Most in Wheeling might expect some sort of consequence to accompany criminal charges. They might think, however, that such consequences will be exclusively limited to one's criminal case. Yet that may not always happen. Allegations of criminal activity can affect those that they are leveled at in a number of different ways. One might see their public reputation sullied, their rights restricted, and even their careers affected.
If you have ever been arrested in West Virginia, you know how important it is to understand who may have access to any records pertaining to this event. Even if you were never convicted and charges against you were dropped, it would be nice to know that the experience is not something that will come up and haunt you later on, such as during a job search. Many people are able to seek a formal expungement of their criminal records but that is something that might be more complicated today than a couple of decades ago.
People who live in West Virginia and who are looking for a new job know that they will likely have to compete with many other candidates to get the role they want. Employers will carefully review applications for experience and relevant education. They are also likely to review criminal records which people with convictions in their past may be concerned about. However, getting a good job after a conviction is possible.
It is common knowledge that the near-universal standard for determining drunkenness is a blood-alcohol content measurement of .08. Yet as you have likely noticed, law enforcement officials in Wheeling develop make their initial BAC recording using a breath testing device. This prompts the question of how can your breath offer an indication of the alcohol concentration of your blood?
A cliche often associated with criminal activity in Ohio County is that those involved "have been punished enough." While this is often said in an effort to justify a reduced penalty, there may be elements of truth to it. One of the basic tenants of criminal prosecution is that the punishment should fit the crime. In instances where little to no malicious intent was present (and the alleged perpetrators ended up suffering as consequences of their own foolish actions), then is might be argued that further criminal penalties might be excessive.
If you are like a lot of people in West Virginia, you might not fully understand what happens during a traffic stop that turns into an investigation for suspected drunk driving. Based on what you see in movies or on television shows, you might know that some type of roadside tests are used but it is important to understand these tests and what they are actually used for if you are ever in this situation.
Following your conviction for a federal crime in Ohio County (and the subsequent payment of your debt to society), you will re-enter the community ready to enjoy the many rights and privileges you did previously. However, having a federal conviction on your record prevents your regaining certain rights (such as voting in an election or owning a firearm). It might also make it difficult to secure housing or find a job. Fully regaining your previous civic stature may be possible if you are able to secure a presidential pardon. Is that possible, and if so, how would you go about securing it?
Eyewitness lineups are used by prosecutors to help determine the perpetrator of a crime. Unfortunately, the results of eyewitness lineup procedures may be inaccurate and could lead to the wrongful conviction of an innocent person. Flaws in the eyewitness lineup process may contribute to these errors. Despite these errors, however, eyewitness identification is used as admissible evidence in court and can easily sway a jury. The Innocence Project reported that eyewitness misidentification is involved in 70 percent of cases that were overturned by a jury after DNA evidence proved the person was innocent of committing a crime.
The first question that most of those that come to us here at the Scott C. Brown Law Office after having been charged with a crime in Wheeling have is what sort of sentence they may be facing. If you find yourself in the same situation, then you likely have similar concerns. Typically, the laws detailing criminal offenses will also state what sort of punitive action is associated with them. While that information can serve as a baseline to form an estimation, the actual sentence imposed can be much different.
While watching movies or shows depicting courtroom proceedings, you likely hear a lot of jargon that, while sounding technical (and thus legitimate), probably means little to you. Yet now that you are facing your own criminal trial in Wheeling, the meanings of those words and statements should now be of great interest to you.