When your freedom is on the line, you should not attempt to do-it-yourself. As a former prosecutor and a behind-the-scenes judicial law clerk, we know how to navigate the criminal justice system. We will vigorously work to exploit any weaknesses in the prosecution’s case and to uncover any wrong-doing by the police in order to protect your constitutional rights.
A DUI conviction could result in a heavy fine, requirement to complete an Alcohol Safety Program (ASAP), and installation of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle, not to mention the mandatory loss of license for a minimum of twelve months and the insurance consequences. Aggravating factors such as a high blood-alcohol content, prior convictions, or an accident will likely result in jail sentence.
Numerous issues can arise in the prosecution of a DUI offense: validity of the stop, proper administration of field sobriety tests, probable cause supporting the arrest, proper calibration of the alco-sensor equipment, etc. A competent attorney will know the weaknesses to exploit which can lead to a dismissal or an acquittal. If you are charged with a DUI in Northern Virginia or surrounding counties, call Foster McCollam, PLLC today.
Drug offenses can carry severe penalties. Equally importantly, a drug conviction can result in job loss, denial of future employment, and even housing restrictions. Most drug charges are brought following a police search. This could be a vehicle search during a traffic stop, frisking a person stopped on the street, or searching a house following a complaint about drug activity. While a search warrant is not always required, the police must always follow strict constitutional rules. A failure to comply with these rules can lead to the exclusion of evidence and, possibly, a not guilty verdict.
OTHER ADULT FELONIES AND MISDEMEANORS
All crimes are classified as either felonies or misdemeanors. Misdemeanors are the least serious crimes such as minor assaults, small thefts, and possession of small quantities of certain drugs. The maximum sentence for a misdemeanor is one year in jail, but probation, fines, or shorter jail sentences are more common. Felonies include the most serious crimes with sentences ranging from one year to life in prison. Any term of incarceration exceeding one year will be served in prison as opposed to the county jail.
JUVENILE FELONIES AND MISDEMEANORS
In Virginia, juveniles who commit a crime are charged a bit differently because the police will obtain what is called a petition instead of seeking an arrest warrant. Proceedings in juvenile criminal cases are handled in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court where the primary goal is rehabilitation rather than punishment. However, juveniles can still face detention at a local Juvenile Detention Center for up to 30 days or longer times at a state facility. For very serious offenses, juveniles 14 years old or older, may be tried and sentenced as adults. Because of the difference in treatment between adults and juveniles, securing juvenile status can be almost as equally as important as fighting for acquittal.
PRELIMINARY POLICE INVESTIGATIONS
You do not need to wait until you have been arrested to contact a defense attorney. If you become aware that the police suspect you in a crime that has already occurred or that they are investigating your activities, you can begin your defense immediately. While the police are trying to collect evidence to charge you, a criminal defense attorney can help you find favorable evidence and potentially work to convince the police not to bring charges at all.
Do you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to fight for you near Manassas, Fairfax, Warrenton, Leesburg, Culpeper, or Front Royal, Virginia? Contact Foster McCollam, PLLC today to schedule a consultation.