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Fairfax Criminal Defense Law Blog

A multifaceted defense strategy for assault and battery charges

Being charged with assault and battery is something that you don't ever thing you will experience. When this is the reality you are facing, you have to make up your mind that you are going to do something to answer to these charges. Thinking about what you are facing isn't always easy; however, this is exactly what you have to do so that you can get your defense strategy moving before your trial date approaches.

We know that mistakes can happen. Some mistakes are more serious than others. If your assault and battery charge is due to you losing your temper in the heat of the moment, we might be able to use that information in your defense. Of course, we will take the time to look into the circumstances of the incident so that we can consider each option for your defense.

Laws in Virginia have changed for some criminal matters

There are some new laws that went into effect in Virginia on July 1, 2017. While some of these laws don't apply to everyone, knowing how they change the legal landscape is important just in case you find yourself having to face one of these issues.

First, the new laws increase the penalties that you face if you are charged with battery on a hospital or medical employee. This applies only to employees of a medical facility that renders emergency medical care.

Make plans in advance for getting home after the party

This weekend and the couple of days that follow are going to be a time for parties and barbecues. While you certainly should go and have fun with your friends, you need to make sure that you are responsible as you do so.

One thing that you should do is make sure that you have a designated driver or another safe way to get home if you plan on drinking a few beers or other alcohol while you are out. We know that this isn't always easy, but you could save yourself a lot of grief if you handle these plans ahead of time.

Know your defense options for larceny charges

Facing larceny charges means that you have to think carefully about what defense you are going to present. The answer to this isn't always easy to determine; however, you can likely come up with a possible strategy by reviewing the points that the prosecution is bringing up in your case.

One possible defense that you might be able to use is that you were actually in possession of your own item. There are some cases in which people think that someone else took their belongings but in reality the items belonged to the other person. If you are facing larceny charges for being in possession of your own items that someone else is claiming, you will need to determine how you can call the prosecution's claims about the ownership of the item into question.

Plan the purpose of your defense before getting started

Facing a violent crime charge means that you need to work hard on your defense because prosecutors usually work hard on these cases because of the circumstances that are involved in these cases. We know that this is an upsetting thought, but thinking about this now can help you keep your focus on your defense.

There are several different points that you have to think about in these cases. One of these points is how you are going to handle evidence, such as pictures of the injuries the victim suffered. Other evidence, such as forensic evidence, might also need to be addressed.

Understand what factors might impact a criminal sentence

One of the things that people who are going through the criminal justice system think about often is what sentence they will face if they are convicted. The sentences are usually determined by looking into a host of factors. Understanding these might help you to plan your defense.

One of the primary factors that determines the sentence a judge hands down is the sentencing guidelines for the charge. For example, there are specific guidelines to sentence a person who is convicted of assault and battery. Those are different from the guidelines for a conviction on identity theft.

All drunk driving and boating charges are serious matters

We recently discussed some of the indicators that police officers look for when they are determining if there is a possibility that someone is driving drunk. When the police officer pulls you over for one of those signs, they have almost certainly met the standard of reasonable suspicion that is required in these stops.

When you are facing a drunk driving charge, there are several things that you might be able to look into for your defense. These things are often complex matters that require some knowledge to handle. One of these would be calling the chain of custody into question. Another is finding out if evidence was handled properly or machines were calibrated correctly.

Indicators police look for when they suspect you're driving drunk

Being charged with driving under the influence (DUI) can be scary. As if having to spend a night in jail to sober up were not scary enough, not knowing what implications the charges are going to have on your job, ability to adequately take care of your family and handle everyday routine tasks can be even more frustrating. While there are some differences as to how states handle DUI charges, there are some generalities as well.

Any blood alcohol content (BAC) that registers at or above .08 percent can result in DUI charges in most states. The only exception to this rule is for those who have yet to reach the the legal drinking age of 21. Most states consider those individuals who have a BAC of .01 to .02 percent to be driving drunk.

Think about all the options you have for your drug case

Facing drug charges means that you are also facing possible impacts to other aspects of your life. You should consider all of the possibilities when you are trying to decide what you are going to do for your defense. We understand that this is a stressful time, but we are here to help determine what options you might have.

You may be interested in learning how the quantity and type of drugs you are accused of having might impact your case. This is an important consideration, especially if there are questions about these aspects of the case. We can answer these questions so that you can make decisions based on the unique circumstances of your case.

Know the classification of the drugs involved in your case

There are several points that determine how you are going to be charged when you are facing a drug charge. One of the points that matters is the classification of the drug. There are five schedules of drugs that the legal system uses. These are numbered from one to five, with one being the ones that are classified as having legitimate use and five being the ones that aren't considered as hardcore as the higher schedules.

Interestingly, the federal government classifies marijuana as a schedule I drug. This means that the government doesn't see any use for the drug and has completely outlawed it. Heroin is also classified in this schedule.

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Ronald E. Smith, P.C.
3900 University Drive
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Fairfax, VA 22030
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Phone: 703-539-5825
Fax: 703-352-3370