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Manassas Criminal Defense Legal Blog

Felony charges and the criminal defenses to them

Felony charges are some of the most serious charges an accused individual can face. One way of understanding how serious felony charges are is by understanding how they differ from misdemeanor criminal charges.

All criminal charges are serious and carry potentially serious penalties and consequences for accused individuals. Criminal charges can result in incarceration, fines and other potential penalties and consequences. Felony charges are usually considered the most serious criminal charges an accused individual can face and involve violent crimes and other types of criminal offenses. Some examples can include murder, rape and robbery charges.

Legal help with drug charges

Drug-related crimes can lead to significant potential penalties and consequences for accused individuals. As a result, accused individuals have to be familiar with their criminal defense protections and rights and how to develop a criminal defense strategy.

Drug possession charges can result in accused individuals spending long periods of time incarcerating which can rob them of their lives and futures. Drug charges can include possession charges; possession with intent to distribute charges; cocaine possession charges; heroin possession charges; methamphetamine charges; charges for marijuana possession; charges for synthetic drug charges; and prescription drug fraud charges. Additional charges can include drug trafficking charges or charges with the intent to sell.

Do you know what happens at a DUI checkpoint?

Some people go their entire life without ever driving through a DUI checkpoint. Others, however, seem to encounter these all too often.

Knowing what to expect at a DUI checkpoint in Virginia can go a long way in helping you avoid trouble. There's no way of knowing exactly what an officer will say or do, but there are some basics that typically come into play. Here's what you need to know:

  • Police are watching as you pull up to the checkpoint: Don't assume that police are ignoring you until an officer approaches your window. They're watching drivers as they get closer, paying attention to how they act and whether or not they break any other laws. It's important to slow down, stay in your lane and keep your focus on the task at hand.
  • The face-to-face conversation: The officer will typically start by asking for your driver's license, registration and insurance card. Other questions are common, such as those regarding where you're coming from or where you're headed. Also, it's common to ask if you've been drinking.
  • Looking for signs of impairment: The officer is trained in pinpointing signs of impairment, including but not limited to flushed face, slurred speech, smell of alcohol and bloodshot eyes.
  • Field sobriety test: If there is any reason to believe you have alcohol in your system, the officer may ask you to take a field sobriety test. These include: one leg stand, walk and turn, nystagmus, counting and finger to nose.
  • Breathalyzer test: If you fail a field sobriety test, the officer will then ask you to take a Breathalyzer test. This provides instant information in regard to whether or not you're blood alcohol concentration level is above the legal limit.

Methods of fighting a traffic ticket

Alleged traffic violations ranging from speeding to running a red light can result in serious negative consequences for everyday drivers who have been pulled over and cited. In an attempt to avoid these penalties, it is helpful for individuals facing a traffic ticket to be familiar with strategies available for fighting traffic violations.

One method of disputing a traffic citation is to dispute the police officer's personal opinion and the subjective conclusion they reach when they cite a driver for a certain alleged violation of the law such as unsafe driving or making an unsafe turn or unsafe lane change. In addition, it may also be possible to dispute the evidence and facts as alleged by the police officer. Some types of evidence that may refute a police officer's version of events include eyewitness statements, diagrams, and photos. There are a variety of methods available for doing this, with which ticketed drivers should be familiar.

Understanding sex offender registries and what they involve

Sex offender registries are important for any accused individual facing sex crimes charges, accusations and allegations to understand. Sex offender registries have significant consequences for individuals accused of sex offenses and violent crimes which is why accused individuals should be familiar with what they do and the ongoing impact they may have on them.

Sex offender registries are data bases that include personal information related to convicted sex offenders that law enforcement can use to track and monitor convicted sex offenders. Registration with a sex offender registry requires information including address information that must be updated on an ongoing basis. It is important to note that failure to comply with sex offender registration requirements can be considered a separate offense and can lead to additional penalties and consequences for the accused individual.

The serious nature of drug charges

All drug charges are serious, including drug trafficking and drug distribution charges. Drug charges can carry particularly significant penalties and consequences which is why accused individuals should be familiar with criminal defense protections to drug charges and their legal options.

Drug offenses including drug trafficking and drug distribution charges penalize the sell, transportation and illegal import of unlawful controlled substances. Unlawful controlled substances can include cocaine, heroin, marijuana, methamphetamines and other illegal drugs as well. Different factors can influence the possible penalties associated with drug trafficking or drug distribution charges including the type of drugs involved; the amount of drugs; where they were distributed; and if children were involved.

White collar crimes basics

The term white collar crime refers to a variety of different types of crime which is why it is helpful to understand what the category of crime refers to and what the different crimes are included in the definition. White collar crimes typically, in general, involve deceit and are motivated by financial gain.

The most common types of white collar crime include fraud, embezzlement tax evasion and money laundering. In addition, securities fraud such as insider trading or Ponzi schemes are included under the category of white collar crimes. Fraud is one type of white collar crime that involves the use of deceit for monetary gain.

Do you know what qualifies as reckless driving in Virginia?

Certain traffic infractions are straightforward. Speeding tickets, for example, typically reflect a radar reading that shows a vehicle traveling at a speed higher than the posted speed limit. The citation will state exactly how fast a driver was going, making any defense to a speeding infraction relatively straightforward.

Other kinds of traffic infractions are less objective and more subjective in certain cases. Reckless driving is a perfect example of a traffic violation that people find confusing. Someone may believe that their driving was perfectly safe, but law enforcement officers may not agree.

What to do when facing DUI charges

Drunk driving charges can lead to significant potential penalties and consequences for accused individuals which can have a dramatic, and immediate, impact on their day-to-day lives. Legal help with drunk driving charges can be crucial because of the serious impact a DUI charge can have on the lives of accused individuals.

Accused individuals facing DUI charges should be familiar with their legal options, rights and the protections available to them. Accused individuals can face both near-term and long-term consequences associated with a DUI charge. It is important to note that there are potential criminal and administrative penalties associated with a drunk driving charges which can result in fees, incarceration or license suspension.

Felony charges should be taken seriously

Felony charges are the most serious criminal charges an accused individual can face and should therefore be taken seriously. Felonies are usually designated by class which can have an impact on the potential penalties and consequences the accused individual faces.

Historically, felony charges were regarded as charges of moral turpitude and have historically been considered the worst crimes an individual could commit. Violent crime is included amongst the list of common felonies including murder, rape, robbery, burglary, arson, kidnapping and other crimes as well. Since a felony charge is considered so serious, it can generally be punished by a year or more in prison and a steep fine.

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