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Constitutional Issues in Virginia Federal Criminal Cases

Constitutional issues are present in almost every case tried in court. Issues that are often present in Virginia federal cases involve violations of a person’s Fourth, Fifth, and/or Sixth Amendment rights. Due to the severity in which federal prosecutors and investigators investigate a particular case, they may unintentionally violate a person’s rights.

When something like that happens, it is absolutely vital to get in touch with a Virginia federal criminal defense lawyer to help you bring those issues to the attention of the court. A violation of Constitutional rights in a Virginia federal criminal case could potentially have some of the charges against an individual either mitigated or dismissed.

Exploring Constitutional Issues

Due to the seriousness of violating a person’s Constitutional rights, an attorney must gather all evidence necessary to help prove this violation. Proving a violation of rights could have a significant impact on a person’s case, and should be treated with immediate attention. Due to the frequency of Constitutional issues being violated in Virginia federal criminal cases, a knowledgeable lawyer must be employed.

Fourth Amendment

While building a defense for a client, an experienced federal criminal attorney in Virginia often looks at the Fourth Amendment to determine whether or not any constitutional rights were violated in the execution of searches by the police, and in any seizures that the police might have made of the defendant or of the possessions of the defendant. Any searches or seizures are always subject to Fourth Amendment examination, as almost every case has a particular violation.

Fifth Amendment

Additionally, in almost every case, the police seek to get a confession or statement from the person they have under their suspicion. That often implicates the Fifth Amendment, where a person has a constitutional right to remain silent. If they are in custody while being interrogated, they have the right to be advised of their rights under the Fifth Amendment pursuant to the Miranda case.

Sixth Amendment

There are Sixth Amendment issues that may be present in federal trials such as the defendant’s right to have counsel, to cross examine witnesses, and to confront all witnesses against them. This occurs in cases where the government seeks to admit certain pieces of evidence, such as forensic reports or lab reports, without the person who created those reports being present in the courtroom. Constitutional issues are present in many Virginia federal criminal cases, and having an experienced criminal attorney helping an individual deal with these issues is immensely beneficial.

Benefits of an Attorney

The most important thing to look for when hiring counsel for a Virginia federal criminal lawyer is experience. It is important to keep in mind whether or not an attorney has actual first-hand experience handling federal cases in court. The vast majority of cases in federal court end up as pleas.

For that reason, there might be a lot of criminal defense attorneys who practice in federal courts with regularity who have never faced a major federal case go to trial. A defendant needs an attorney who has taken cases to trial; because trials in the federal system have a number of very unique rules and procedures associated with them. If a particular lawyer never went to trial before, they are going to be playing catch up, and are going to be behind the ball when facing a government attorney who regularly tries federal cases.

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