Criminal Defense Archives

Understanding attorney-client privilege

When one has been accused of and arrested for a crime in Wheeling, he or she will need all of the help and support that is available in order to endure the ordeal that may be ahead. A major source of that assistance may come from his or her attorney. Thus, it is essential that an attorney and an accused share a trusting relationship. The principle of attorney client privilege allows for this. According to the American Bar Association, attorney-client privilege prohibits a lawyer from sharing any information revealed to him or her by a client related to that client's representation (without, that is, the client's consent). 

Seeking a change of venue

Facing criminal charges in any setting is never easy. However, there are certain cases where the unique nature of a supposed crime might make proceedings even more difficult. One of the basic tenets of the American criminal justice system is that every defendant is entitled to receive a fair trial in order to determine his or her guilt or innocence. The pursuit of that right can prompt changes to what sort of evidence is presented at trial, what exact charges one may face, or even where a trial is held. 

How does the appeals process work?

The appeals process is one of the areas of law that is often widely misunderstood. However, if you are convicted of or facing charges for a crime in West Virginia, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with it just in case you ever need to use your appeal rights. According to the American Bar Association, the biggest misunderstanding about the appeals process is that the case is retried. This is not true because that would mean double jeopardy, which is illegal under your constitutional rights. The appeals process instead is based on examining errors the defense found in the first trial.

The Kennedy plea explained

Residents of Wheeling who are facing criminal charges often have the daunting task of weighing the benefits of pursuing a trial in order to prove their innocence or accepting a deal that will allow their ordeals to be over. Typically, accepting a plea agreement requires that one plead guilty to an offense. Doing so may result in him or her facing reduced charges, yet that guilty plea may end haunting them down the road. The only alternative may be to face a jury trial, which could result in one still being found guilty. Are there any other options? 

What is felony possession of a weapon?

“If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.” Many people in West Virginia know this saying; it is well-known and well-used by the National Rifle Association and gun owners across the nation. As the decades-long debate continues over gun control, it is important that gun owners and collectors know the laws in the Mountain State to avoid violations.

Selection of one juror not acceptable to defense

People in West Virginia who have been accused of serious crimes and whose fate rests to some degree in the hands of 12 people named to be jurors in a trial will know how important the selection of those 12 jurors may be to their futures. Certainly there may exist the opportunity to appeal an initial decision but it is nonetheless important to know that one's rights are protected by having a fair and impartial jury

Finding a job after a criminal arrest

Among the many things that could concern a person in West Virginia when faced with a criminal arrest and potential conviction is how they may ever bounce back from the experience. One of the important steps in doing this is to get a job that can allow them to support themselves and their family should they have one. People in this position should know that they may have opportunities to get a job that they are not aware of.

The complex issue of shoplifting

Sometimes, small habits can lead to unexpected and damaging consequences. Although shoplifting is a serious crime in most states, including West Virginia, it is often a complex problem with which individuals may struggle internally -- therefore masking the issue to others. For some, it can become simply another aspect of life.

Understanding plea bargains

West Virginia residents charged with one or more crimes may find a plea bargain to be a practical mechanism for reducing their charges or minimizing their prison sentence. Before entering into such a bargain, however, defendants should thoroughly understand what they are agreeing to and how it will impact their future.

Have you been arrested or detained?

Turn on any police drama and you are likely to hear the familiar refrain of "You have the right to remain silent," along with "Anything you say can be used against you in a court of law," and so forth. These are known as Miranda Rights. They stem from a 1968 Supreme Court ruling that mandated law enforcement officials inform you of your right to have legal representation present before being interrogated. Yet does that mean that you must be informed of these rights any time you are stopped by police? 

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