Being charged with a crime is devastating and stressful, regardless of whether you are facing a felony or a misdemeanor. You have legal rights at all stages of the prosecutorial process, but the prosecutor looks forward to painting you as a criminal. By retaining a Purcellville criminal defense attorney, you increase your ability to obtain the most favorable case outcome. At Virginia Criminal Attorney, we believe you are presumed innocent until proven guilty and can fight for your rights to ensure the prosecution does not convict you of an offense you did not commit. Please read this article to learn about some of the ways we can help you.

Sex Crime Defense

A sex offense is sexual misconduct perpetrated against somebody else without their consent or against an individual who cannot legally consent. Individuals could fail to permit due to their mental or physical disability, age, or impairment due to alcohol or drugs.

Here are some of the commonly charged sex crimes in Virginia:

  • Rape — You violate rape laws when you engage in sexual intercourse with a person or cause an individual to have sex with another under any of these circumstances: if the victim is a minor below 13, through your physical disability or mental incapacitation, or against the alleged victim’s will using intimidation, threats, or force.
  • Having carnal knowledge of minors — The crime can involve oral sex, sexual abuse that involves penetration using an object, sodomy, or sexual intercourse. The defendant’s and the minor’s ages impact how the prosecutor charges the crime.
  • Taking indecent liberties with a minor — The crime can involve exposing your sexual organs or genitals to the juvenile when you are unmarried to them, asking a child to expose or fondle their sexual organs or genitals, or asking a minor to engage in sodomy or sexual conduct.
  • Child pornography — It involves distributing or possessing sexual images of children.
  • Solicitation or prostitution — The crime involves trading sexual favors for money or something valuable. It is also illegal to ask a person to enter into a transaction of this nature.
  • Forcible sodomy — It includes anal or oral intercourse without the alleged victim’s consent.
  • Infected sexual battery.
  • Incest.
  • Attempted sex offenses.

Penalties for sex offenses vary, from paying fines to incarceration. All violent sex crimes are felonies and attract life imprisonment without parole. The possible sentence depends on factors like:

  • The severity of the crime.
  • Whether the crime was violent.
  • Your criminal history.
  • The victim’s disability or age.

Additionally, defendants in most sex crimes could be required to register as sex offenders. These crimes include the following:

  • Sexually violent crimes.
  • Sex trafficking.
  • A third-time misdemeanor sexual battery conviction.
  • Rape.
  • Object sexual penetration.
  • Forcible sodomy.

If you are facing an allegation of a sex crime, it is crucial to retain a Purcellville criminal defense attorney. The legal expert can investigate the charges, evaluate the prosecution’s evidence, review witness testimonies and police reports, work with expert witnesses, and develop defense strategies. They can work to get your charges dropped or even dismissed.

Bail and Release Assistance

Following an arrest for an offense, there are numerous legal procedures you should know. One of them is a bail hearing that allows your release as you await your trial and build your defense effectively.

A judge will review your criminal charges to determine if they should grant bail and the amount. Bail hearings often occur quickly, and there is minimal preparation time. Nevertheless, a Purcellville criminal defense attorney can collect essential information to understand your case facts and examine your criminal history. Then, they can make solid arguments for a reasonable bail amount and make arrangements with a bond agent for you, if necessary. Sometimes, your lawyer can convince the judge to release you on your own recognizance.

If the judge hesitates to grant bail, your attorney can suggest bail conditions depending on your case facts. Typical conditions include the following:

  • Adhering to all laws.
  • Refraining from alcohol and drugs.
  • Not possessing weapons.
  • Staying away from specific people and places.
  • Seeking or maintaining employment.
  • Following a curfew.
  • Abiding by your travel restrictions.

Driving While Intoxicated Defense

Virginia DWI laws ban all drivers from operating a motor vehicle:

  • While under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • With a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08%.
  • With a BAC of 0.1 milligrams per liter of methamphetamine.
  • With a BAC of at least 0.01 milligrams per liter of phencyclidine.

DWI penalties depend on factors like whether you have previous convictions, have caused an accident or death, or have a high BAC.

A first-time DWI conviction that does not involve an accident that caused death or injury is charged as a misdemeanor. It is punishable by twelve months in county jail, a year of driver’s license suspension, and a $2,500 fine. You can acquire a restricted driver’s license that requires installing an ignition interlock device for six months.

A second drunk driving conviction within the lookback period is a misdemeanor carrying the following consequences and penalties:

  • A maximum of twelve months in county jail.
  • Three years of driver’s license suspension.
  • Installing an IID for six months.
  • A $2,500 fine.

