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Roanoke Criminal Defense Blog

Getting the jury to like you: Optimizing your appearance in court

Before you go in front of a jury, it's important that you're prepared. The way you look and act can make as much of an impression as the testimonies of those who want to see you prosecuted. The way you are perceived can make you look more or less truthful than you are.

Your attorney should take time to make sure you're ready to present yourself in a way that makes you optimally persuasive and easy to like. No jury wants to convict someone it generally likes.

False allegations of abuse harm you in the long term

Domestic abuse is serious, and it injures and takes the lives of many people each year. Although it is a horrible situation for victims, there are also people who are accused of domestic violence who never participated in a crime.

These individuals face a lifetime of scrutiny and a negative criminal record despite doing nothing wrong. In their cases, being proactive and fighting the allegations before they become charges is key to having the case dropped. If the case does go to court, a strong defense can help them defend themselves successfully.

Fentanyl is a growing concern on the streets

In the news, you may have heard that there is an opiate epidemic crossing the United States. Opiates, especially heroin and fentanyl, have been sold in growing quantities, leading to a number of overdose deaths.

In some cases, having fentanyl in your possession is not against the law, but in all cases, heroin is illegal. If you're caught with one or both of these drugs, you'll need to develop a strong defense to protect yourself and your reputation.

Here's what to know about an ignition interlock device

If you face a DUI charge and are convicted, one of the things you could end up having to use is an ignition interlock device (IID). This device prevents you from driving if you have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) that is over .08 percent. Every time you get into your vehicle, you'll need to submit a breath test. Additionally, you may need to give another sample after you've been driving for a few minutes.

In the case that you fail a breath test, your car won't start. The system may have a temporary lock-out feature. If it does, then you may have to wait a certain period of time before you can blow into the machine a second time. Once you pass the test, your vehicle will turn on. In some instances, failing a test could result in the ignition interlock device going into a service lockout. If that happens, the machine will require maintenance before you can use your vehicle again.

DUI and DWI facts to know

You were driving while slightly tipsy, and you thought you could get home safe. Unfortunately, an officer saw you swerve in your lane, and now you're waiting in the officer's car as he calls in your arrest and plans his return to the station.

You know you could be facing a DUI or DWI, but does that really stand for the same thing? What do you need to know? Here are some helpful facts.

Larceny, drug offenses and assault common in these counties

Criminal acts in Virginia vary from the mundane to the most violent of murders. The authorities collect data to try to determine which of the crimes are most prominent, so they can address the underlying cause.

A collection of data from the Commonwealth of Virginia has shown that the two most reported crimes in Tazewell, Buchanan, Giles and Bland Counties include drugs and larceny. These crimes made up over 75 percent of all reported crimes in the four-county area. Drug offenses were the most common, with larceny and simple assault falling close behind.

Yes, a BB gun can result in gun crime charges in Virginia

One type of gun that many people consider a toy is a BB gun. A BB gun is designed for people to shoot targets or small game. BB guns are not usually treated as guns when it comes to requiring a license, but, interestingly, those who use them negligently or maliciously could face gun crime charges.

Take, for example, a case out of Prince William County, Virginia. Reported on July 12, the situation involved two Virginian men who allegedly did a drive-by shooting with BB guns. While this might not seem serious, several people got hurt in the incident.

What happens if you fail an ignition interlock device's test?

You know that if you're convicted of drunk driving, you may be expected to have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed into your vehicle. If you have one, you know you have to use it before you can drive.

What most people don't talk about is what happens if you fail the IID's test. There are many reasons that you might fail an IID, including using alcohol-based mouthwashes or having alcohol in your system from drinking the night before. When you fail the test, your vehicle will not start -- it's as simple as that.

Plea deal denied by judge in state struggling with drugs

When you're accused of a crime and face a trial, one of the things that may happen is that you may be offered a plea deal. Typically, a plea deal is arranged between a prosecutor and your defense attorney. If the deal is acceptable, you can take it.

The catch is that the court has to agree to the plea deal. Sometimes, judges don't. That's what happened in one case involving a drug dealer. He intended to plead guilty to a single count for distributing heroin in the local community. He faced five other counts, but with the plea, he'd face only one.

Boating while intoxicated is a criminal offense

When you're out on the lake with family and friends, the last thing you think about is the danger of drinking and driving your boat. You have a pontoon that doesn't go very fast, and since the boat is a platform, you don't see much danger in having a few drinks.

Unfortunately, boating under the influence can lead to serious injuries and death. If you lose control of the boat, hit another person, hit the shore or have another kind of accident, you and the people on board could be seriously injured.


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Roanoke, Virginia 24011

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