If you are facing penalties for a crime, call a criminal defense lawyer Arlington VA residents choose from May Law without delay. It is important you take time to learn about your rights and options from a trusted Arlington criminal defense lawyer. Since 1995, May Law has been helping defendants who have been charged with misdemeanors and felonies. Our firm is well known for its aggressive approach and tenacious ability to stand up and fight for our clients. Regardless of the nature of your criminal charges, we are prepared to be your legal advocate; someone you can count on for honest advice and trusted support. Call (703) 312-0410 now.
It Is Your Right to Have a Fair Trial
The US constitution states that every person is entitled to a fair, speedy, and just trial. Furthermore, defendants should be considered innocent until or unless they are found guilty in the courtroom by a judge or jury. Unfortunately, these rights may be tampered with by law enforcement and prosecutors. A criminal defense lawyer Arlington VA community members rely on from May Law will work as hard as possible to ensure your rights are duly protected.
Rules of Evidence
Criminal lawyers may be familiar with a broad range of types of evidence. In hearings and trials, evidence will be presented to a judge, arbitration panel, or jury to prove or disprove the facts of the case. Before evidence can be used in a case, the lawyer must adhere to various rules that have been set forth by legislative procedures. If you are concerned about evidence in your case, it is advisable to speak with your criminal lawyer for further clarification.
The Rules of Evidence
The rules of evidence are what govern what items can and cannot be admitted into a case. Federal courts use their own rules of evidence and these vary from state rules. Each state, including Virginia, has its own rules of evidence as well; however, most are similar on both government levels.
Before a trial, the judge and/or jury will review the evidence presented by the lawyers of each party and determine what the facts are. In civil cases, such as personal injury, the facts given by the plaintiff must be found to be “more than likely” true in order to win. Otherwise, the defendant might win the case.
The Legal Definition of Evidence
In legal terms, the definition of evidence includes:
- Covers the burden of proof
- Admissibility to court
- Relevance of the case
- Sufficiency of what should be included in the legal record.
Evidence is often crucial to a civil or criminal case. Lawyers may heavily rely upon evidence to assist their clients’ needs. Evidence can include:
- Blood or hair samples
- Witness testimony
- Surveillance footage
If evidence has been procured by an illegal method, such as an unwarranted or unlawful police search, that evidence and any evidence that led to it, may not be admitted to a trial. This is another reason to retain an Arlington VA lawyer as quickly as possible. He or she will be well aware of the potential of illegal evidence being used against clients. Through due diligence, a criminal lawyer can ensure your case does not include this type of evidence.
Any evidence that a judge finds to be prejudicial or irrelevant may not be admissible. Finally, if there is suspicion into how the evidence has been handled in the chain of command, it might be thrown out of court.
Types of Evidence
There are four types of general evidence that may be presented in court cases. These include:
- Real evidence – Tangible items or things, such as a gun
- Demonstrative evidence – a model or idea of what likely happened in a place and at that time
- Documentary evidence – Something contained in a written or typed document, such as a letter, email, or blog post
- Testimonial evidence – A testimony that is given by a witness
Your Arlington VA criminal lawyer can explain to you the types of evidence that may be used in your case. This could include evidence that aids in your cases’ success or evidence that is not in your favor.
Terms You Should Know About
- Circumstantial Evidence – This is a type of evidence that tends to be factual or prove a fact by proving other circumstances from which the matter occurred from.
- Example of Circumstantial Evidence – Let’s say John D. looked out his window and saw snow falling to the ground. If later he testified in court about what he saw, this would be direct evidence: he saw snow falling outside. If however, he looked outside and saw no snow, went to sleep, and woke up to snow on the ground. His testimony would be considered circumstantial evidence: that it snowed during the time he was sleeping.
- Corroborating Evidence – Evidence that is different and independent of, but supplements any evidence that has been presented to the court as proof.
- Hearsay – A statement not in court or under oath, but is offered as proof. This is generally not admissible.
- Exclusionary Rule – A special rule of evidence that suppresses or completely excludes evidence that has been obtained while violating the constitutional rights of the defendant.
Whether you are a defendant in a criminal or civil court case, your lawyer may attempt to suppress evidence being presented by the other side. At the same time, your lawyer should be working to discover evidence that supports your case.
The Primary Difference Between Civil and Criminal Evidence
Although civil and criminal cases use evidence, there is a notable difference when it comes to the burden of proof. In order for a guilty verdict to be ready in a criminal trial, the prosecution must be able to prove the defendant “guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.” In civil cases, the defendant can be found liable when the plaintiff shows culpability, or “reasonably at fault.”
Choose a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Arlington VA from May Law as Your Legal Representative
Regardless of whether you are guilty or not guilty, a criminal charge is nothing to take lightly. A conviction can change your life forever. It can even affect those closest to you. The consequences might include fines, fees, jail or prison time, probation, and a criminal record. Collateral consequences might also apply; these could be equally devastating.
You may have the right to a court appointed attorney; however, these professionals are often handling more cases than they can handle at any given time. They are overworked and underpaid which means you will likely not get the attention you need to adequately fight your case. Realistically, unless you absolutely cannot afford to hire a criminal defense lawyer Arlington VA defendants rely on, avoid a public defender.
We are experienced: As a criminal lawyer we have fought for thousands of juvenile and adult clients who have been charged with:
- Reckless driving
- Traffic violations
- Sex crimes
- White collar crimes
- Breaking and entering
- Drug possession
- Gun possession
Rest assured we will be at your side during motions, hearings, court proceedings, and a trial (if necessary).
We seek to reduce charges:It is our goal to build a defense that protects you from the harshest penalties. We have numerous resources to investigate the details of your case and gather evidence that may contradict what the prosecutor is saying. Through this process we may seek to have your charges reduced or entirely dropped.
We offer flexible payment terms: Our firm offers clients various payment plans and options. If you are concerned about legal fees, we encourage you to call us to find out what might be available to you for your situation.
We are aggressive: We are not shy and are not afraid to go up against other lawyers and prosecutors. Our approach is to be strategic, prepared, and aggressive. It is the kind approach that gets results and one that has earned us a superior reputation. It is why our name comes up when someone needs a criminal defense lawyer Arlington VA locals recommend.
To talk with a criminal defense lawyer Arlington VA offers from May Law, call (703) 312-0410 now.