Commonwealth v. Hall Implications: How involved does your property have to be before the government can take it under a forfeiture?

How can you be punished for a crime? Most people would answer with prison, jail, or a steep fine. But what many people don’t know is that—when you use some kinds of property to commit a crime—the … [Read more...]

Expungements: a way to prevent problems down the road

A question attorneys often get is whether a conviction goes on someone’s “permanent record.” In Virginia, every conviction—and, frequently, every charge—is entered into the National Crime Information … [Read more...]

Is it a threat? Or just words? The difference between a conviction for assault and keeping a violent offense off your record

A frequent argument we see in trials for assault is whether a threat alone constitutes an “assault.” In Virginia, there are two kinds of ‘assault.’ One is attempting to offensively touch another … [Read more...]

Marijuana Possession in Virginia Update

  Last week, two bills that were attempting to redefine how the Commonwealth of Virginia treats marijuana were again defeated in the General Assembly.  A bill to legalize marijuana for … [Read more...]

Protective orders: tricky to obtain, but powerful once issued

Anyone who knows someone who has suffered at the hands of a vindictive and even frightening ex- has seen the effects of living in fear. People who are being stalked, slandered, or threatened by that … [Read more...]

First time offenders and deferred dispositions: New opinion from the Attorney General permits some kinds of ‘deferred dispositions’

The criminal justice system is, thankfully, one that many of us never have to deal with. But too often, someone who has never dealt with it finds themselves charged with an offense. A frequent worry … [Read more...]

Jail Time and Fines: Penalties for Drug Possession in Virginia

Virginia’s drug laws are notoriously strict with harsh penalties that depend primarily on the type of crime, the type of drug involved and the amount. The first question we often receive is, will I go … [Read more...]

Medical Marijuana in Virginia: A Powerful Affirmative Defense to Possession of Marijuana

As you may have heard in the news, Virginia Code Section § 18.2-250.1. “Possession of marijuana unlawful” has seen a number of changes over the past few years.  In February of 2015, Governor McAuliffe … [Read more...]

Virginia DWI Law: The consequences of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs while having a child in the vehicle with you

Virginia is a tough state when it comes to punishing drunk and drugged drivers.  Virginia is even less tolerant when a person is caught operating a vehicle under the influence with a child (someone 17 … [Read more...]

Understanding Circumstantial Evidence in Virginia Criminal Courts

In many criminal cases, the Commonwealth cannot prove a case by direct evidence. Direct evidence is evidence such as eyewitness testimony, scientific evidence, or a confession. If the Commonwealth … [Read more...]