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Victims rights must not trample Virginia criminal defendants’ rights

Victims rights (VR) must not be permitted to trample Virginia criminal defendants' rights. As a Fairfax criminal lawyer, I know that they should not even be called Virginia victims (VV's) -- versus alleged VV's or complainants -- before a conviction takes place. I further know...

Fairfax Plea Negotiation Changes Addressed by Virginia Criminal Lawyer

Fairfax plea negotiations are more defendant-friendly with the new chief prosecutor, says Virginia criminal lawyer Fairfax plea negotiations with the five-decade Horan-Morrogh prosecutorial regime were less pleasant for criminal defendants than the current practices of commonwealth’s attorney Steve Descano, who took office a year ago....

Probation violation cases and juries – Fairfax criminal lawyer

Jury trials usually are not associated with probation violation nor sentencing proceedings. At the same time, as a Fairfax criminal lawyer I know that criminal defendants have a right to a jury to determine whether facts exist beyond a reasonable doubt to impose mandatory minimum...

Navigating around potential Virginia DUI penalty pitfalls

Navigating around potential Virginia DUI sentencing pitfalls is essential for a criminal defense lawyer. As a Virginia DUI lawyer, I look not only at ways to obtain an acquittal, but also at the DWI sentencing risks in the event of a conviction. Those risks might...

Judges are Capped by Jury Sentencing Input

Judges in a Virginia felony or class 1 misdemeanor Circuit Court jury trial sitting with a jury must first preside over a jury sentencing trial (if the jury convicts) before the judge sets the final sentence. Va. Code § 19.2-295.1. The sentencing risks of a...

Repeat drug offense risks enhanced sentencing – Virginia criminal lawyer

Repeat drug offenses risk enhanced sentencing, says Virginia criminal lawyer. Repeat drug convictions risk mandatory minimum and enhanced prison sentencing both on the Virginia state and federal court level. As a Virginia criminal attorney, I know that the financial incentives to deal illegal drugs might...

Sentencing Succeeding with Alternative Narrative

Sentencing succeeding for criminal defendants comes through offering a persuasively alternative narrative to that of the prosecutor. Prosecutors are trained to demonize convicted criminal defendants and to make the sentencing judge averse to having his or her face pasted on the newspapers' front pages