Prosecution of Virginia Federal Criminal Cases
Fourth Circuit prosecutors as a general rule are very gifted lawyers who take their job very seriously. Many prosecutors understand that their role in this system is not simply to obtain convictions, but rather to see that justice is done. In some cases these prosecutors feel that justice requires them to use a heavy hand and come at the defendant with everything they have. As long as they do so in a way that is within the bounds of law, they are going to do it.
Call and speak with an experienced Virginia federal criminal attorney to begin learning how to build a strong defense against a passionate and intelligent prosecution.
What Federal Prosecution Needs to Prove
The prosecution is tasked with proving every element of a crime that is charged. Elements of a crime are like ingredients in a recipe; every ingredient must be included to create a good cake. Criminal charges are very similar in the sense that the prosecutor must prove each and every element of that case beyond a reasonable doubt in order for the jury to sustain a conviction. If they fail to prove every single element by the standard of proof of beyond a reasonable doubt, then the jury is instructed by the court that they must acquit the defendant.
Evidence prosecutors use to prove their case depends upon the nature of the charges for which the person is being tried. As a general rule they rely upon testimonial and documentary evidence. In some cases they will rely upon recorded statements, recorded phone calls, video surveillance, computer records, telephone records, financial records, and anything and everything that is relevant to and they believe can help prove the case. Having a federal criminal attorney with experience in Virginia would be beneficial in such instances because he or she will be able to argue against the prosecution’s evidence and potentially get the evidence excluded from your case.
Prosecutor’s Relationship to Judge
The prosecutors generally have a closer relationship with the judge than most defense attorneys, because there is a limited number of prosecutors and a vast number of defense attorneys. By the very nature of that equation, a prosecutor is going to know the judge and be known by the judge much better than a Virginia federal defense attorney.
Although some Virginia federal criminal attorneys have practiced in the area for years and have thus developed a relationship with judges, there are some prosecutors who are in that courtroom every single day, and they are going to know the judge better. Although judges and prosecutors may share a more familiar relationship because they are in contact every day, it doesn’t mean that judges will show prosecutors favoritism. Such behavior could be deemed improper and judges are uniformly extraordinarily cautious about avoiding the appearance of impropriety.
Important Things to Remember About Virginia Federal Cases
The trial process in federal criminal cases is both simple and complex. The trial process in a federal trial begins with opening statements, and each side will be able to call witnesses, cross examine witnesses, and then make closing statements. From its outward appearance, the trial process seems fairly black and white and simple. However, there are myriad rules of the court with which every Virginia federal criminal defense attorney needs to be intimately familiar, and in many cases those rules can be used to help the defendant. Many of these rules are designed to ensure the fairness of the trial. While simple on the surface, there are a lot of things going on under the surface with which a defense attorney needs to be intimately familiar.