A third conviction is a felony with five years in state prison, a $2,500 fine, and license revocation.

A drunk driving crime is also a felony if the crime involves death or injuries. Drunk driving causing severe injuries to somebody else is a Class 6 felony. You will face a five-year prison sentence and two thousand and five hundred dollars in fines if convicted. If you kill an individual while driving under the influence, you will be charged with vehicular manslaughter. It is a Class 5 felony that attracts a $2,500 fine and ten years in state prison.

If you are charged with drunk driving, you can hope to get your charges dismissed. However, it can be challenging for the prosecution to agree unless the judge throws out essential evidence. Sometimes, a defense attorney can work to reduce a charge to wet reckless criminal charges.

Some of the legal defenses your Purcellville criminal defense attorney can use include the following:

  • Rising BAC defense.
  • Illegal traffic stop.
  • Illegal search and seizure.
  • Inaccurate field sobriety test.
  • Inaccurate chemical test results.

White-Collar Offenses Defense

White-collar offenses mainly involve financial schemes or criminal actions consisting of dishonesty or fraud. The legal issues in these cases can be complex and entail hundreds or thousands of financial records.

The list of some white-collar crimes is as follows:

  • Fraud — There are several fraud-related crimes under Virginia law. The usual component in fraud cases is misrepresenting facts to secure a personal benefit from the victim. Some fraud crimes are minor misdemeanors; others could carry lengthy prison sentences.
  • Embezzlement — The offense involves receiving property or money fraudulently for financial benefit by a person responsible for the cash or property due to their job. You will face a misdemeanor if the money you embezzled is below $200. It constitutes a felony punishable by a $2,500 fine, a maximum of 20 years of imprisonment, and paying restitution if the money embezzled exceeds $200.
  • Money laundering — A money laundering offense consists of spending illegally obtained money (for instance, money from business fraud or selling drugs) for legal objectives. It is a felony that attracts a $500,000 fine and 40 years of imprisonment.
  • Identity theft involves obtaining identifying information from a person and accessing their financial documents to apply for a loan in their name or take over their real estate or private property. It is prosecuted as a Class 5 Virginia felony.
  • Bribery is soliciting, receiving, or offering something of value to influence a person in their official capacity.
  • Extortion is obtaining money or property unlawfully by using threats of harm against someone or their property.
  • Tax fraud — Tax evasion is the deliberate refusal to pay due taxes by concealing assets, misstating income, and not filing tax returns. It can be prosecuted as a state or federal offense. Penalties following a conviction of violating Virginia law consist of a prison term of 1 year and a fine of $2500.
  • Credit card larceny — It is unlawful to take another person’s credit card without authorization or commit theft, like using an expired or revoked credit card. If the money stolen is below $200 within six months, the crime is a Class 1 Virginia misdemeanor. On the other hand, amounts above $200 would lead to Class 6 felony charges.

A Purcellville Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help You Fight Your Charges

White-collar crimes carry serious consequences, both professionally and personally. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the legal strategies available to you. Some legal defenses your lawyer could employ to fight the charges include the following:

  • A lack of motive — A primary case strategy is demonstrating a lack of intent. Most white-collar offenses require a particular mental state, like intentionally defrauding someone by stealing funds. Your legal counsel should verify that you had no motive to engage in the alleged offense to weaken the charges against you.
  • Duress — Duress could be an applicable defense in your case if a person coerced you to commit the white-collar offense with threats of injury to your person, family member, or business. Your attorney will investigate the case circumstances to decide whether duress was at play and develop a strong counter argument based on your case details.
  • Entrapment is another viable defense. If your attorney can demonstrate that law enforcement agents influenced you to engage in the offense, which you were unlikely to commit otherwise, it might form an entrapment. Proving entrapment can lead to the dismissal of your charges.
  • Mistaken identity.

Theft Criminal Defense

Virginia separates theft-linked crimes into classifications of larceny. The offenses that an individual faces depend on the facts of the case. These crimes include the following:

  • Grand larceny — Among Virginia's most severe theft offenses is grand theft. Virginia Code Section 18.5-95 defines grand theft crimes as any type of property theft with a value exceeding $1,000. Nevertheless, you could be charged with grand theft if you remove an item directly from someone, like pickpocketing. The crime is a felony punishable by a compulsory prison sentence of one year and a maximum of 20 years, in addition to a $2500 fine.
  • Petit theft — As stated in Section 18.2-96, you commit petit theft if you steal an item worth less than $5 from another person or less than $200 worth of valuable things, excluding firearms. It is a Class 1 Virginia misdemeanor, carrying a year in jail or a $2,500 fine.

