What Happens After You Are Arrested For a Sex Crime in Virginia?
When you are arrested, the first step is you are taken to the jail and presented before a magistrate. The magistrate’s job is to determine whether or not a bond should be issued in your case.
A bond is a fixed amount of money that a person has to pay in order to get out of jail while they are pending trial. That money is designed to secure their appearance in court for every step along the way. Once the bond is issued then the person will be released once they’ve paid it.
The next step would be an arraignment in the General District Court. In many sex related cases, a bond won’t be issued because there is a presumption against bond for certain crimes. Therefore, it is going to be incumbent upon that person and his attorney to present a bond motion in court as soon as possible after the arraignment.
Is An Individual Required To Be Tested For Sexually Transmitted Diseases?
In almost every case the answer to that question is yes. In fact, there are others which aren’t as serious that also can result in the requirement of testing. This would include solicitation of prostitution which very rarely do people go to jail and it’s not a sex offense registry kind of case but even for that they are required to be tested for HIV and Hepatitis. So the answer to that question is yes, in almost every one of these cases people have to be tested.
Are Sex Crimes Typically Heard In Front Of A Judge Or Jury?
Whether a sex crime case is heard before a judge or a jury depends on the kind of case. If a case is going to trial in Circuit Court then there is a presumption that a jury will hear it. However, the jury can be waived by the defense as long as the Commonwealth’s Attorney is also willing to waive the jury presumption.
In many cases, the Commonwealth will elect to have a jury hear the case. The reason for that is because in many cases the evidence that will be presented by the Commonwealth is very emotional and can be very damaging. That kind of testimony and that kind of evidence can really inflame a jury and the Commonwealth likes to get juries agitated.
One thing that is very important to know about having a trial with a judge versus a jury is that in Virginia juries impose sentences directly. It is very uncommon for a judge to reduce the recommended sentence of a jury and because of those two factors, the Commonwealth almost always favors a jury trial for sex related cases.