Enlisting the services of a VA criminal attorney is critical when facing any type of charge. Experience with the local jurisdiction is possibly the most important factor that a person should look for when seeking legal representation.
The reason for this is because they are going to have significant relationships, built over the course of time, with prosecutors and judges that will be determining the outcome of the case of their client. As a benefit for any individual charged with a crime in this location, a Woodbridge criminal lawyer embodies these qualities. This makes them a valuable resource that an individual should seek out immediately when charged with a criminal offense.
A criminal lawyer in Woodbridge is familiar with the types of offenses that are classified into two categories by law, misdemeanors, and felonies. A misdemeanor is the lesser of the two in regards to severity, however, it is still punishable by a maximum of 12 months in jail. A felony is a much more serious offense. A felony charge can carry prison time from up to one year to life, depending on the category of the felony with which an individual is charged with.
Felony offenses involve an element that is not present in misdemeanors. In order to illustrate this concept, theft-related cases can be either misdemeanors or felonies and very often the determining factor is the amount of the alleged loss. If it is less than $200, the charge will most likely be a misdemeanor. If it is more than $200, the charge will most likely be a felony. In other words, a misdemeanor can turn into a felony based on the severity of the actions of the alleged party.
Basic Process of Trial
The process of going through a criminal trial is something that comes naturally to a defense attorney in Woodbridge. They will be there to guide heir client during this difficult process, by helping them to make the right decisions in regards to generating the most positive outcome.
The process for felonies is very different than the process for misdemeanors. For misdemeanors, the alleged person will show up at an arraignment and then on the next court date trial will commence.
With felonies, there is a multi-step process. After the arraignment, the first step is a preliminary hearing. The preliminary hearing is just one step on the way to a possible trial, where a judge in a District Court must determine if there is probable cause to go forward with the case. Prosecutors treat these cases differently because the law requires them to do so. All felonies go through the same process.
Long Term Consequences
An individual who chooses to forgo the option of having criminal representation from a lawyer in Woodbridge puts them self at a greater risk of suffering the penalties associated with a conviction. Even misdemeanor convictions can carry serious consequences, especially if when involved in a job that requires security clearances or background checks. Depending on the misdemeanor conviction, there may be real-life consequences, such as losing employment, security clearance, or educational opportunities.
Felony Convictions, being more serious, carry the same implications upon the life of an individual but to a higher extent. Woodbridge lawyers know that criminal convictions can ruin lives, and use that as motivation for protecting the rights of their clients to the best of their ability.