charges we defend against include:
- Crimes against property
- Identity theft/fraud
- Domestic violence
- Underage possession/consumption of alcohol
- Drug charges
- Marijuana possession
- Reckless driving
- Hit and run
- Student crimes
- Juvenile crimes
- Driving suspended
- Protective Order violations
- Violent crimes
- Restoration of gun rights
- Firearm charges
- Prostitution and solicitation for prostitution
You do not have to feel helpless or powerless in the face of the government’s prosecutorial power. Our criminal defense lawyer is here to be your friend and advocate. Our staff deeply cares about cases such as yours, and we understand the complexities and seriousness of criminal charges. Our law office handles all misdemeanors and most felonies, and we are committed to ensuring that you get your day in court. With our attorneys by your side, a conviction is not inevitable. Let us fight for your rights and protect your freedom.
We offer reliable and experienced assistance to individuals seeking an expungement. The expungement process is complicated, and you should not attempt to obtain one without first consulting an experienced lawyer. Expungements in Virginia are governed by VA Code § 19.2-393.2. The process mandates several requisite actions, including obtaining official fingerprints by the state police as well as a formal hearing in the Circuit Court. We can walk you through this process to make it as smooth and hassle-free as possible.
Expungement is the legal term for the judicial process of sealing police and court records pertaining to a given criminal matter. This does NOT mean the records are destroyed. It simply means they will no longer be publicly available and can only be accessed by official court order – such as by a law enforcement officer with a valid warrant.
Benefits Of Obtaining An Expungement
Many individuals are concerned about submitting a job application when they have lingering felony and/or misdemeanor charges still on their record. If you successfully obtain an expungement for those charges, it can make all the difference in getting hired or obtaining a security clearance for future employment purposes.
Are You Eligible For An Expungement?
If your case fits into one of the following categories, you may be a viable candidate for obtaining an expungement:
- You pleaded “not guilty” and were subsequently acquitted by either a judge or jury.
- You were involved in a civil action and charged with contempt of court but were found not guilty.
- You were involved in a criminal case that the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office opted to not prosecute (also referred to as a nolle prosequi scenario) for all associated charges.
- You were charged with assault and battery or a similar misdemeanor for which the plaintiff could have alternatively pursued a civil action. Then the injured party submits a written statement that she/he has received satisfaction for the injury and the case has, subsequently, been dismissed.
- Your name, likeness, or identification has been used without consent or authorization in a criminal matter, also known as identity theft.
- You were convicted of a crime that later received an absolute pardon.
The expungement process is further complicated, based on whether you were a juvenile or adult when the offense was committed.
Juvenile Crimes And Expungement
Records of delinquent juveniles (except for felony and traffic convictions) must be destroyed after the juvenile reaches age 19, or five years after the defendant’s last Domestic Relations District Court hearing, whichever occurs later. In traffic cases, the record is destroyed the year after the defendant reaches age 29, unless he or she subsequently commits a felony after becoming an adult. The records of a proceeding where a juvenile has committed a felony are not destroyed. Lastly, if a juvenile is found not guilty of a misdemeanor offense, he or she may ask in writing for the early destruction of the records.
Adult Crimes And Expungement
Under VA Code Section 19.2-392.2 (A) only in very limited circumstances can the police and court records of an adult accused of a criminal offense be expunged. If the accused pled not guilty and was found not guilty by the court and the court did not make a factual finding of sufficient evidence, records of that proceeding can be expunged. Additionally, if the case is dismissed on motion of the commonwealth attorney by a nolle prosecqui or a motion for dismissal and, again, there is no factual finding of sufficient evidence by the tribunal, those records can also be expunged. With the expungement of a criminal charge all records of that charge, including electronic records, are destroyed.
Contact A Skilled Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
If you are facing criminal charges, you need a skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney who can effectively defend your rights and protect your freedom. At Bounds and Bounds, PLLC, we understand the complexities and seriousness of criminal cases, and we are committed to providing you with aggressive and results-oriented legal representation.
Whether you have been arrested, are under investigation, or need a prior charge expunged, we can help. Our legal team has a proven track record of success in handling a wide range of criminal cases, from misdemeanors to serious felonies. We offer a free initial consultation to discuss your case and explore your legal options.
Don’t let criminal charges jeopardize your future. Contact us today to schedule your consultation with a skilled Virginia criminal defense attorney who will fight tirelessly on your behalf. Call right now: 804-361-3402. We return most calls or emails within 24 hours.