Ask Your Questions: Fairfax Criminal Defense Attorneys Answer

The Taylor Law Company understands that if you are accused of a crime in Fairfax, you have all sorts of questions about your rights, about what you are up against, about what your future may look like. Take a look at our frequently asked questions, complete with informative answers, and see if they help; if they don’t, feel free to request a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our capable DUI/criminal defense lawyers.

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  • Do I have to participate in a Virginia police lineup?

    In Virginia, the police are permitted to put you in a lineup with several other people who resemble you to see if witnesses can identify the person who committed the crime. If you have been formally charged with the crime, however, you have the right to have a Fairfax criminal defense attorney present.

    While you may be required to participate in a lineup, the police do have certain restrictions regarding the lineup. For example, they may not unfairly implicate one individual by lining up one person who fits the description with five others who are significantly different in appearance. Likewise, they may not point to one person in the lineup and ask the witness if that was the person who committed the crime.

    Identification at a police lineup can be powerful evidence against you in court. Thus, it is important to have a Fairfax criminal defense lawyer with you at the time of the lineup. Not only can an experienced Virginia criminal defense attorney prevent unfair bias at the time of the lineup, but your lawyer can also witness the lineup and use any irregularities in your defense, as appropriate.

    For more information about how to protect your rights in a police lineup, please contact an experienced lawyer at our Northern Virginia criminal defense law firm. We can be reached via this website or at (703) 385-5529. We would be pleased to provide you with a free, no obligation consultation.

  • My wife filed a protective order against me. What does a protective order prohibit me to do? Is it the same thing as a restraining order, and can I fight it?

    The terms “injunction against abuse,” “criminal order of protection,” “restraining order,” and “protective order” are all terms used interchangeably; however, a protective order generally refers to family abuse and domestic assault and battery in Virginia. Whereas, a restraining order can be filed by anyone claiming another person is harassing them.

    If you have a protective order against you, it most likely requires that you stay away from your spouse and not conduct the acts that were complained of and mentioned in the court order. Other things the protective order may prohibit you from doing include:

    • No spousal contact of any kind, including phone calls
    • Not being able to contact your spouse at work, home, or by accident
    • Not being allowed back into your home
    • Not being able to use your jointly owned vehicle
    • Not being able to temporarily see your children
    • Removal of any firearms from the home

    An Order of Protection is a legal restraint that serves to protect the person who filed it. Some family abuse orders can include providing child support, maintaining the utilities for the home, attending counseling, and more.

    If you have a temporary protective order in Virginia issued against you, you need to deal with it immediately by getting the help of an experienced Northern Virginia criminal defense attorney. This means that you need to make sure you are prepared to defend your side of the story by the hearing date.

    A skilled defense attorney can help you prepare your testimony, present evidence to show that your spouse isn’t telling the truth, or investigate to determine what your best defense strategy may be in order to fight the charges. Talk with a Fairfax criminal defense lawyer at the Taylor Law Company at 888-209-6631 or 703-385-5529 for a free consultation today.

  • If I was found guilty of a misdemeanor in a Fairfax court 20 years ago, can I get the record expunged?

    You cannot get records expunged if the court ruled you guilty.

    An expungement is a legal action to delete police and court records associated with a criminal case. The records will not be truly destroyed, but they will be sealed and blocked from public access.

    Criminal records can be expunged if any of these actions has occurred:

    • Acquittal;
    • Nolle prosequi (a Latin term meaning “do not pursue [prosecute]”;
    • Dismissal (with the exception of delayed imposition dismissal);
    • Absolute pardon; or
    • An individual’s name used in error.

    In addition to filling out the appropriate forms and paying related fees, a person requesting expungement must go to the police and have a new set of fingerprints taken. The police send the new fingerprint card with the Petition for Expungement to the state police, who then run a criminal history check. The person requesting expungement must verify that the court has received the fingerprint card and the criminal history. The case will be heard in court, and the petitioner must attend the hearing.

    Once the judge makes a decision, the clerk of the court mails the petitioner a certified copy of the final order either granting or denying the expungement. Removal of the record from public access can take from 90 to 180 days from the date the state police receive the order to expunge. Once expunged, the record can only be opened if a court order is granted.

    If you have a criminal record in Northern Virginia, and contact the Fairfax criminal defense lawyers at Taylor Law Company. Call us at 703-385-5529, and we’ll set you up with a FREE, immediate, no-obligation consultation.