Alexandria Criminal Attorney
Facing any type of criminal accusation can be a daunting and stressful experience. Especially for those who have never been involved in the criminal justice system before, dealing with court dates, document submissions, and crafting a defense strategy in general are all best handled by an experienced attorney. If you are facing criminal charges in Alexandria, Virginia, our legal team may be able to help. We have successfully defended criminal cases across Alexandria and are experienced in Virginia and federal criminal law. A criminal charge is quite serious, but a positive outcome to the charge may be possible. Contact our Alexandria criminal lawyers for a no-cost consultation to explain your case, and find potential strategies that we could use to defend you.
Crime in Alexandria
Home to the United States Patent and Trademark office, Alexandria is a city shaped by the occupations of its residents. Its close proximity to the nation’s capital makes the city an ideal location to live for federal employees. Alexandria has a crime index of 39, making it safer than only 39% of all United States cities. The safest city in the United States has an index of 100, and Alexandria by comparison has an above average crime rate.
As well, the city has been on high alert recently following the shooting of Ruthanne Lodato, 59, on the front door step of her home. While murder is typically uncommon in Alexandria, property crimes and other types of violent crimes are more frequent. According to Police Chief Loren Lampert, Alexandria has experienced a 12 percent increase in burglaries over the past 3 years, and a decrease in pretrial jail space which he attributes to the increase of multiple offenders.
No Matter the Crime, We Can Help
There are two sides to every story. Just because you have been charged with a criminal offense does not mean that you have done something wrong or that you will definitely be convicted. Having a seasoned team of defense lawyers on your side increases your chances of beating the charges exponentially. Types of criminal offenses with which you could be charged in Alexandria include:
- Federal Crimes
- Speeding Tickets
- Drug-related Charges
- Reckless Driving
- Sex Crimes
- Eluding an Officer
- Gun Crimes
The penalties associated with even the most minor offenses can be harsh and have lasting effects on your personal and professional life. With sentences involving exorbitant fines, possible jail time, and even the loss of driving privileges, criminal offenses in Alexandria should be taken very seriously. Those who are convicted will also develop a criminal record and may have to report their conviction to future prospective employers. That can also have the ripple effect of making it difficult to obtain or maintain a security clearance, which can have a significant impact on Alexandria residents who have government jobs. Felony convictions can also lead to loss of certain constitutional rights such as the right to bear arms or vote. That is why criminal charges need to be taken very seriously and should be handled by a skilled attorney who has extensive knowledge of the Alexandria legal system.
Assault Crimes in Alexandria
Section 18.2-57 of the Code of Virginia defines assault as the threat or use of force on an individual that causes the individual to have reasonable apprehension of imminent harmful or offensive contact. It is easy for a simple disagreement between two individuals to escalate into a physical altercation and thus lead to criminal charges of assault. Often, you may have simply been acting in self-defense but are accused of assault by law enforcement officials who arrived late to the scene and did not witness the entire event. Simple assault or assault and battery is a Class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia, which is punishable by up to 12 months in jail and up to a $2,500 fine.
Alexandria Drug Offenses
Drug offenses are punished especially harshly in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The charges you could face as well as the associated penalties vary depending on the type and quantity of the drug involved and the type of activity. Virginia’s criminal code outlines all of the various drug-related offenses that you may be accused of having committed. These charges range from simple drug possession to distributing controlled substances to minors. Many times individuals who are accused of committing drug-related crimes actually have deep-rooted substance abuse or dependency issues that are best handled through treatment programs, not jail time and fines. A skilled drug defense lawyer can help protect you from such harsh penalties should you be accused of a drug crime in Alexandria.
Alexandria DUI Charges
Driving under the influence is a serious crime in Alexandria and is outlined in Section 18.2-266 of the Code of Virginia. In addition to the potential jail time and fines that could accompany a conviction for a drunk driving-related offense, those who are found guilty may also face consequences from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. Licenses suspensions, restricted licenses, and ignition interlock devices are also potential effects of a DUI charge in Alexandria. In order to protect yourself from such harsh consequences and have the strongest chance of maintaining your driving privileges, contact a well-qualified defense attorney who can help you fight the charges you face.
Prostitution and Solicitation in Alexandria
Although prostitution and solicitation are generally considered nonviolent crimes, they are still taken seriously by the Virginia judicial system and should not be taken lightly by the accused. Prostitution and solicitation are both defined in Section 18.2-346 of the Code of Virginia and are classified as Class 1 misdemeanors. However, anyone who is found guilty of soliciting prostitution from a minor faces a Class 6 felony charge. A Class 6 felony in Virginia is punishable by one to five years in prison or, at the discretion of the court or a jury, lesser penalties of up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500.
Alexandria Reckless Driving
Many individuals unwittingly face reckless driving charges after committing a seemingly minor traffic infraction due to the fact that reckless driving offenses in Virginia are very ambiguous and include several different driving behaviors. Generally, reckless driving is considered driving a motor vehicle in a manner that is deemed to be reckless or endangers others’ health or property. Driving more than 20 miles per hour over the speed limit or driving more than 80 miles per hour in general are both classified as reckless driving by speed. Motorists may also find themselves facing reckless driving charges if they:
- pass an emergency vehicle that has its lights or siren on
- drive too fast for the weather or road conditions
- pass a motor vehicle on a hill where the driver’s view is obstructed; or
- fail to properly use a signal
Reckless driving is considered a Class 1 misdemeanor, but it can also have an impact on your driver’s license. The Virginia DMV may assess points to your driving record for a reckless driving conviction.
Theft Crimes in Alexandria
Theft offenses in Virginia are broken down into robbery, burglary, and larceny. Larceny is considered stealing something of value without using violence, whereas robbery is characterized by the threat of violence used in combination with stealing someone else’s property, and burglary is a combination of theft and breaking and entering. All theft crimes in Virginia are frowned upon by the court system and can be punished harshly depending on the severity of the offense and the value of the items stolen. On top of the jail time and fines that could accompany a conviction, individuals may also be forced to pay restitution to the original owner of the property in question.
An Alexandria Criminal Lawyer Can Help
It would be unwise to face such serious criminal charges alone. If you have been accused of a criminal act, contact Alexandria criminal attorney Steve Duckett to learn more about the charges you face as well as the strongest strategies for defense. Call our law office today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced criminal defense lawyer.
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We are pleased to announce Caitlin Chiquelin has been awarded the 2016 Steve Duckett Local Conservation Scholarship. Caitlin was chosen from a number of impressive applications and is recognized for her educational ambitions and dedication to environmental conservation. Learn more about Caitlin Chiquelin.
Information on our 2017 Steve Duckett Local Conservation Scholarship will be coming soon.