Manassas Criminal Charges: Out-of-State Residents
As an entire state, Virginia is very strict when it comes to criminal offenses and Manassas is no exception. For those who are charged with crimes in Manassas but live in another area of Virginia, out-of-state, or in another country altogether, it is very important that they know and understand the severity of the situation. It is always a good idea to retain an attorney that has experience practicing in whatever area the defendant has been charged with a crime, especially if they live in a different state or are trying to immigrate. Contact a Manassas criminal lawyer today for representation.
Impact on Immigration Status
A criminal charge or conviction can profoundly impact their immigration status. Crimes that are felonies or involve moral turpitude, which means lying, cheating or stealing, as well as violent crimes and drug crimes, are all things that can cause an individual to have a detainer placed on them by immigration, in which case they will be facing a deportation proceeding at the end of the criminal case. Depending on what the person is convicted of, their plans to upgrade their immigration status may be placed on hold or they may be deported and find it very difficult to ever return.
Important Aspects of Manassas Criminal Charges
The first thing that people should know about facing criminal charges in Manassas is that this is a Virginia jurisdiction that treats almost every kind of misdemeanor and felony case very seriously. In some cases, they treat them more seriously and harshly than the surrounding jurisdictions. They should also know that it is never a good idea to try to work a case out on their own or interact with the police on their own, as law enforcement’s sole function is to elicit incriminating evidence from the accused through their statements and other things, in order to build a case against the defendant.
One thing people living out of state may not know is that there is a bifurcated jury trial process. This means the jury will sentence the charged if they have a jury trial in a separate hearing from their trial. The jury will first have a trial on whether the person is guilty or innocent. After they determine the person is guilty, they will have another sentencing hearing to determine what the appropriate sentence is. Jury sentences must be unanimous.
Finally, they should know that there is help available. There are experienced attorneys working in the Manassas area who have dealt with the judges, the prosecutors and the police in Manassas their entire career, who can help them navigate the process and assist them in getting the best possible legal outcome in their particular case.
If Living Out-of-State
If a person is charged with a crime in Manassas and does not live in the area, whether that means they live in some other part of Virginia or live in another state altogether, the most important thing they should do is find a local attorney in Manassas. While it is true that Virginia law is the same throughout the Commonwealth, there are very important distinctions in every jurisdiction which can have a big impact on the case and which can only be learned through experience over time by locally-practicing attorneys. Fortunately, Manassas is located in northern Virginia, which is where many of the best practitioners in the state have their practices. As a result, individuals can readily find excellent attorneys in the area who can help them. However, it is never a good idea to go too far away from the locality where they were charged when selecting counsel, or the counsel will almost certainly find themselves at a disadvantage for reasons that they probably cannot even foresee.
The defendant will most likely have to return to Virginia and face the charges. In Virginia, if the accused does not show up to court and it is serious or a possibility of jail time, the court will issue a warrant for their arrest.
The defendant will probably need to return to face their charges. If they do leave the country, they can expect that upon their return there will be a warrant for there arrest if the charges are serious enough. Be prepared to face the charges and hire an attorney in Virginia that can handle your case. It is better to hire a local attorney in the jurisdiction in which you are charged to help you best manage the case. In some rare circumstances, an attorney can appear on your behalf. However, this is an exception and not the norm.