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Fairfax court victories reached by Virginia criminal lawyer

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Fairfax court victories- Virginia lawyer reaches two recent assault prosecution successes

Fairfax court victories — and all court successes — are sweet for any Virginia criminal defense lawyer. As a Fairfax criminal lawyer, I recently reached two successes in this county against assault prosecutions. A key component each time was that the prosecutor’s key civilian witness in each case did not want to testify against my client and did not change their mind about that, each key civilian witness hired their own lawyer to advocate the same, and heir lawyer did a great job supporting their not testifying.

If my alleged assault victim does not want to prosecute nor to testify, why does the complainant need a lawyer, and do I need a lawyer?

If you are convinced that your alleged assault victim does not want to testify against you and does not want a prosecution, you may wish to ask  yourself if there are any scenarios that might make him or her change their mind about that. For instance, if the complainant lied to the police that you assaulted them, does that raise a risk that they will decide after all to lie on the witness stand? If you did in fact assault the complainant, will any factors make this witness decide to put his or her foot down by testifying against you after all? If your complainant does not want a prosecution, that decision is for the prosecutor to make, and not the complainant. Even if the complainant was the person who called the police about the incident, that is like setting a forest fire, by taking reversing events out of the caller’s hands. With my above-referenced recent Fairfax court victories, the prosecutor in the first case refused to dismiss the case, and we won the trial after the complainant consistently asserted the Fifth Amendment right to remain silent, assisted by the complainant’s very able lawyer’s arguments about why each question posed to the complainant permitted asserting the Fifth Amendment. See Palmer v. Commonwealth of Virginia, 71 Va. App. 225, 233 (2019); Reyes v. Commonwealth of Virginia66 Va. App. 689, 692 (2016).  

Why can’t my  assault lawyer also act as the lawyer for my complainant? – An example from recent Fairfax Court victories achieved by local criminal defense lawyer

Had my clients’ complaining witnesses in my recent Fairfax court victories sought for me to represent them as well — in order to save paying two lawyers for both my criminal defendant client and for the complainant — I would have declined, not only because of the irreconcilable conflict of interest (and thus ethical violation) to engage in such joint representation, but because also that would have watered down my persuasive voice for this Fairfax criminal defendant, complainant or both. Moreover, I cannot advise a non-client about asserting his or her Constitutional Fifth Amendment right to decline to answer questions on the witness stand. That is for the lawyer specifically consulted by the complainant to advise on.

What if my Virginia criminal complainant spins me and proceeds to testify against me in court?

If your Virginia criminal complainant spins you and decides after all to testify against you, that is where you will thank yourself for having overcovered risk by already having a qualified criminal defense lawyer on your side who will already have prepared your own testimony, should you yourself decide to take the witness stand. In fact, when your criminal complainant sees that you are fully protected with a great Virginia criminal defense lawyer, the complainant may back down and end up asserting his or her Fifth Amendment right to remain silent. Fortunately, my above-detailed recent Fairfax court victories did not involve any decision by the complainant to testify.

What if the prosecutor moves to force the testimony of my Virginia complaining criminal prosecution witness by offering to immunize the witness’s testimony

When your opposing Virginia criminal prosecution witness obtains a lawyer to advocate for dismissing the prosecution against you, or in the alternative for your complainant to remain silent on the witness stand, it is important that the criminal complainant’s attorney understands the immunity law to fight against any prosecutorial effort to compel testimony through an offer of immunity. For instance, if the immunity offered will not be an airtight protection against future prosecution of the complainant, that is grounds to oppose compelling testimony. See Kastigar v. United States, 406 U.S. 441, rehrg. denied, 408 U.S. 931 (1972), and Gosling v. Virginia14 Va. App. 158 (1992). My recent Fairfax court victories did not involve offers of testimonial immunity by the prosecutor / assistant commonwealth’s attorney, but the complainant’s lawyer was up to snuff to argue against compelling testimony even with such immunity offers.

Fairfax criminal lawyer Jonathan Katz is headquartered in the shadow of the Fairfax County courthouse, where he repeatedly defends those accused of misdemeanor, felony and DUI offenses. You will be in excellent hands with Jon Katz, as you will learn from your first meeting with him. Call 703-383-1100 for your free initial strictly confidential legal consultation with Jon about your court pending criminal case.