Criminal offenses and defenses in virginia

The same goes for federal crimes punishable by death, certain federal crimes of terrorism, and certain federal sex offenses. Most other federal crimes have statutes of limitations of five 5 years.

Constitution, you have a right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. Unlike the Miranda warning, law enforcement is not required to tell you that you have the right to refuse an illegal search. In Virginia, you have the following rights:. You are not required to stop for or speak to the police unless they have an articulable suspicion of criminal behavior. Your home cannot be searched without a search warrant issued by a judge, but cars have fewer Fourth Amendment protections. There are a few exceptions to these rights that a knowledgeable attorney would go over with you.

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An unconstitutional search or seizure may result in your case being dismissed. Evidence seized unlawfully and in violation of your constitutional rights can be suppressed and labeled inadmissible prior to trial. Unreliable Witness Testimony and Eyewitness Misidentification If the prosecution brings a witness who is unreliable, you may use this as part of the defense.

Eyewitness misidentification is particularly unreliable because the human mind is faulty at recalling events and people in an objective manner. A witness may also be unreliable because of alcohol or drug abuse or a motive to misrepresent information; this is especially a concern in drug-related cases where someone may be involved in the crime. Facing Criminal Charges in Virginia? Roger D. Virginia, Criminal Offenses and Defenses in. Publisher: Harrison Co , This specific ISBN edition is currently not available. View all copies of this ISBN edition:.

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Excessive alcohol consumption over a long period of time can cause damage to the kidneys, liver, heart or brain. Excessive use of alcohol within a short period of time can lead to death. What is a blood-alcohol content? Ethanol in your blood is a byproduct of the broken-down alcohol that you consumed. BAC and BAL are scientifically measured by calculating the ratio of ethanol to blood within your system. Therefore, if you have a BAC of. Do I have to take a breath-analyzer test?

Whether you are required to take the test depends on the law of the state you are in at the time you are pulled over. Under the law in some states, if you refuse to submit to a breath-analyzer test or other similar tests for measuring your BAC or BAL, such as a blood test, your license will automatically be suspended.

If you are later found not to have been intoxicated or impaired, your license may still be suspended in some states as a result of your failure to cooperate. Yes, although the crime may have a different name.

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If you operate a car under the influence of drugs such as heroin, cocaine, marijuana or any other illegal substance, you can be charged with a crime. In addition, it is not only illegal drugs that can get you into trouble. Many prescription medications and some over-the-counter medications carry with them specific warnings that they may impair abilities and should not be used while operating any motor vehicles.

Check the labels on all medications carefully. Do not get behind the wheel if you are taking any medications that are incompatible with safe driving. In some states, a person will be required to pay a fine and perhaps serve a minimum term of imprisonment for a first conviction, in addition to having their license suspended. For a second offense, some states may increase the fines and imprisonment or term of suspension. Additional offenses may result in drivers license revocation, incarceration or the loss of driving privileges for life. Additionally, in some states, a judge may order that the offender participates in an alcohol or drug treatment and education program.

Of course, if you seriously injure or kill another person while operating under the influence, you may face additional charges and civil lawsuits. A judge hearing your case may have discretion in deciding how you should be punished. In situations where you have seriously injured or killed another person, the judge may not have such discretion, but in first-time offenses or in less serious matters, a judge may be able to require you to perform community service, such as giving talks about the dangers of drunk driving.

Your chances of successfully making defense arguments or finding mistakes that may have been made in your arrest are much greater if you have an attorney assisting you. Understanding parole. After you have been arrested, if you are found guilty of a crime, you may have to serve time in prison or another detention facility. Your sentence may be cut short if you are released on parole, or you may be placed on parole after serving your full sentence. But what is parole?

When might it be granted? The following primer answers those questions and many more. What is parole? Parole is a conditional release from prison. In some cases, a prisoner may be released on parole only after they have served their full sentence. In other situations, a prisoner may receive an early release on parole.

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Parole allows a prisoner, or parolee, to leave prison and re-enter the community, subject to certain limitations and conditions. Parolees who break any of the terms of parole can be sent back to prison for the remainder of their sentence and face additional punishment. Who is responsible for overseeing prisoners on parole? Parole Commission has jurisdiction over federal prisoners who are released on parole.

For criminals serving time in state detention facilities, that particular state parole board has jurisdiction. How does parole differ from probation? Parole and probation are two separate things. Parole occurs when a prisoner is released from prison after having served either a portion or all of his or her sentence. Probation is an alternative to incarceration.

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A criminal who receives probation as a sentence will be able to remain a member of his or her community, without serving time in jail or prison, so long as he or she complies with the conditions set by the court. The conditions can include counseling or treatment, participating in community education or performing community service. If any conditions are not met, probation can be revoked, and the remainder of the sentence is served in jail or prison.

Is parole always an option? In cases of particularly serious crimes, a prisoner may not be eligible for parole. The law of the state in which sentencing occurs will dictate whether a prisoner may obtain parole for a certain crime. For example, some states do not allow for repeat offenders or first-degree murderers, among others, to receive parole. If a prisoner receives a death sentence, he or she is not eligible for parole.

How do I get parole? The specific steps that must be followed in order to obtain parole will vary from state to state. However, the process usually starts with a request or application for parole. In some states, prisoners are required to make the request themselves. In other states, a state parole board may investigate the possibility of parole after a set percentage of the sentence has been served.

Once the request or application is made, a hearing will be held. Each state has detailed laws regarding how these hearings are to be conducted and what factors may be considered. Following the hearing, the parole board makes a decision as to whether the prisoner should be released on parole. What factors are considered in determining whether parole will be granted?

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Any number of factors will be considered by the parole board in determining whether a prisoner should be released on parole. Can a prisoner have more than one parole hearing?

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If a prisoner requests or is given a parole hearing but is denied parole, he or she may try again, in the future, to obtain parole by going through the same process. Does a prisoner have to accept parole when it is granted? Parole will have many different conditions attached to it, usually put into place by the parole board and approved by the trial court that initially imposed the sentence. A prisoner must be informed of the conditions of their release before being placed on parole. If the prisoner does not like the conditions or has doubts about his or her ability to abide by them, he or she is free to reject the offer of parole.

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How long does parole last? In most cases, the length of parole depends upon the crime that was committed and the behavior of the criminal. Typically, parole will not last longer than five years. What type of conditions might be imposed on parole? The conditions of parole that may be imposed are controlled by state law and also by the circumstances of the particular case. A parolee might be required to remain in a specific geographical area, or he or she might be required to obtain a job, receive treatment, or submit to counseling or periodic drug testing.

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Parolees are, almost without exception, prohibited from owning firearms.