Criminal Defense Archives

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? 

Are field sobriety tests accurate?

With the holiday season well underway, residents in West Virginia will want you pay special attention to the choices they make when it comes to how they get to and from holiday celebrations. Law enforcement agencies often increase patrol efforts to identify and arrested suspected drunk drivers at this time of year. If you are ever one of these people that is stopped and eventually asked by an officer to perform certain tests, you should know that these tests are not completely accurate.

Calling an expert witness in your case

When defending yourself against criminal charges in a Wheeling courtroom, it is easy to feel as though the cards are stacked against you. Several of the clients that we here at The Scott C. Brown Law Office have worked with in the past can attest to the fact the prosecutors often have extensive resources to utilize when arguing cases. Among these resources are experts in various scientific fields related to criminology. Their testimonies can often carry a lot of weight. To counter them, however, you are permitted to call expert witnesses of your own. 

How can a plea bargain benefit me?

One thing that may come to mind when you are facing criminal charges in West Virginia is the plea bargain concept. Depending on the charges you face and the circumstances surrounding your case, you may be offered a plea bargain in which the prosecution offers you a deal if you plead no contest. According to The Atlantic, “97 percent of felony convictions are the result of plea bargains.” 

Claiming self-defense

We at the Scott C. Brown Law Office have often worked with clients in Wheeling who have justified their allegedly violent actions towards others as being in self-defense. Like many, you may automatically roll your eyes at hearing such a defense until, of course, you are placed in a position where you or a loved one feel threatened. Many may retreat in such a scenario, hoping that law enforcement officials will come to their aid. Yet when no such support is guaranteed, you may wonder if you are legally justified to fight back. 

Can your arrest record be expunged?

It may be difficult to fully comprehend the long-term consequences of a criminal arrest the moment you are facing one in Ohio County. Yet several years removed from an incident, you may still feel the stigma of the consequences that arose from it. Should the fact that you were arrested for a crime continue to hang over your head forever. The state of West Virgnia does not think so, which is why it has offered a way for certain arrests to be expunged from your record

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