& Criminal Defense
People faced with criminal charges often feel overwhelmed and as if they have no chance of succeeding against the prosecution. Criminal defendants have numerous rights, however, and often, multiple avenues to protect their liberties, and in many instances, they are able to achieve favorable outcomes. In the event you are charged with a crime, it is essential that you retain an experienced Virginia criminal defense attorney to help you protect your liberties and formulate a plan for your defense. The dedicated Fairfax criminal defense lawyers of Crowley Peritz Law have the knowledge and skills needed to help you understand the complexities of criminal cases, and if you hire us, we will fight tirelessly on your behalf. We have an office in Fairfax, and we regularly defend people charged with criminal offenses in cities in Northern Virginia.
The prosecution faces a significant challenge in criminal matters in that it must prove each element of the charged offense beyond a reasonable doubt. While “beyond a reasonable doubt” is not defined under Virginia law, it is the highest burden of proof and has often been explained as evidence that allows for no reasonable conclusion other than that the defendant is guilty of committing the crime with which they are charged.
In many criminal matters, the defendant can challenge the prosecution’s case by arguing that certain evidence should be inadmissible. For example, if a law enforcement agent stopped and searched the defendant without adequate cause, it could violate their Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable stops and searches and may render the evidence obtained during the search inadmissible. Additionally, if they made incriminating statements during questioning before being informed of their rights, the prosecution may be prohibited from introducing those statements into evidence, as they violate the defendant’s Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. In many cases, when the prosecution can’t present compelling evidence against the defendant, the charges will be dismissed.
Although the prosecution must meet a significant burden of proof to convict a person of a crime, criminal defendants do not have any burden of proof and are not required to present a defense. In some instances, though, it benefits the defendant to set forth evidence in their favor.
In many cases, affirmative defenses can allow a person to avoid a conviction even if they committed the alleged acts. For instance, the use of force against another is often permitted if it is done in self-defense. Self-defense is justified if you had a reasonable belief you were threatened with death or serious harm. Notably, the threat must be imminent, and the amount of force used in defense of the attack or potential attack must be reasonable.
In some instances, a criminal defendant may be able to assert the defense of entrapment. Essentially, entrapment occurs when a law enforcement or government agent persuades or induces a person to commit a crime via fraud, persuasion, or trickery.
The precise defenses available will depend on the facts of the case, but if you are charged with a crime, an experienced Virginia lawyer who practices criminal defense will be able to advise you whether any affirmative defenses are available to help you fight to avoid a conviction.
Few things cause as much stress as being accused of violating the law, but being charged with a crime does not necessarily lead to a conviction. Attacking the prosecution’s cause often requires in-depth knowledge of criminal law and procedure, though, and it is smart for anyone charged with a crime to speak to an attorney. The knowledgeable Fairfax lawyers of Crowley Peritz Law are well-versed in what it takes to obtain good outcomes in criminal proceedings, and if you are faced with criminal charges, we can craft compelling arguments in your favor. Our office is located in Fairfax, and we regularly defend people in criminal cases in cities throughout Northern Virginia and Fairfax, Frederick, Loudoun, Prince William, and Stafford Counties, including McLean, Arlington, Fairfax, Annandale, Centreville, Reston, Burke, Herndon, Vienna, Alexandria, Falls Church, Stephens City, Ashburn, Dulles, Leesburg, Manassas, Dale City, Lake Ridge, Linton Hall, Woodbridge, Stafford, and Winchester. You can contact us to set up a confidential meeting by using our online form or calling us at (703) 337-3773.
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