Based on news coverage, today’s world presents more threats than ever: violent crime, criminal gangs, illegal drug trade, and economic crimes of desperation. In such a dangerous environment, it makes sense that over 40% of Americans own a firearm, and the number of concealed carry handgun permits has dramatically increased over the last decade, from about 2.7 million in 1999 to 4.6 million in 2007 to 11.1 million in 2014. However, many people do not know that concealed weapon laws apply to more than just handguns.
What to do when you’ve been accused of a crime.
If someone has accused you of a crime, there are some important steps you should take to protect your rights. In this article, we’ll discuss the things you should do when anyone — a police officer, citizen, your boss, etc. — accuses you of doing something criminal. We’re talking here about the threat of criminal prosecution. Some of these tips may also apply after you’ve been charged with a crime, but the main point here is to address situations where you have not yet been charged, but someone is threatening to have you charged.
As soon as the subject of criminal charges comes up, don’t talk. It is shocking how many people refuse to follow this simple advice. Each year prosecutors charge hundreds of thousands of people based only on things they admitted to, even when there is very little other evidence of a crime.
Everything you say — even what you say to other citizens, your friends, or your boss — can all be used against you in court. When someone accused you of a crime, it’s time for you to give them the silent treatment. Do not discuss the subject at all. You could unknowingly admit to important parts of a criminal offense. In one case, a defendant admitted to being in a particular city at a particular time, and the judge found him guilty of a crime that he otherwise would have been found not guilty of, if he had not admitted to his location. Simple innocent admissions can be placed into a context that hurts you. Just don’t talk when you’re accused of a crime.
Try to Resolve it Through A Lawyer
This method of avoiding criminal charges is common to financial crimes like embezzlement. Let’s say your boss accused you of misusing company money for your own personal expenses. This would be the crime of embezzlement. However, you could hire a lawyer to negotiate with your boss on your behalf and perhaps avoid a criminal prosecution. The lawyer would contact your boss and determine if he might accept a repayment of some or all of the money he says was misused, and in exchange agree not to press for criminal charges. This is sometimes referred to as an “accord and satisfaction”.
This negotiation, however, must always take place through your lawyer. If you attempt this alone, you may admit wrongdoing, which could be used against you in a criminal prosecution. Remember that an honest conversation with your own lawyer cannot be used against you. So the lawyer you have retained is the only person you can safely talk to openly.
Lower the temperature
When someone accused you of a crime, he or she was likely very angry. This is especially true if they accused you of domestic violence. Your goal should be to defuse and descalate the situation however you can. Threats or anger on your part will only make it worse. Try to remain calm, offer an apology, and if you are the target of anger, remove yourself from the situation until things calm down.
Virginia Beach Criminal Defense Attorney Braden Carroll has been recognized as a Super Lawyer “Rising Star” by the national Super Lawyers magazine. He continues a tradition of excellence by protecting his clients’ rights and helping those accused of a crime get their lives back and protect their good names. He serves Virginia Beach and all of Hampton Roads with top-notch criminal defense representation. Mr. Carroll is listed as a “Top Rated Criminal Defense Attorney” on Superlaywers.com, an honor he does not take lightly.
“Being known as a Rising Star in a legal market like Virginia Beach is an amazing opportunity. I’m proud that my firm provides excellent representation on such a wide range of criminal charges, and I like the opportunity to help my clients get second chances,” Carroll says. Running a busy criminal practice is a challenge, but exceptionally bright and well-connected lawyers like Mr. Carroll can make the court system more accessible and friendly to clients.
Mr. Carroll fights for clients in Virginia Beach, and all of the Hampton Roads area. Whether a misdemeanor or felony, every Virginia criminal charge is serious and you should have an excellent defense attorney on your side. Our firm represents people facing all kinds of traffic and criminal offenses and we’re proud to help people get a second chance and protect their constitutional rights.
BC Law is proud to be recognized in the legal community, and proud to serve each client with excellence.
In the last legislative session, the Virginia legislature enacted new laws and amended some existing laws regarding prostitution, pandering, and commercial sex trafficking. As a result of the changes, many offenses in this category were elevated to higher-level felonies than they previously had been, and the new law is expected to sweep in a number of people who would have previously avoided prosecution.
The new law, Va Code Section 18.2-357.1, creates a Class 5 Felony for anyone who encourages, causes, or attempts to cause another person to engage in prostitution with the intent to receive money or assist someone else in receiving money. To prove this offense, the Commonwealth would have to prove that the defendant took some substantial step toward encouraging someone else to have sex for money, and that he intended to receive some or all of the money himself or pass it to another person. If found guilty under this law, and the person engaging in the sex act was not a minor, then the defendant could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison. If the person was a minor at the time of the offense, then it could be up to 20 years in prison. And if force, threats, or intimidation were used to force the person to engage in prostitution, the minimum recommended sentence is two years.
The usual pandering (prostitution) law was also amended. It increased the penalty for when a minor is involved from a class 4 to a class 3 felony, making the sentence between 5 to 20 years in prison.
What to do When Arrested for Prostitution or Pandering?
Whenever laws are changed, there is always the potential that an innocent person can get inadvertantly caught up in an otherwise legitimate sweep of arrests. There is also the possibility that someone will be arrested and charged under the wrong law, even if they did have some involvement in an incident. These types of charges are very serious, and when convicted they will remain on your criminal record permanently. Because of the nature of the charge, they can cause significant problems later in life as you try to gain employment.
When you or a loved one is charged in Virginia with a sexual offense like prostitution, it is important to have a Virginia criminal defense attorney who understands these laws and is up to date on the legitimate defenses available. Contact us for a free consultation on your case.
It’s no secret, Diddy has a temper, and this isn’t the first time he’s been charged with Assault. Technically, this time it’s three counts of Assault with a Deadly Weapon (a Kettlebell), one count of terrorist threats, and one count of Battery. The rapper was arrested around Noon Pacific Time on June 22, and by 10:00 PM he had posted Bail and was released.
Helicopter Dads are not a new phenomenon, and charges of Assault and Battery are not that uncommon, though sometimes they get reduced to something less serious, like Disturbing the Peace, if the incident doesn’t involve any weapon and no one is injured. Apparently Diddy’s incident was more serious, as it is alleged he threatened his son’s coach with the Kettlebell, believing the coach was treating his son too harshly. Diddy claims self-defense.
Since Diddy’s debacle happened in California, and their laws will apply. But similar charges would likely be brought had the incident happened in Virginia. Here, the charge might be Attempted Malicious Wounding, which is a Class 5 Felony and carries a potential punishment of 1-10 years in prison, or up to 12 months jail and a fine of up to $2,500.
If he acted in defense of himself or others, that might be a legitimate defense to his charges. In that case, he would have to demonstrate some evidence that he legitimately feared for his life or safety and acted to prevent an imminent attack. Note that self-defense won’t help a person who leaves the scene and returns later, nor is it helpful if you use more force than necessary to repel the attacker.
Next time you’re at your child’s football or baseball game, let’s keep it civil. But if you do get arrested, give us a call.