Best Norfolk Criminal Lawyers
Norfolk Criminal Lawyers
Dealing with criminal charges is scary; the legal system is confusing. That’s why having an experienced Norfolk criminal defense attorney on your side is so important.
Criminal lawyers help people accused of offenses like theft, assault, DUI, drug crimes, etc. Their job is to protect your rights and build the strongest possible defense against the charges.
How Can a Lawyer Help?
A knowledgeable criminal lawyer can do a lot for you:
- Explain the specific charges and potential penalties you face
- Negotiate with the prosecutor for reduced charges or alternate sentences
- Identify weaknesses in the prosecution’s case against you
- Obtain evidence and documents through discovery
- Interview witnesses and prepare them to testify at trial
- File motions objecting to evidence or requesting other court orders in your favor
- Represent you vigorously in court if a trial becomes necessary
Having an experienced attorney on your side increases your chances of getting charges reduced or dismissed, avoiding jail time, and protecting your future.
Choosing a Norfolk Criminal Lawyer
It’s crucial to choose your lawyer carefully. Look for someone with:
- Extensive criminal trial experience
- Deep knowledge of local courts and prosecutors
- A proven track record of positive case results
- Strong communication and negotiation skills
- An approach you feel comfortable with
Take time to research options and find the best attorney you can afford. Your future is on the line.
Understanding the Charges Against You
When arrested and arraigned, you’ll be informed of the exact criminal charges you face. With your lawyer’s advice, you’ll need to decide whether to plead guilty, not guilty, or not guilty by reason of insanity.
If your case goes to trial, your Norfolk criminal defense attorney can help present defenses to the jury or poke holes in the prosecution’s case to raise reasonable doubt. Possible defenses vary based on the specific charges, but may include:
- Alibi – You were somewhere else when the crime occurred
- Self-defense – You acted reasonably to protect yourself from harm
- Consent – The “victim” agreed to the conduct, as in some assault cases
- Mistake of fact – You reasonably but incorrectly believed certain facts that negate intent
- Insanity – You lacked criminal intent due to mental illness
- Intoxication – You were too impaired to form intent
- Entrapment – Law enforcement improperly induced you to commit the crime
An experienced Norfolk criminal lawyer will thoroughly review the charges and evidence to identify any viable defenses to fight the case.
Investigation and Discovery
Your attorney will conduct an independent investigation of the circumstances surrounding your arrest. This may uncover witnesses, evidence, or facts that undermine the prosecution’s version of events.
Your lawyer can also utilize discovery to obtain access to the prosecution’s evidence. This may reveal inconsistencies, procedural errors, or other weaknesses in their case against you.
Many criminal cases end in a plea bargain rather than trial. Your lawyer can negotiate with the prosecutor to potentially get charges reduced or secure a more lenient sentence in exchange for a guilty plea.
An experienced negotiator can effectively argue for the best possible deal under the circumstances. They’ll advise you on whether to accept it or take your chances at trial.
Prior to trial, your lawyer may file motions asking the court to throw out evidence, dismiss charges, suppress your statements, and more. If successful, these motions can profoundly impact the case in your favor.
If your case goes to trial, your Norfolk criminal defense lawyer will advocate for you every step of the way. They will select a jury, give opening and closing arguments, rigorously cross-examine witnesses, object to improper prosecution tactics, and more.
An experienced trial lawyer can effectively highlight weaknesses in the prosecution’s case and present persuasive defenses before the jury.
If you are convicted, your attorney will advocate for the lightest possible sentence under the circumstances. This may involve presenting mitigating factors, alternatives to incarceration, and other strategic arguments.
If you lose at trial, your lawyer may identify grounds for an appeal. Filing an appeal could potentially get your conviction overturned.
Finding the Right Norfolk Criminal Defense Lawyer
It’s critical to choose an experienced criminal defense attorney you trust. Look for a lawyer with a proven record of success in Norfolk courts and a good rapport with local prosecutors and judges.
The right lawyer will aggressively defend your rights at every stage. They will thoroughly examine the charges and evidence against you, identify defenses, negotiate strongly, and advocate effectively in court if necessary.
The lawyer’s skills and experience can make all the difference. With the right criminal defense attorney on your side, you have a much better chance of a favorable case outcome.
Don’t go it alone against the power of the criminal justice system. An experienced Norfolk criminal lawyer can guide you through the process, protect your rights, and give you the strongest possible defense.
Common Criminal Charges in Norfolk
Some of the most common criminal offenses people face charges for in Norfolk include:
- DUI – Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Possession of marijuana – Possessing marijuana for personal use
- Assault – Threatening or causing injury to another person
- Domestic assault – Assault against a family or household member
- Larceny/theft – Taking property without permission
- Shoplifting – Retail theft
- Burglary – Illegally entering a building to commit a crime
- Destruction of property/vandalism – Damaging or defacing property
- Trespassing – Being on property without permission
- Drug possession – Possessing illegal drugs
- Drug distribution – Selling illegal drugs
- Firearms charges – Illegal possession/use of guns
An experienced Norfolk criminal defense lawyer can help fight any of these charges. The penalties if convicted can be severe, potentially involving hefty fines, probation, and jail time. Your lawyer’s defense can make the difference between being convicted or avoiding a criminal record.
Finding the Right Lawyer for Your Case
Every criminal case is unique, so it’s important to choose the right lawyer for your specific situation. Consider factors like:
- Experience with your particular charges
- Knowledge of the prosecutor handling your case
- Comfort level with their negotiation style and personality
- Resources to thoroughly investigate your case
- Ability to take your case to trial if needed
Do your research to find an attorney you trust and feel confident will fight aggressively for you. Check reviews and talk to the lawyer personally before deciding.
According to legal rating sites like Expertise, some of the most highly-rated Norfolk criminal defense attorneys include:
- Floyd Oliver Attorney at Law – Well-reviewed lawyer with over 45 years of experience
- The Rodriguez Law Firm – Bilingual firm adept at navigating complex cases
- J. Barry McCracken – Former prosecutor with proven trial experience
Take time to choose the right criminal lawyer for your specific case. It can make all the difference in the outcome.
How a Lawyer Can Help at Each Stage
A good Norfolk criminal defense attorney can provide invaluable help at every phase of your case:
Investigation & Arrest
- Advise you on interacting with police and invoking your rights
- Act quickly to preserve evidence and interview witnesses
- Negotiate with police/prosecutors to avoid or minimize charges
- Enter not guilty plea and request reasonable bail
- Argue against pretrial detention if bail is denied
- File motions to suppress evidence or dismiss charges
- Conduct thorough case investigation and discovery
- Negotiate plea deals with the prosecutor
- Prepare powerful defenses for trial
- Select favorable jury members
- Make compelling opening/closing arguments
- Rigorously cross-examine the prosecution’s witnesses
- Object to improper questions and evidence
- Present persuasive witnesses and evidence for the defense
- Argue for probation, alternative programs, etc.
- Highlight mitigating circumstances to reduce jail time
- Identify and argue legal or procedural errors to overturn conviction
Having a knowledgeable lawyer in your corner can help at every single phase.
Questions to Ask When Hiring a Lawyer
Important questions to ask any lawyer you are considering hiring for your criminal case include:
- How much experience do you have handling my specific charges?
- What is your strategy for building the strongest defense?
- Will you be the actual lawyer handling my case?
- What is your approach to negotiating with prosecutors?
- Have you taken similar cases to trial before, and what were the results?
- How quickly do you respond to client calls and questions?
- What are the total fees and costs I can expect?
A lawyer should be able to clearly explain their experience, provide case examples, and describe their approach. Make sure you understand the full costs involved as well.
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