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LEO consent search exempts need to confirm ownership of each container

LEO -- law enforcement officers -- home searches can only lawfully take place with a valid search warrant, sufficient consent from an authorized person, or (infrequently) exigent circumstances. As a Fairfax criminal lawyer, I know that police search caselaw is not as friendly to criminal...

Blabbermouthing can convict says Fairfax criminal lawyer

Blabbermouthing with police is a dangerous thing. As a Fairfax criminal lawyer, I know the importance for criminal suspects and arrestees to remain silent with the police, and too often see them foster a conviction by not asserting their rights under the United States Constitution's...

Misnaming tests can preclude a conviction says Fairfax criminal lawyer

Marijuana field tests and DUI breathalyzer equipment should preclude allowing the field testing and breath testing results into evidence at trial. As a Fairfax criminal lawyer, I have in many DWI trials objected to breath testing results when the breath technician has mistakenly referred...

Possession versus trafficking of drugs – Fairfax criminal lawyer weighs in

The criminal defense needs to be ready to raise and attack the following circumstances in prosecutions for possession to distribute drugs: Weight: Significant weight of the alleged drugs by itself does not constitute intent to distribute. For instance, when a medicinal user of marijuana finds...

Drug case defense addressed by Fairfax criminal lawyer

Drug cases (marijuana and non-marijuana) are among the most common non-traffic / non-DUI prosecutions on Virginia criminal court dockets. As a Fairfax criminal lawyer, I have defended hundreds of such cases, and provide some insights herein on such defense.

Revocation of probation – Fairfax criminal lawyer on its risks

Revocation of probation is a risk that many criminal defendants do not consider as much as simply staying out of jail in the first place or getting released from jail as soon as possible. As a Fairfax criminal lawyer, I know that many convicted criminal...

Criminal discovery reform delayed until 2020 in Virginia

Criminal discovery reform in Virginia finally achieved a breakthrough in 2018, when the commonwealth's Supreme Court directed a mid-2019 substantial discovery expansion for felony criminal defendants. This Virginia discovery reform needs to be seen as but a first step, seeing that it does not cover...

Witness unavailability does not always assure acquittal- Fairfax lawyer

Witness unavailability for the prosecution will not automatically avoid a conviction for a criminal defendant, which I have said many times as a Fairfax criminal lawyer. Mitchell Larnell Bennett learned that lesson when the Virginia Court of Appeals last week affirmed his felony drug distribution...