If you are accused of breaking a Commonwealth of Virginia criminal law your first step is contacting an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Richmond, VA. Only a skilled, trained criminal defense lawyer with a proven track record can defend your interests and rights, obtain a winning outcome in your criminal case, and keep you out of the federal prison system.
Richmond General District Court has three divisions: The Criminal Division, Traffic Division, and Civil Division. There is also a General District Court in Manchester. The general district court handles traffic violations, hears minor criminal cases and conducts preliminary hearings for more serious criminal cases.
The Code of Virginia defines criminal offenses and sets penalties. By law, the court must apply the rules of procedure and evidence to each case it hears. The general district court does not conduct jury trials. All cases in the Richmond General District Court are heard by a judge. Jury trials are held in circuit court, as required by the Constitution of Virginia.
The Richmond General District Court decides misdemeanor cases. A misdemeanor is any charge carrying a penalty of one year in jail or less and/or a fine of up to $2,500. The general district court also holds preliminary hearings in felonies. A felony is a charge punishable by over one year in jail. Preliminary hearings in felony cases determine whether or not there is probable cause to believe you committed the offense to justify holding you for a future grand jury hearing. The grand jury actually determines whether you will be indicted and held for trial by the circuit court.
Regardless of the nature of your particular criminal charge, you are much better off having an appropriate criminal legal defense. You need to act fast when criminal charges are made against you to find the criminal defense attorney in Richmond, VA who can best represent your case. The more time you have to prepare, the stronger your defense.
A good criminal defense attorney in Richmond, VA can do more than resolve your legal problems. They can advise you through the courtroom process and beyond, to a new day. Your criminal defense attorney can make the difference in getting your life back on track.