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Fairfax Criminal Defense Law Blog

The investigative progress matters in criminal cases

Many criminal cases hinge on the information that is collected during the investigative process. Understanding how the investigative process works can often help people who are facing possible criminal charges. The way that this process works can vary from one case to another; however, there are some basic components that remain fairly constant in almost every investigation.

When a crime is still in progress, the investigative process will usually start at that point. The police officers will usually arrest the suspect right then and collect evidence. If the crime was recently committed, the police officers will likely begin to interview witnesses and collect evidence while they process the scene of the crime.

Defense options for larceny depend on what happened

When you are charged with larceny, you are facing possible fines and incarceration. You are also facing a criminal record that could lead to issues with basic necessities like employment and housing. With that in mind, if you are facing these charges, you should seek experienced legal guidance as soon as possible.

There are several options that you have for a defense against larceny charges. You might think that you were the owner of the property at the time you took it. That belief that you had ownership might be a possible defense if you can show why you had reason to believe that you owned the item.

Trial pending for middle school student accused of stealing milk

In the current state of the economy, municipalities and other government entities are having to find ways to cut costs so they can stay within budget. It seems like a bit of a ridiculous story when you read a headline stating that a middle school student is facing charges over an incident involving a $.65 carton of milk.

This case goes along with an issue that we brought up two weeks ago when we discussed how juveniles who live in poverty are often held hostage by the financial limitations they face when they are involved in the criminal justice system. The boy in this case is black, and black students are often subjected to harsher disciplinary methods than their peers.

Fighting for the rights of youths in the juvenile justice system

A juvenile who is facing the juvenile justice system is likely going to feel frightened. These young people often have faced lifelong battles and really don't know where to turn for help. While it is possible that they can get the help they need through the juvenile justice system, they still need someone on their side to make sure that their rights are kept in place.

In our previous blog post, we discussed how some juveniles are stuck in the system because of financial matters. That doesn't seem fair at all. Some of the youths that are in the juvenile justice system don't have a way to earn money. Some are too young. This means that their family members will have to foot the bill or the youth will pay the price by having to stay in the system.

Youths often financially burdened by the juvenile justice system

When you think of juvenile courts, you probably think of courts that are only there to punish juveniles and then let them go on their way. Interestingly, these juveniles who go through the system are responsible for paying court costs and other expenses. That leaves some juveniles in jail even longer because they can't pay what they owe.

Some juveniles who are in the system are ordered to pay restitution. Those who remain in the custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice must also pay for their support while they are completing their sentences.

What should I know about impaired driving in Virginia?

Impaired driving is a very serious problem throughout this nation, and Virginia isn't an exception to that. When you think of impaired driving, you can't think about only alcohol these days. Instead, you have to think about alcohol and drugs. Essentially, you would have to include anything that could alter your ability to drive in a safe manner when you think about impaired driving.

What is BAC?

From start to finish, we are here to stand up for your rights

Whether you are charged with an attempted crime, which we discussed last week, or a crime that was completed, you need to understand what your rights are and what options you have. When you are first arrested, you were likely read your Miranda rights. Making sure that you understand those and invoke them is crucial. You don't want to answer questions by detectives or police officers that might lead to self-incrimination.

We know that you might be nervous or even angry when dealing with the police officers. That is one reason why we need to be present when you are dealing with them. Your emotions are probably on overdrive, and we need to help you understand how specific answers and actions might impact your defense options.

Attempt: Criminal charges for a failed criminal act

If you are trying to commit a crime and don't actually get to commit that crime, you might still face criminal charges for an attempted crime. Even though the charge that you face might not seem as serious as what was possible if you were successful in the commission of the crime, there is still a chance that you could face significant penalties and consequences if you are convicted.

When it comes to attempted crime charges, the prosecution has to show that you had the intent to commit the crime. Think about this one -- you shoot at a rival gang member and the bullet hits that person in the shoulder. The person lives, but you are now facing attempted murder charges. The prosecution would have to show that your shot at that person was made in an effort to kill the person.

Find out the options for dealing with a juvenile justice case

As we discussed last week, juvenile justice cases are cries for help and not always cause for punishment. There are many misguided youth in our world. We know that as the parent of a child who is facing the juvenile justice system, you might be concerned about what is going to happen and how it will affect your child. That is totally understandable.

We know that for people who aren't familiar with the juvenile justice system, being thrust into the system can be frightening and confusing. We can help you to understand what is happening and what options are possible throughout the case.

Juveniles need help, not more problems

It is often said that juveniles who enter into the juvenile justice system are actually crying out for help. Getting this help should be a goal of the juvenile justice system, but some youthful offenders might not see it that way. The fact remains that it can be difficult for the current system to come up with suitable answers to all of the issues that lead kids to get introduced into the system in the first place.

The individual but vast differences between juveniles mean that what works for one juvenile might not work for another one even if both are charged with similar offenses. It is important to look at the underlying causes that can signal a juvenile in crisis. This might be a drug addiction or the gang life. If the underlying cause of the juvenile's issues can be addressed, there is a better chance that the rehabilitation will be successful.

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