Best Norfolk Criminal Lawyers

Best Norfolk Criminal Lawyers and Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys

If you’re facing criminal prosecution in Norfolk, Virginia, having an experienced defense attorney is essential. Navigating state and federal criminal cases alone against tough prosecutors is extremely unwise. Just one conviction can destroy your life with devastating consequences like jail, massive fines, probation, criminal records, and more.

This guide covers Norfolk’s top criminal defense lawyers. We’ll provide an overview of when you need legal counsel, potential defenses, key Virginia laws and penalties, and most importantly – what makes certain litigators stand out. Our goal is to arm you with the information to make the best decision possible if you or a loved one are charged with a crime in Norfolk. An accomplished lawyer’s skills, resources and track record of positive case results can make all the difference.

When Should You Hire a Norfolk Criminal Attorney?

Any time you are questioned, arrested or charged with a crime in Norfolk, having a criminal defense lawyer represent you is critical. Situations requiring legal help include:

  • You are contacted by police/prosecutors regarding an investigation
  • You are arrested and jailed, even if no formal charges yet
  • Officers attempt to interrogate you about alleged crimes
  • Your property or electronic devices are searched
  • You are accused of violating probation/parole
  • There is a warrant issued for your arrest
  • You are facing charges of DUI, domestic violence or assault
  • You are charged with any federal offense

Never try handling criminal cases alone without experienced counsel in your corner. The consequences are too steep.

What Legal Defenses Could Apply in My Case?

Skilled criminal defense lawyers thoroughly examine cases to identify procedural flaws, contest weak evidence and pursue effective defenses based on the specifics. Potential defenses include:

False Accusations and Mistaken Identity

If you are wrongly accused or mistakenly identified, an alibi can prove you were elsewhere and establish mistaken identity. Alibis require strong documentation and witness corroboration.

Illegal Search and Seizure

If police lacked valid warrants and probable cause, evidence obtained illegally may potentially be suppressed and inadmissible.


Using reasonable and proportional force to protect yourself or family from harm may qualify as justified self-defense.

Diminished Mental Capacity

Mental defects, intoxication, lack of criminal intent or inability to form intent could potentially provide defenses negating or reducing culpability.


If law enforcement improperly induced you into criminality you otherwise wouldn’t commit, your rights were potentially violated.

Insufficient Evidence

Purely circumstantial, weak or hearsay evidence may fail to sufficiently prove guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

A skilled lawyer will pursue every avenue to build the strongest possible defense in your favor.

Overview of Virginia Criminal Laws and Penalties

Potential sentences if convicted of a crime in Virginia include:

Larceny/Theft (§ 18.2-95)

  • Petit larceny under $500 – Class 1 misdemeanor, up to 12 months jail, $2,500 fine
  • Grand larceny $500-$1,000 – Class 6 felony, 1-5 years prison, $2,500 fine
  • Felony larceny over $1,000 – Class 5 felony, 1-20 years prison

Harsher charges apply for stealing cars, firearms or through extortion.

Burglary (§ 18.2-89)

  • Simple burglary – Class 5 felony, 1-10 years prison
  • Burglary while armed, with weapon – Class 3 felony, 5-20 years prison
  • Committing assault during burglary – Class 2 felony, 20 years to life imprisonment

Illegal entry with intent to steal or commit other crimes escalates charges significantly.

Assault (§ 18.2-57)

  • Simple assault – Class 1 misdemeanor, 12 months jail, $2,500 fine
  • Assault and battery – Class 1 misdemeanor, 12 months jail, $2,500 fine
  • Aggravated malicious assault – Class 3 felony, 5-20 years prison
  • Assault on family member – Class 1 misdemeanor or Class 6 felony

Injury caused or weapons used enhances charges.

Drug Crimes (§ 18.2-247)

  • Marijuana possession under 1/2 ounce – Class 1 misdemeanor, 12 months jail, $2,500 fine
  • Marijuana possession 1/2 – 5 lbs – Class 5 felony, 1-10 years prison, $2,500 fine
  • Cocaine possession over 1/2 gram – Class 5 felony
  • Heroin possession over 1/2 gram – Class 5 felony
  • Intent to distribute Schedule I & II drugs – Class 3-5 felonies

Penalties based on drug type and amount. Trafficking charges are felonies.

DUI/DUID (§ 18.2-266)

  • 1st offense DUI – Class 1 misdemeanor, 12 months jail, $2,500 fine
  • 2nd offense within 5-10 years – Class 1 misdemeanor or Class 6 felony
  • 3rd offense within 5-10 years – Class 6 felony, 1-5 years prison
  • DUI manslaughter – Class 5 felony, 1-10 years prison

Fines, license suspension, jail time, and felonies result.

