Although Virginia residents know that violent crime is an aspect of modern life, most people never experience it firsthand. When they do, however, they expect law enforcement officials to find and arrest the perpetrators as soon as possible. This can lead to quick arrests, false identifications, and improper charges.
No matter how long law enforcement officers investigate a possible crime and develop evidence to support their theory of a suspect's involvement, if that person is arrested and charged with a crime, he or she is still presumed innocent in the eyes of the law.
The police can be intimidating. When one is suddenly confronted by an angry or justice-hungry officer of the law, he or she may feel like running. Though such a reaction may be understandable, the law can be harsh on those who run from the police.
In Loudoun County, located northwest of Fairfax County, Virginia, a 48-year-old teacher was recently taken into custody at school for allegedly coming to school intoxicated. As a result, the man is facing several charges, including driving under the influence, possession of alcohol on school property and driving without a license.
All businesses operate on budgets. Therefore, many of these operations require accurate accounting in order to determine expenses, income, and profit. Schools work in similar fashion, having to track how much employees are paid, how much money is spent on supplies, and how much money remains in its budget. It is a complicated process, and one that can cause serious problems if mishandled. A mistake in accounting could create an appearance of misappropriation and it may even lead to a criminal charge.
Fairfax residents may be very interested to learn more about the actions of police departments across the state of Virginia, particularly as it pertains to suspect line-ups used to charge suspects. According to the Times Dispatch, only a small portion of the police departments across the state are following a new policy aimed at avoiding wrongful accusations in the use of line-ups. This practice may be putting innocent suspects at risk, a practice which may cause innocent men and women across the state of being wrongfully charged with a crime.
Anyone accused of a crime is entitled to a vigorous and competent criminal defense. After a person is arrested, he or she is given the opportunity to appoint counsel or to have counsel appointed for him or her, and is given the opportunity to make a plea and to post bail. The accused has the right to a swift trial, during which the accusations against him or her will be brought out and the judge and jury will decide the merits of the charges. Should the defendant be convicted, he or she has the right to appeal the sentence and to possibly have it overturned or reduced.
Virginia residents may remember the story of a Fairfax County teacher who in 2010 was accused of molesting a 12-year-old girl. He faced two felony sex abuse charges and, if found guilty, could have been sentenced to 40 years in prison. But a jury acquitted the teacher after 47 minutes of deliberation, though not before he spent four days in jail, mounted a strong criminal defense, and had his photo and home address publicized by police.
In a world in which news is generated minute by minute, readers in Virginia and throughout the nation are constantly inundated by an endless barrage of information. None of us is immune to our own beliefs, fears, and experiences skewing the way in which we sift through information as we try to get to the truth. Even journalists, whose job it is to provide accurate, unbiased information, are not always able to completely remove bias brought on by personal inclinations. In an age in which news and views are reported on television, radio, blogs and social media sites, how do media affect the results of criminal defense?