When to Contact a Criminal Lawyer

The American Dream is all about the idea that every citizen has the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Sometimes, however; the path to the pursuit of happiness is not always straightforward for every person. Chances are no one sets out with the goal of one day needing a criminal lawyer, but for some people they may find themselves in that exact position. In the state of Virginia, like in every other state in America, a person charged with a crime has the right to legal representation and should seek legal representation from a criminal lawyer – no matter how large or small the charges against that person may be. Proper representation can be the difference between a conviction and your freedom.

Lawyer Up!

The first thing for anyone who is charged with a criminal offense should do is to contact a criminal lawyer for legal representation. It does not matter if the person is fully aware that he or she has committed the offense in question, or if he or she is not entirely sure if the charges are accurate, or if the person knows that he or she is innocent, a criminal lawyer is the first step in a good defense. The justice system does say innocent until proven guilty, but choosing to forgo legal representation or a person choosing to represent him or herself in a court of law could end up costing a person a lot, including that person’s freedom. Is this really a risk worth taking?

Title 18.2 of The Codes of Virginia has a list of crimes and offenses, which can be punishable by law. There are 13 different chapters in Title 18.2 of The Codes of Virginia. Chances are unless a person is a politician, a judge, a lawyer, or someone studying law (or someone who is extremely interested in law) he or she will not be reading through all 13 chapters in Title 18.2 of The Codes of Virginia. These codes affects us all and while it is important, and good, that The Code of Virginia are available for pretty much anyone to look up online this does not equate with the skill and years of expertise a criminal lawyer will have. If a person should ever find him or herself accused or charged with a criminal offense then getting in touch with a criminal lawyer is the best course of action.

Know the Basics

What particularly constitutes as a criminal offense? This can be hard to answer, and will depend upon the charges being brought against an individual. There are however; a few broad categories that could result in a person needing legal representation from a criminal lawyer. These may include drug offenses (which could include charges of distribution, intent to distribute, or possession of a controlled substance), driving under the influence (DUI) offenses, theft offenses (such as theft or larceny charges), sex offenses, and violent offenses (including, but not limited robbery, or murder in any degree or even manslaughter). All of these charges warrant professional legal attention from a criminal lawyer and having the power to choose your own lawyer is something everyone should take advantage of.

In The United States justice system, including Virginia’s, crimes are generally broken into two broad categories A crime that is punishable with one year or less of incarceration is considered a ‘misdemeanor.’ A crime that is punishable with a year or more of incarceration is considered a ‘felony.’ Misdemeanors and felonies then further broken into different classes (four for misdemeanors, and six for felonies) based on the type and severity of the crime in question. A class 1 misdemeanor is considered the highest charge possible for a misdemeanor crime, whereas a class four misdemeanor is considered the lowest charge. Similarly a class 1 felony is considered the highest charge for a felony crime, whereas a class 6 felony is consider the lowest charge. No matter what class of felony or misdemeanor crime a person is accused of, a criminal lawyer will be familiar with the charges for all classes of misdemeanors and felonies; they will be able to assess the best course of action to take for a person’s legal defense and suggest possible outcomes.