Norfolk Criminal Cases: What To Expect

Arrested in Norfolk? Here’s what you can expect regarding everything from evidence and prosecution to potential constitutional issues. To learn more consult with a Norfolk criminal lawyer today and discuss your case.

After The Initial Arrest

If arrested in Norfolk you will first be taken to the local jail and then brought before a magistrate. The magistrate will either set a bond and the person can be released once the bond is posted or the magistrate will decide that there will be no bond and the person will remain in the jail until their arraignment or until they have an attorney schedule another bond hearing for them.

After their charges are officially filed, then they can expect the real work to begin. This is when evidence must be collected and hopefully they’ll have an attorney who will build a strong defense for their case.


In criminal cases, the prosecution has to prove all of the elements of whatever the crime is that the defendant is charged with and they have to prove these elements beyond a reasonable doubt.

Evidence and Proving a Criminal Act Was Committed


The prosecution goes about proving their case by presenting evidence that support their allegations. This evidence comes in a variety of forms which depend highly on what type of case it is. It almost every case, the prosecutor will present witness testimony for whoever witnessed the event. This can be the police officer who caught the defendant or the alleged victims of the crime.

Prosecutors can also use expert witnesses which differ from regular witnesses because they are able to testify about their opinion in a specialized field. Regular witnesses are only allowed to testify to facts and cannot present a personal opinion about a case. The prosecutors can also present forensic evidence which can be things such as fingerprints or a chemical analysis of drug or DNA evidence. The prosecutors usually have investigators that can collect evidence for them in bigger cases. A lot of evidence tends to come from alleged victims or from officers who made the arrest.

Constitutional Issues in Norfolk Criminal Cases


Fourth Amendment issues are usually the most common types of constitutional issues seen in Norfolk criminal cases. The most common situation where these issues come up are drug cases. For example, if someone is pulled over in a car, the officer is not just allowed to search the car without a reason.

The officer is required to either obtain consent from the driver for the search or there has to be probable cause for the search. If the officer just has a hunch that there are drugs in the car, because the driver just happens to look at the officer in a certain way, this is not enough to constitute probable cause for the search in the vehicle.

On the contrary, if the driver can see a blunt sitting in the car’s ash tray, then the case for probable cause is much stronger and a search would be considered legally justified. These constitutional issues can definitely impact the case, and makes all of the difference in the world. In the example where the officer has a hunch that drugs are present, if he were to search the car without the driver’s consent and if he were to find drugs in this search, these drugs and anything else found in the vehicle would not be admissible evidence in court. It also would have ruined his chances of conviction by conducting illegal search which then led to an illegal seizure.

In the second example where the officer searches after seeing the blunt in plain view, the driver does not have to consent to anything and that officer can search and have anything found admitted in the trial. These constitutional issues are often the difference between a win and a loss even in two almost identical cases where the defendant has drugs in their possession.