Our Approach to Norfolk Criminal Cases

Below, a Norfolk criminal lawyer talks about how she handles criminal cases and what types of defense strategies she uses to approach a criminal case in Norfolk. If you have been charged with a criminal offense, call our law offices for a free consultation.

When meeting with a prospective client for the first time, I ask the potential clients what their background is such as:

  • Any prior convictions on their record
  • Where they work
  • Whether they have a family
  • What they enjoy doing in their spare time

Then I ask them for as many details for the event in question as they can possible remember including any dialogue exchanged between them and the police officers.

Common Questions People Ask Their Lawyers

Usually, potential clients are quick to ask me what consequences they’re going to face, specifically whether they are going to have to go to jail. I tell these clients that it depends not only on all of the circumstances but also on what the prosecution’s evidence is and what the prosecution wants to happen if the defendant is convicted. I explain to them that while jail time is certainly a possibility, it is more likely in some situations than others, and it is not a sure thing many times as well.

I try to have potential clients take everything one step at a time and I ask them to focus first on giving me all of the facts and gathering up all the evidence and witnesses that can help the case. As we work together towards building a defense, the possible consequence will become more clear.

Advantages of a Private Defense Attorney in Norfolk

The biggest difference between the two comes down to how much time each one is able to devote to a client’s case. Public defenders do an excellent job. They have easily handled more of any one particular case than any other type of attorney. However with that said, they also have to balance over 100 cases at any given time, which means they don’t have a luxury of spending hours or days on anyone’s case. Usually, public defenders don’t have the time to meet each client before court and they don’t have the time to call their client every time something new comes up in their case.

In contrast to that, private attorneys have a much smaller case load and therefore, they have a lot more time to devote on a single client. It is much easier to meet with a private attorney to talk about your case as you would like and they would most likely devote more hours building a defense and looking for details and loopholes that may help. While in the end the results may still be the same, most people find private attorneys bring them more peace of mind. And especially in more complicated cases, it is important to have someone giving your case 100 percent of their attention.

Problems With the Criminal Justice System

I think one of the problems with the court and criminal justice in the state right now is that there is a strong focus on punishment but not as strong of a focus on long term justice. I see this particularly with many driving offenses such as driving on a suspended license.

Oftentimes, people will not have the option of not having a license due to their work, and they are not given the option of a restricted license. This results in them inevitably driving again on a suspended license and getting caught. This causes them to receive more time on the original suspension which the driver is still unable to work around. And then they have also more fines that they have to pay to get their license back. I actually had a client who owes so much money to get her license back that she is not able to get her license back because her financial situation was already tight and it could not allow for her to throw thousands of dollars back into the court system. So she had to learn to live without her license for years, which caused her a lot of difficulty with supporting her family.

She was overall a good person but was not financially secure. It’s absurd to me that good people like that are given such few options. I think that the system has to make sure that the punishment ultimately fits the crime of course. But also that the punishments fits to the specific person. At some point there has to be the option to recognize that someone has been punished enough and they shouldn’t continue to pay  because of one mistake that possibly happened years ago and they already paid for it ten folds.