When you are in need of a Criminal Defense Lawyer with years of experience and know how – Call Sheryl Shane, The Virginia Criminal Attorney.

An arrest and being investigated for a crime in Virginia are such a stressful experience for any individual.   Some will keep the matter private due to embarrassment.  Others will seek and ask family and friends for sound advice.   But the consequences of such an event really deserves the attention of a seasoned attorney.    Sheryl Shane, The Virginia Attorney possesses approximately (25) years of experience as a litigator.   Speak to her for advice and to fight for your rights.

There are some crimes which seem minor, such as first offense marijuana, drug crimes, assault & battery, domestic violence, and petty larceny charges.    An individual may be tempted to waive rights to an attorney.  He or she may want to avoid hiring an attorney.   On some occasions, the accused may choose to speak to law enforcement without sound legal advice - believing this to be the best course of action.   However, this choice to act on one’s own may work against oneself.  The choice to hire Sheryl Shane, the Virginia Criminal Attorney may mean the difference between a conviction or none, whether or not you serve jail or prison time, whether you will be ordered to pay fines and/or restitution, whether you will prohibited from obtaining scholarships and financial aid for your college education, whether or not you will qualify for a high security job, or whether you will be prevented from becoming a citizen or even be deported.  Walking into court – uncounseled and without a well-advised legal plan may affect your future more seriously than contemplated.   It is much easier to take care of matters from the beginning versus working backwards to fix a problem.   In the area of law, there are many times that once a mistake has been made it cannot be corrected.   Look at the big picture and take care of not only your present situation but also your future.

Assault & Battery

The Virginia Courts have the power to defer proceedings against certain persons charged with simple assault and domestic violence without finding one guilty, and place the party on probation, and later discharge and dismiss the charge.  This right will only apply to first time offenders and the prosecution has the right to object to such action.  Per statute, the defendant will have the opportunity to plead guilty, not guilty, or nolo contender.   The court will find evidence sufficient to find guilt.  The Defendant will be accessed for educational programs, possible treatment, or other services, or maybe a combination of those.   The Defendant will then be required to participate and complete that required of him or her.   The services are not per se “free” of cost for the accused.    Ability to pay may be taken into account when determining costs.   The accused will also be required to stay of good behavior for two years.   The result may end with a “non-conviction” status at the State level.

Now, this may all seem to be a great deal – but this is not the case for all.    It is not the job of the Judge, the Prosecutor, nor the probation officers to look to the best interests of the accused.   Choose wisely and seek sound legal advice.   What may appear to be a great deal may result in extreme detriment to your life plans.   Call your trusted lawyer Sheryl Shane at the first hint of trouble.

Drug Charges

First time offenders charged with marijuana, narcotic drugs, stimulants, depressants, and hallucinogenic drugs may qualify for a deferred finding of guilt if the defendant consents and plead guilty or not guilty, and the Court determines that the facts would justify a guilty finding.  The accused would be placed on probation and assessed for substance abuse.  Drug education and/or treatment would be required.    What some people fail to consider when attending court without an attorney and entering into this deal are the long-term consequences if one is unable to complete in a satisfactory manner.   A positive testing for drugs may result in a conviction and possibly more court dates.  Receiving a motor-vehicle charge may disqualify you from your desired result.   Being of good behavior for the length of time required may be difficult for some.   There are a slew of actions or non-actions which can prevent you from reaching your “not guilty” finding.  Depending on the facts of the case you may or may not lose your privilege to drive for a period of time.   If you hire the best attorney from the beginning – you have a much better chance to protect yourself and achieve a much better result.

Prior to applying for a Deferred Disposition of Sentence – speak to Attorney Sheryl Shane to determine what is best for you.    Programs provided by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, or similar programs provided by the Department of Correction or Local community-based services, and ASAP which is certified by VASAP can be costly and difficult to complete.  

Petty Larceny

The Commonwealth of Virginia may also permit a defendant a deferred disposition involving larceny offenses.    Usually the defendant will be required to actively participate in program, perform a certain amount of community service, pay restitution for losses caused by the defendant.  The Court will also discharge and dismiss the proceedings without an adjudication at the State Level.  But realize – that although you were found “not guilty” due to compliance with statutes or court programs – you many not qualify to have your record expunged.    Expungements apply to innocent persons – not to those who are guilty.   A person deferred from judgment when the Court determined there where facts sufficient to support a conviction are not necessarily presumed innocent.   Immigration status may also suffer a severe negative impact by a Deferred Disposition at the State Level.

Juveniles may Receive Deferred Dispositions

Generally, juveniles are less equipped than adults to deal with accusations made by police when confronted.   Unfortunately, this makes the government’s case easier to prove if the child lacked counsel during an investigation, petition, or arrest.   The bright side is that if the offense is not serious – the child may be given more leeway than an adult when it comes to an outcome.   There may be options to dismiss and records may be expunged.

The Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court are able to give chances to juveniles who have been found delinquent.     When a child gets into trouble with the law, the Court may make orders involving supervision, rehabilitation, and care.  Although Juveniles may be sent to places such as the Less Secure Shelter, or sent to a Detention Facility, The Department of Juvenile Justice, or other forms of Lock-up - there are alternatives.   Children found to be delinquent may be ordered to remain with parents and given rules for conditions and limitations.  Programs and treatments may be ordered for the child and parents.  If the Judge chooses, he or she may defer a disposition and dismiss when the child has completed requirements and acted with good behavior.    There are of course certain prerequisites which must be met in order to qualify for a deferred disposition.  The Court will look to the child’s history and the gravity of the offense(s) when making determinations as to whether it is an option.  Call Sheryl Shane, The Virginia Criminal Attorney to help your child and family live better.   Take a positive step with your child in the right direction.