FAQ: Criminal Defense
When faced with criminal charges it is important to fully understand your charges, the potential penalties, and your defense options. The team at James A. Bullard Jr., P.C. is dedicated to providing the people of Richmond with knowledgeable and aggressive representation, and we can assist you no matter what type of misdemeanor or felony charges have been brought against you. We understand that this is a confusing time, and to help answer some of your questions, we have provided the following information. If you would like to learn more about your specific situation, please contact our firm as soon as possible to discuss your case with our experienced criminal defense team.
If I am arrested, should I speak with the police?
After arrest, you should identify yourself to the officer and then immediately request the assistance of an attorney before exercising your Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. If you make any self-incriminating statements, the prosecution will be sure to exploit these remarks, which is why you must refrain from speaking to the investigators until your attorney is present. The officers are legally allowed to lie to you in an attempt to obtain incriminating information, but your legal counselor can help you understand your options and advise you of which questions to answer.
Does it help my defense if I wasn't read my rights?
If the arresting officer did not read your Miranda Rights, you should speak with a knowledgeable defense attorney immediately. Law enforcement agents have a responsibility to make a person taken into custody fully aware of their legal rights and options. The officer's failure to read your Fifth Amendment rights is very significant, as the judge may rule that any self-incriminating statements made at the time of arrest are inadmissible as evidence.
If I failed a BAC test, what's the point of fighting my DUI?
Regardless of the results of your breath, blood, or field sobriety test it is crucial to discuss your
drunk driving case with an experienced defense lawyer before making any decisions about your charges. There are many factors that could have had a negative impact upon the results of your testing, and your lawyer can thoroughly assess the circumstances that led to your arrest and the methods used to evaluate your level of intoxication. Your attorney can determine whether your breath test could have been improperly administered, your blood sample incorrectly handled or tested, or if your field sobriety test was impacted by outside factors.
What will happen if I don't register as a sex offender?
If the court has ordered you to register as a sex offender as part of your sentence, failure to comply with this penalty could result in severe consequences. Failure to register is punishable by imprisonment, and for a federal offense you could face up to 10 years of incarceration.
What are the penalties for possession?
The consequences for possession of an illegal substance or narcotic vary depending upon the type of the drug involved and the amount of the drug found in your possession. A first offense of marijuana possession is typically charged as a misdemeanor and sentencing can include up to $500 in fines and a maximum sentence of 30 days in jail. If you are convicted of possession of a barbiturate, you will likely face fines up to $1,000 and incarceration in a state prison for as long as 6 months. Conviction for possession of Schedule I drugs can result in a sentence that involves fines of up to $2,500 and incarceration in a state prison for as long as 10 years. Talk to a member of our skilled team to learn how your unique circumstances will affect potential sentencing for your charges.
What is the difference between a public defender and a private attorney?
The state will provide a public defender to handle your case if needed, but you should avoid this option unless absolutely necessary. Public defenders are most often bogged down with a heavy caseload that prevents them from devoting the extensive time needed to thoroughly prepare for each client's proceedings.
When you choose a private defense attorney, you receive the benefit of having an aggressive representative who is fully dedicated to protecting your rights and fighting the allegations brought against you. A seasoned attorney from our team can rigorously research the specifics of your case to find flaws in the prosecution's case and build a compelling and comprehensive defense that provides you with the strongest opportunity of achieving a successful verdict. With talented representation from a private defense attorney, you can be confident that your case will receive the unyielding advocacy you deserve.