When people think of criminal law, they often consider issues that adults must deal with immediately after an arrest. The fact of the matter, however, is that there are a variety of other matters with which people may need assistance. Such issues may involve challenging a conviction, or handling situations that arise once one has completed their sentence. Regardless of the situation, it is important to retain the help of a Roanoke criminal defense lawyer /criminal-defense/ when dealing with the legal system.
Experienced counsel can potentially make the difference in whether or not your case is handled properly. To schedule a free and confidential evaluation of your case, contact Lugar Law PC today at (540) 384-0348.
Criminal Issues in Roanoke, VA
There are a variety of situations in which people may find themselves in need of an attorney, including:
State and Federal Appeals?
Your case isn?t over simply because you?ve been found guilty. Trials are complicated, and errors occur. Such errors may involve the rules of evidence not being followed or the judge misapplying the law. In such situations, you might have the grounds to challenge their conviction through an appeal.
?Appeals are not a ?do over? of the trial process, and the higher court will not consider facts or evidence unless they were already presented at trial. The role of the appellate court is to review the records of the previous proceedings and determine if mistakes of law were made. Such mistakes include:
- The lower court misinterpreting a statute
- A misunderstanding of the U.S. Constitution
- Misinterpretations of prior case law
- The lower court incorrectly overruling an objection
- An error allowing certain testimony
If the appellate court finds that such errors occurred, then it may remand the matter for a new trial, or even reverse the conviction outright.
The process of appealing a conviction begins by filing a Notice of Appeal. This document must typically be filed within 30 days of when the conviction was formally entered. If the notice is filed later than 30 days after the entry of conviction, then you lose your right to appeal. The next step in the process includes ordering transcripts of relevant proceedings from the Court Reporter. Once the transcripts have been filed, and the record for appeal has been designated, then you and your attorney will submit your opening brief. The Respondent will file their response. You will file a reply, and the court will issue a ruling at a later date.
?Probation is considered to be a second chance for defendants. It is seen as a privilege, not a right, and judges show little patience for those who do not take advantage of the privilege. Unfortunately, there are times in which defendants do not make the most of this opportunity, and they are then forced to return to court to face a revocation hearing. It is important to understand that you have options if you or a loved one find yourselves in such a situation. It may be possible to negotiate a reinstatement to supervision, or to outright defend against the revocation petition.
Probation is often part of sentencing for your original charge. A judge may allow you to continue probation if they believe you are capable of staying out of trouble. A judge can re-suspend all suspended time and put you back on probation. You will be sentenced when you are put back on probation. That sentence will be considered ?suspended,? and will not have to be served if you successfully complete all of the requirements. Such requirements will often include staying out of trouble and not picking up new charges, maintaining employment, staying free of drugs, paying of restitution, the performance of community service, and more. Failing to meet these conditions can result in the supervising officer filing a report with the Commonwealth Attorney, and the Commonwealth Attorney petitioning the court to revoke your probation.
Probation revocation proceedings begin when the supervising officer files a revocation report with the Commonwealth Attorney (prosecutor). The prosecutor will petition the court for a revocation order. The court will issue a revocation order and then schedule a revocation hearing. If an agreement cannot be reached, then the matter will proceed to a formal revocation hearing. The supervising officer will testify at that hearing as will other relevant witnesses. You will have the opportunity to testify, and to call additional witnesses. The court may require that you serve all suspended time in the original sentencing order. The court may also give you an additional opportunity to simply continue on probation. The determination will happen at a probation violation hearing or revocation hearing.
Search & Seizure Issues
?People are afforded rights under the U.S. and Virginia constitutions. Unfortunately, there are times when law enforcement officers violate these rights. If such a violation leads to the discovery of incriminating evidence, then the victim of such a violation may find themselves being placed under arrest. Fortunately, the law provides remedies when these types of situations arise. If the police, the FBI, or another government agency violated your rights, then it may be possible to have the charges against you dismissed.
The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution allows for one to be free from unreasonable searches or seizures by law enforcement. Under the law, the police may only stop you if they reasonably suspect that you?re engaged in criminal activity, or other illegal acts. An officer must be able to point to objective facts which justified their suspicion of such activity. A mere hunch is not enough. If officers wish to go beyond a simple stop and engage in an actual search, then they may be required to obtain a warrant before doing so. If an officer stops you without reasonable suspicion, or conducts a warrantless search and recovers evidence, then it may be possible to exclude such evidence from court proceedings. Depending on the facts of the case, such an exclusion may lead to a dismissal of your charges.?
How Can a Defense Attorney Help?
Not handling these matters properly can make the difference as to whether you maintain your liberty and have increased future prospects. It strongly suggested that you contact experienced counsel if you are dealing with any of these issues.
Attorney Cerid Lugar assists her clients with a variety of issues. She will gain an understanding of your situation, and help you understand all of your options moving forward. She will begin formulating a plan to help you reach your goals in the most efficient way possible. Any required pleadings will be promptly filed with the court, and you will receive copies of all such documents. Attorney Lugar will meet with you prior to any hearings and take steps to ensure that your rights remain protected. ?
Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer for Help Today
Dealing with the legal system can be incredibly frustrating. Matters are only made worse when one retains an attorney who does not stay in communication with their clients. Attorney Cerid Lugar recognizes this, and that is why she prioritizes communication with her clients. She will make herself available to answer your questions and ensure you remain up-to-date as to the status of your case.