Virginia Criminal Lawyer
When you are facing misdemeanor or felony criminal charges, you quickly become aware of the importance of a qualified Virginia criminal defense lawyer. From questioning and investigation through an arrest, courtroom appearances and trial, your rights and reputation are in jeopardy every step of the way. However, when you hire a criminal attorney to represent you before the court, you are taking a critical step in building a successful defense. Attorney Steve Duckett is an experienced litigator who is committed to providing the strongest possible legal help against misdemeanor and felony charges including assault, DUI, reckless driving, and more. When you need a Virginia criminal lawyer, you can put your trust in Steve Duckett.
Fighting for Your Defense
Conviction of any crime carries serious consequences. Even misdemeanors, often considered “minor” offenses, carry penalties including up to one year in jail. For anyone looking at the possibility of a year behind bars, that punishment is anything but minor. Felony conviction carries a penalty exceeding one year in prison – in some cases, lifetime incarceration. Other penalties associated with criminal conviction include fines, restitution, loss of driver’s license or other privileges, mandatory counseling or treatment, and other terms of probation that can severely impact your personal freedoms. Beyond legal penalties, misdemeanor or felony conviction makes a profound personal and professional impact. Families may be torn apart and a criminal record can make it difficult to gain admission into educational institutions, find or keep a job, and even secure a financial loan. Virginia criminal attorney Steve Duckett understands what is at stake. Hhe works diligently to provide every defendant with quality legal representation and strives to bring each case to its optimal resolution. To learn more about how he can assist with Manassas criminal charges, click that link.
Virginia criminal lawyers are an integral part of the federal and state justice systems. Defense attorneys uphold the rights and protections of criminal defendants including the right to a fair trial, the right to due process, and the right to effective assistance of counsel. Steve Duckett believes strongly that each of his clients deserves effective representation and that all their rights and privileges should be protected. Learn more about the difference between misdemeanors and felonies in Virginia.
Assault and Domestic Violence
Assault is a blanket term that many people might use to describe a violent act, but in Virginia law there are a number of different offenses that carry wildly different penalties upon conviction. Simple assault is the most common type of assault in Virginia; it is charged as a Class 1 misdemeanor and carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison and $2,500 in fines. A criminal attorney in Virginia can help build a strong defense in assault cases.
Domestic violence is a separate offense, charged when the act is committed against someone that the perpetrator shares a residence with. This can include family members, spouses or even a roommate. The penalties for this crime are more severe than normal assault, so it is important to understand the difference between the levels of assault laws in Virginia. Read more about the differences and similarities between assault and domestic violence cases.
There are many different types of controlled substances that are illegal to possess and distribute under Virginia law, and each one carries a different level of danger to the public. The Commonwealth groups these into six different classifications, or schedules, with penalties that can vary according to the schedule of the drug.
The least severe schedule of controlled substances is Schedule 6, and the most severe penalties will be associated with Schedule 1 controlled substances. These are considered not only the most dangerous substances for public consumption, but also drugs that have a high risk of becoming addictive with extensive use. Schedule 1 includes drugs like heroin, GHB and MDMA (ecstasy). If you have been charged with a drug related offense and you are unaware of which specific charge you are facing and the penalties that could accompany a conviction, please contact our attorneys for more information.
DUI and DWI
One of the more commonly prosecuted crimes in the Commonwealth of Virginia and throughout the nation, driving under the influence carries very serious penalties, even with a first time conviction. A first time DUI violation carries a maximum penalty of a year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. With the presence of a prior DUI conviction on your record, the penalties you may face increase exponentially.
However, even when a drunk driving case seems cut-and-dry, there are many options for an experienced Virginia criminal lawyer to use in challenging the validity of the prosecution’s evidence. If you have been charged with a drunk driving violation, our attorneys offer a free consultation and will be able to help you determine the best course of action for your defense.
Virginia firearm laws balance the right to bear arms spelled out in the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution with the safety of the Commonwealth’s residents and visitors. Certain individuals, such as mentally unstable individuals and convicted felons, are prohibited from owning guns under Virginia law, and even for legal firearm owners, there are certain places into which a gun may not be taken. Even if no violent crime is committed with your firearm, if you fall afoul of Virginia gun regulations you may find yourself facing serious criminal penalties.
If you’ve been cited for a gun violation anywhere in Virginia, our attorneys are ready to provide you with dedicated legal representation. We have successfully defended people against gun charges similar to the ones you now face, and will help you go over all your options and determine your wisest course of action under the law.
