Trends in Newport News Law Enforcement and Justice System

The following is taken from an interview with a Newport News criminal lawyer as they discuss growing law enforcement trends in the area and problems she sees within the Newport News criminal justice system. To discuss your case, call today and schedule a free consultation.

In general, Newport News is a very strict court system that takes all types of charges very seriously. Usually, there aren’t any particular charges that the prosecutors are focused on. However, recently, around January of this year, 2015, there was a crackdown on solicitation of prostitution cases.

There was actually a four day sweep after an ongoing investigation that involved prostitution operations in hotels and the streets and resulted in a whole lot of arrests.

Are There Any Charges That Newport News Courts Take More Seriously Than Others?

Newport News is known for being a very strict court system so there is not any particular charge that pops out as more serious than others. You can expect to have any of your charges in Newport News handled extremely seriously. However, due to the main highway leading from Richmond, to Williamsburg and through Newport News to Norfolk and Virginia Beach, there are a lot of traffic-related cases in Newport News.

Interstate 64 is the primary roadway that people use to get to all of the major surrounding cities, and during rush hour, this road can become incredibly congested. Officers are looking for drivers that may get impatient and frustrated, driving in the HOV lanes or trying to weave through traffic to get ahead and to where they’re trying to go. When there are a lot of cars on the road, there tend to also be a lot of law enforcement officers waiting to catch offenders. Officers may see some drivers changing lanes or honking and assume the worst. Unfortunately, a traffic stop can lead to other charges as well, such as possession of marijuana found in someone’s vehicle, or driving on a suspended license.

Are There Any Problems You See Within the Newport News Criminal Justice System?

One issue in the Newport News criminal justice system that many attorneys identify is how the cases are managed in the court system. Cases can sometimes take a long time to get to trial because of the scheduling conflicts with the prosecutors and evidence that has not been returned in timely fashion from the state crime lab.

As the system is currently set up now, any paper orders that need to be filed, including request for discovery or motion, have to be snail mailed or hand delivered to the clerk’s office and then filed. It takes a very long time, and can be a very poor experience for clients who are being held during trial.

Do You Have Any Solutions For Some of These Problems?

A solution would be to implement what’s called a case management system and integrate that with the updated technology for the court and clerk’s offices. This would allow secure online filling of motions and other important documents that would go directly to the clerk’s office via the internet.

Many jurisdictions in the US already have systems like this. And it allows for both the prosecution and the defense to view the evidence, reports and other documents online without having to go to multiple locations to view records.