Many of our clients ask us what the outcome will be in their criminal cases. While we wish we could give a definite answer to this question, there is no standard outcome in criminal cases in Virginia.
If you are facing criminal charges, a number of factors could influence what will happen to you in your court case. Having an experienced criminal defense lawyer defending you is one of the most important factors to help you achieve a better outcome.
Factors That Can Influence the Outcome of Your Criminal Case
Understanding the factors that can influence what will happen in your criminal case can help you know what to expect. Here are some common factors that can have an impact on the final outcome in your case:
- Investigation. How the police conducted their investigation can impact the outcome of your case. If mistakes were made, such as failing to secure the crime scene or interview key witnesses, this could give you a defense that can help you get the charges dismissed or reduced to a less serious offense.
- Evidence. In addition, how the police officers collected evidence and handled it can impact on whether it can be used against you. They must use proper procedures to collect the evidence and store it. If they make mistakes, you may be able to file a motion to suppress the evidence. If crucial evidence cannot be used against you, the Commonwealth may not be able to prove their case.
- Probable cause. The police must have probable cause, which is a strong and honest suspicion that you were committing a crime to stop you. If this cannot be established, you may be able to get the case against you dismissed or enter into a favorable plea agreement.
- Your criminal record. If you have a prior criminal record and plead guilty or are found guilty at a trial, you will most likely face a harsher punishment than if this was your first offense.
- Your background. Your background in the community can also impact the sentence you receive. If you have strong ties with the community and individuals willing to testify on what a good person you are, this could influence the judge’s decision when sentencing you.
- Your lawyer’s advice. You need to help your attorney in order to achieve the best possible outcome in your case. If you follow their advice, such as taking a driver improvement course, entering a drug or alcohol rehabilitation program, or staying off social media, you increase the chances that you will have a more favorable result in your case.
Are you accused of committing a crime in Virginia? Our knowledgeable criminal defense team can mount an aggressive defense strategy for you—even if you are guilty—and will help you weigh your options as your criminal case progresses. To learn more about how we can help you, fill out our convenient online form to schedule a free consultation today.