Reckless Driving and Traffic Crimes
Virginia standards for reckless driving are some of the strictest in the country, and because the laws are such a departure from the those in the other states around it, some motorists will be caught off guard when they receive a criminal charge for what seems like a routine traffic violation. If you are unsure about what constitutes reckless driving in Virginia, or if you spend a lot of time in your car for a commute to work or otherwise, we recommend that you contact one of our attorneys to find out how you may be putting yourself at risk for a misdemeanor traffic charge. Violations that can be charged as reckless driving include, but are not limited to:
- Driving with faulty brakes
- Driving at any speed over 80 mph, regardless of the posted speed limit
- Driving more than 20 mph over the posted speed limit
- Drag racing
- Passing a vehicle on a curve
- Aggressive driving
- Failure to yield to an emergency vehicle
The process of being charged for reckless driving can be similar to that of a normal traffic ticket. You will be observed committing the violation by an officer, who will pull you over and most likely issue you a ticket. You may not even know at the time that you face a criminal charge and potential jail time as opposed to just a normal fine. The penalties associated with reckless driving are serious, and because the court date has a tendency to sneak up on people, we recommend that you contact an attorney as soon as possible to help handle your defense against the charges you face. You will also want to retain the services of an attorney who is familiar with the jurisdiction where you were cited, including the communities of Manassas, Occoquan, Dale City and other area of Prince William or Fairfax County.
Sex crimes are taken very seriously by the Commonwealth of Virginia and the Commonwealth’s Attorneys who prosecute cases on its behalf. The penalties for these crimes are so severe that even if the act was never committed, you can still go to prison for a long time just for attempting to complete a sexual offense. Some of these crimes carry a potential maximum penalty of ten years in prison, even for the first offense. The stakes are extremely high if you have been accused of a sexual offense, and chances are good that both your reputation and your freedom are on the line. This makes it very important that you secure the services of a qualified and experienced criminal defense lawyer who can fight for your rights and a positive result in court.
Theft charges in Virginia may be prosecuted as either misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the value of the property taken and the details of the act itself, such as whether or not violence was used. In the District of Columbia and many other jurisdictions, nonviolent theft is prosecuted as a felony only if the value of the property taken was $1,000 or more. However, theft laws are much stricter in Virginia, and one may be assessed a charge of felony theft, or grand larceny, for any unlawful taking of property worth at least $200. Grand larceny may be punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Even petit larceny, or petty theft, can earn a jail term of up to a year.
Whether you’ve been charged with misdemeanor or felony theft, a Virginia criminal attorney can make a world of difference in mitigating the consequences. Our legal team is ready to go over all the details of your charge to assess the options available for your defense, even when the evidence against you seems overwhelming.
No matter what your charge, you deserve to be represented by an attorney who is thoroughly committed to your defense. Criminal defense attorney Steve Duckett has gained a reputation for aggressive, successful defense and for serving as a determined legal advocate for his clients throughout Virginia.
Our Virginia Criminal Lawyers Can Help In These Locations
Prince William County
The District and Circuit Courts for Prince William County are located in the same facility in Manassas at 9311 Lee Avenue. The easiest way to get there is from Route 66. Take exit 47 for route 234, and continue into Manassas. Take a slight right onto Grant Avenue, then take a right onto Lee Avenue.
Despite the continued rise of population in Prince William County, the crime rate continues to fall. DUI’s, one of the more common charges in Prince William, fell from 2,116 in 2009 to 2,046 in 2010. Other types of criminal charges, like possession of either drugs or weapons have fallen dramatically as well. Our attorneys practice in Prince William every single day, and they know what it takes to get a positive result in the local courts. If you have been accused of a crime in Manassas, Occoquan, Dale City or anywhere else in Prince William, contact Steve Duckett to find out how his legal team can help you.
If you have been charged with a criminal violation in Fairfax County, and your case eventually reaches trial, it will likely be heard at the County Courthouse located at 4110 Chain Bridge Road in Fairfax. The best way to get to this location is from Route 66. Simply take exit 60 for Route 123, Chain Bridge Road. Continue for a few miles until taking a left onto Judicial Drive.
Violent crimes are committed at an unfortunately high rate in Fairfax. In 2010, there were 17,453 crimes committed that fell under the umbrella of “violent crimes.” Despite the fact that the vast majority of those offenses were general larceny, which saw 14,345 cases, the actual crime rate in Fairfax is much higher than that because this statistic does not include non-violent crimes such as reckless driving. If you have been accused of committing a crime in Fairfax, Steve Duckett and the other attorneys with our firm will provide you with proactive, aggressive defense against the charge you face.
And More. . .
Virginia criminal attorney Steve Duckett handles criminal defense cases throughout Northern Virginia, so if you have been accused of a crime in Loudoun County, Culpeper County, Occoquan, Arlington, Alexandria, Newport News, Leesburg or anywhere else, please contact Steve Duckett today to find out how he can assist you.
As an experienced attorney dedicating his practice to criminal defense, Steve Duckett is well-prepared to handle your case. He can carefully explain the charges against you and go over possible defense strategies that may work for your specific case. If you or someone you love has been charged with a misdemeanor or felony in Prince William, Culpeper or elsewhere, call to schedule a free, confidential consultation with attorney Steve Duckett.