Suppose you are convicted of petit theft and have a previous conviction from another jurisdiction for a crime that qualifies as theft. In that case, you will spend 30 days to a year in prison.

Moreover, if you have two or more larceny crimes convictions, you are guilty of a Class 6 Virginia felony.

Whether you have been accused of grand larceny or petit theft, hiring a skilled Purcellville criminal defense attorney is crucial. Several factors are involved in theft cases and defending yourself against the charges. Here are ways your lawyer can assist you:

  • Investigate your allegations and collect evidence to build your defense.
  • Cross-examine witnesses to check for inconsistencies in their testimonies.
  • Represent you in court.
  • Negotiate with the prosecutor to get your charges reduced or even dropped.

Purcellville Criminal Defense Attorney and Violent Offenses

Violent crimes can consist of a sudden event or the result of a lengthy history of mistreatment. If you face a violent offense, you need an attorney to defend you against the charges and protect your rights.

Some of the violent crimes your lawyer can assist you with include the following:

  • Domestic assault and battery — Domestic assault crimes have similar elements of crime as other assault offenses. The differentiating factor is that a person who assaults a loved one could face domestic assault. A domestic assault offense against a family member is defined in Section 16.1-228, and it is a Virginia misdemeanor.
  • Homicide — A first-degree murder charge consists of murder committed after planning, ambushing, poisoning, or executing a violent rape or robbery. It is punishable by a prison term of 20 years to life. A second-degree murder charge involves killing another individual with malice but without premeditation or killing someone accidentally while engaging in a non-violent felony and is punishable by 5 to 40 years in state prison. Voluntary manslaughter entails intentionally killing someone without malice. Manslaughter by DUI and involuntary manslaughter involve contributing to the death of a person because of extreme carelessness or due to driving while intoxicated. All types of manslaughter crimes in Virginia are punishable by prison sentences not exceeding ten years.
  • Malicious wounding — The charge includes stabbing, cutting, or shooting with the motive to disfigure, disable, or kill the victim. It is a Class 3 felony punishable by imprisonment not exceeding 20 years.
  • Simple assault — The charge involves making threats of offensive touching against another individual. If no physical contact with the victim occurs, it becomes a Class 1 misdemeanor. However, you can be sentenced for knowingly targeting the victim due to their skin color.

Before convicting you of a violent crime, the prosecutor must establish your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. You and your Purcellville criminal defense attorney can raise a legal defense. The lawyer can use any of the following defense strategies, depending on your unique situation:

  • You acted in self-defense.
  • Defense of others.
  • The victim started or escalated the fight.
  • Mistaken identity.
  • The conduct was unintentional or accidental.
  • Police misconduct.

Juvenile Delinquency Defense Lawyer

If your minor child commits a crime, the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court will handle their case. Juvenile delinquency cases are handled differently from adult criminal cases, and the JDR’s primary goal is rehabilitation.

Juvenile cases range from misdemeanors to felonies. Sometimes, courts can charge a child as an adult if the alleged crime is severe. Some of the most common juvenile offenses are shoplifting, vandalism, breaking curfew, fake ID, bullying, trespassing, disorderly conduct, and driving without a driver’s license.

While the public cannot access your child's juvenile case records, you should inform their school. Institutions of higher learning require applicants to reveal convictions and pending charges when applying and throughout the child’s enrollment. A minor with a previous felony conviction will remain a felon forever.

You probably have several questions and concerns if your child has been charged with a crime. Seeking qualified Purcellville legal representation will ensure your child’s future is protected and they will enjoy the life you have built for them.

Find a Skilled Criminal Defense Lawyer Near Me

If you have been accused of an offense in Northern Virginia and Fairfax, consider consulting an experienced Purcellville criminal defense attorney who can assist you in understanding the judicial system, guide you through the process, advise of the potential penalties, develop legal defenses, and offer objective counsel on what to expect after your case resolution. A criminal record can damage your professional and personal relationships and affect your future, including educational and employment opportunities. No matter your criminal charges, Virginia Criminal Attorney can offer you a case-specific defense to help you avoid conviction and the maximum penalties. We know the laws, effective court strategies, and proper investigative and questioning procedures. Please call us today at 703-718-5533 to book your first consultation and build your defense.