Alexandria Criminal Lawyer

Having to face criminal charges is a frightening, and sometimes overwhelming, experience. With so much at stake, it is important to get professional counsel from a Virginia defense attorney who has specific experience in criminal law.

The consequences of losing a criminal case can be even worse than in civil litigation. Your freedom itself could be on the line. Even if you can avoid prison time, exorbitant fines and restitution requirements can demolish your finances.

Additionally, a criminal conviction on your record can limit what kinds of jobs and opportunities you can get for the rest of your life. A conviction can have a devastating effect on your reputation in the community.

Because of the potential penalties and consequences, it is important to contact an Alexandria criminal lawyer as soon as possible when you are facing charges.

Legal Rights

Every American enjoys certain rights in the criminal courts. A person is presumed innocent, and the government must prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. The Fifth Amendment says someone cannot be forced to testify against themselves (or their spouse), and the Sixth Amendment protects their right to cross-examine those who testify against them.

The key is to have an experienced criminal attorney in Alexandria on a person’s side who knows the criminal law inside and out, and who knows how to use their constitutional rights, as well as the rules of criminal procedure and evidence, to their full advantage.

Types of Criminal Charges

People may think they have no need to be concerned about these matters, but it is all too easy to stumble just once and find yourself facing charges. These offenses, which an Alexandria criminal lawyer may be able to assist with include:

  • Traffic-related offense, such as driving with a suspended or revoked license, distracted driving
  • Alcohol-related offenses, like operating vehicles under the influence, DUIs, giving alcohol to minors
  • Drug charges, including possession, manufacturing, distribution
  • Sex-related offenses, such as sex with a minor, forcible rape, obscenity, prostitution
  • Property crimes, including trespassing, arson, and burglary
  • Financial offenses, like tax evasion, fraud, forgery, embezzlement

The law typically lays out specific elements for each crime, and the burden is on the government to prove each element. The prosecutors must show either the intent to commit a crime or criminal negligence, which goes beyond ordinary carelessness and toward the level of reckless disregard for whether the law was being broken.

Unfortunately, many offenses – even relatively minor drug crimes – now carry mandatory minimum sentences that take away a judge’s power to show leniency to the defendant. Criminal offenses are classified as either misdemeanors or felonies. Misdemeanors are less serious crimes that are punished by, at most, one year beyond bars. Felonies are a more serious offense that can lead to many years in prison.

Talk to an Alexandria Criminal Attorney Today

Experienced defense attorneys in Alexandria know all the different elements that the government must prove, and can spot the weaknesses in the prosecutors’ case. Based on the strength of that case, they will know if the best course of action is to stand firm and try to get the charges dismissed, or whether to seek a plea deal to avoid incarceration.

If you are facing criminal charges of any kind, you owe it to yourself and your loved ones to seek out advice from and Alexandria criminal lawyer who has worked in the criminal courts for years, and who knows how to work aggressively to defend your rights.