Fairfax police shortage- How does it affect my criminal defense?
Fairfax police shortage is glaring – How does it affect my Virginia criminal defense?
Fairfax police shortage is in the news, with the county police department short two hundred law enforcement officers (LEOs). As a Fairfax criminal lawyer, I see this shortage as an opportunity to reassess our overly-policed nation. Public safety and sufficient pay, terms and conditions for police can both be met by simply shrinking the criminal justice system by narrowing the types of crimes that can be prosecuted (for instance we need to stop criminalizing public intoxication, gambling and prostitution), reducing such police sting and dragnet operations as drug busts, and heavily decriminalizing drugs (that movement with marijuana in Virginia is an important start). The roots of this Fairfax police shortage — with such shortages apparently being common in thousands of police departments nationwide — seem to include not replacing outgoing police as fast as they depart and issues about pay. A local law enforcement officer I checked with indicated that complaints nationwide over the years against racist police actions are not a significant factor in this large shortage.
Does the Fairfax police shortage permit me commit crimes in that county?
As a Virginia criminal defense lawyer, I say do not commit crimes, period. The people who hire me to defend them in court did not get prosecuted out of any advocacy by me to commit crimes, but despite my saying not to commit them. If you think that the Fairfax police shortage will make it easier for you to get away with committing crimes in this county, think again. How do you know whether the police instead are reallocating resources away from minor traffic infractions and cold police cases rather than on the types of serious matters that the Fairfax commonwealth’s attorney’s office usually prosecutes?
Will my Fairfax criminal lawyer have stronger defenses for me in the light of the county’s LEO shortfall?
While I advise not to see the Fairfax police shortage as an opportunity to get away with committing crime, the possibility exists — or not — that the shortfall will translate into less thorough police investigation and pursuit of already-arrested people. On the downside is whether this shortfall will translate into police not turning over the evidence required to be provided by prosecutors to Virginia criminal defense lawyers through the discovery process and pursuant to the Supreme Court’s Brady exculpatory evidence rule.
How can a Fairfax criminal lawyer help me under the foregoing situation?
No matter how well or skillfully staffed is the Fairfax commonwealth’s attorney’s / prosecutor’s office and LEO (with or without the Fairfax police shortage), Virginia criminal defendants need a quality lawyer to pursue dismissal, acquittal, or — at worst — as much risk and damage control and minimization as possible of their Virginia DUI or criminal case. Fairfax criminal lawyer Jonathan Katz focuses simultaneously on all those approaches, backed by a history of successfully defending thousands of criminal defendants, including successful defense through hundreds of trials. Call 703-383-1100 for your free initial confidential in-person consultation with Jon Katz about your court-pending case.