Sex Crimes (Title 18.2, Chapter 4)

  • Indecent exposure – Class 1 misdemeanor, 12 months jail, $2,500 fine
  • Sexual assault – Class 6 felony, 1-5 years prison
  • Forcible sodomy – Class 6 felony
  • Object sexual penetration – Class 4 felony, 2-10 years prison
  • Rape – Class 2 felony, 20 years to life in prison

Lifetime sex offender registration required upon conviction.

These serious penalties demonstrate why an experienced defense lawyer is so crucial. Now let’s examine Norfolk’s top attorneys.

Best Criminal Defense Lawyers in Norfolk, Virginia

James Broccoletti

With over 35 years of criminal law experience, James Broccoletti is widely respected locally for his strong litigation skills and knowledge of Virginia criminal law and procedure. He represents clients facing anything from DUI and misdemeanors to white collar crimes, sex offenses, drug trafficking and homicide.

Attorney Broccoletti is acclaimed for his thorough case investigation and preparation. He aggressively contests the prosecution evidence and testimony, raises procedural issues, and negotiates for reduced or dismissed charges whenever possible. Multiple local associations have recognized Broccoletti for his outstanding advocacy.

Emily Munn

A former Norfolk prosecutor, Emily Munn leverages her background to provide tenacious criminal defense representation for locals charged with misdemeanors and felonies. She handles cases involving charges of larceny, fraud, DUI, traffic offenses, drug crimes, domestic assault, and juvenile probation violations.

Munn is applauded for her meticulous examination of the prosecution’s approach in order to undermine their arguments and evidence. She has successfully achieved many dismissals, acquittals and favorable pleas for clients through suppression motions, procedural maneuvers and negotiation tactics. Her clients compliment her compassion.

Randy Singer

Randy Singer is a former prosecutor who has focused his practice on criminal defense for over 20 years. Based in Virginia Beach, he represents Hampton Roads clients facing state and federal charges ranging from white collar financial crimes to DUI, juvenile offenses, gang-related crimes, sex crimes, robbery, and homicide.

Attorney Singer is respected throughout Virginia for his litigation skills, having tried over 150 jury cases. He aggressively contests the prosecution’s allegations, frequently files suppression motions attacking unconstitutional police conduct, and often succeeds in getting charges reduced or dismissed pre-trial through negotiations by emphasizing weaknesses in the state’s case.

Neil McBride

With over 25 years of experience, Neil McBride is a passionate courtroom litigator known for his relentless advocacy on behalf of clients facing criminal prosecution in Norfolk area courts. His practice focuses on charges involving serious violent crimes, drug trafficking, weapons offenses, domestic assault, white collar fraud, and homicide.

McBride has successfully defended many complex, high-profile Norfolk criminal cases other lawyers declined. He is celebrated for his creative legal strategies and sophistication handling forensic evidence. Former clients compliment his responsiveness and regular communication throughout their cases.

Hunter Sims

Based in nearby Virginia Beach, Hunter Sims represents clients facing federal prosecution at Norfolk’s federal courthouse. His experience includes cases involving white collar crimes, money laundering, RICO violations, bribery, tax evasion, public corruption, child pornography, drug trafficking, healthcare fraud and other complex federal matters.

Over his 20+ year legal career, attorney Sims has represented clients in over 100 federal criminal jury trials. He has the experience and negotiation skills necessary for the high stakes of federal cases. Sims’ strong track record of favorable verdicts and pre-trial outcomes earns him praise from clients and fellow attorneys.

How to Choose the Best Norfolk Criminal Defense Lawyer

When researching criminal defense lawyers, keep these tips in mind:

  • Look for extensive criminal law expertise and focus on your charges specifically. Avoid dabbling lawyers.
  • Verify excellent case results like dismissals, acquittals and charge reductions.
  • Seek out lawyers with great reputations among local judges and fellow attorneys.
  • Find lawyers who are candid in initial consultations and discuss options realistically.
  • Compare reviews from past clients on Google, Facebook, Avvo and other sites.
  • Ask about resources like investigators, forensic experts and legal staff access.
  • Meet with multiple lawyers before deciding – don’t just pick the first one you find.
  • For federal charges, prioritize federal criminal defense experience.

Take time to thoroughly vet each option – your future hangs in the balance. The right lawyer makes all the difference.


If you are facing criminal prosecution in Norfolk, the prospect of harsh sentences if convicted makes legal counsel essential. Navigating these cases alone against tough, seasoned prosecutors would be extremely unwise.

The elite Norfolk criminal defense lawyers we covered have the skills, experience, resources and track record of positive case results to build the strongest case on your behalf. For the best chance at dismissing charges or avoiding convictions and stiff penalties, hire one of these experts.

Don’t take chances with your future. Let one of Norfolk’s top criminal lawyers stand between you and devastating consequences. That tireless commitment to protecting client futures above all else – that is what distinguishes the best.