Juveniles can be Tried as Adults

Chris Voltin Criminal Law

JUVENILES CAN BE TRIED AS ADULTS Most people understand that juveniles and adults are treated differently in the criminal justice system. However, there are a variety of situations in which juveniles can be tried as adults, even if they have absolutely no criminal record.  Further, while many people might suspect that older teenagers, such as sixteen or seventeen year olds, …

DUI vs. DWI? Is there a difference?

Chris Voltin Criminal Law, Traffic Law

What is the difference between DUI and DWI in Virginia? DUI vs. DWI? As DUI Attorneys in Hampton Roads, we are often asked this question, but the answer is simple: there is no difference between a charge of DUI or DWI in Virginia.  The two mnemonics are synonyms and reference the exact same behavior prohibited under Virginia Code Section 18.2-266.  Under …

Threats in Writing–What Exactly is Illegal?

Chris Voltin Criminal Law

Issuing threats in writing is a serious charge in Virginia. With the advent of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, this issue is arising more frequently in area courts. While most written speech, even vulgar or distasteful speech, is protected under the First Amendment, certain threatening speech can land you a felony conviction in Virginia. WHAT IS ILLEGAL …

Expungement of Police and Court Records

Chris Voltin Criminal Law

Criminal Law- What is an expungement? An expungement is the process of purging a criminal or arrest record.  In other words, it is the legal procedure used to clear an eligible person’s criminal or arrest record.  Chapter 23.1 of the Virginia Code governs the process of expunging criminal records.  The specific policy behind the expungement process acknowledges “that arrest records can be a hindrance …

Trespassing in Virginia

Chris Voltin Criminal Law

The crime of trespassing in Virginia prohibits entering the land of another after having previously been forbidden from doing so. Va. Code 18.2-119 says that “if any person without authority of law goes upon or remains upon the lands, buildings or premises of another, or any portion or area thereof, after having been forbidden to do so, either orally or …

DUI or DWI Field Sobriety Tests Broken Down

Chris Voltin Criminal Law, Traffic Law

DUI or DWI Standardized Field Sobriety Test: What is it? Anyone who has had the unfortunate experience of being suspected of DUI or DWI has likely been asked to perform a number of field sobriety tests by the police.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has created the Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST) Battery to assist officers in determining …

Shoplifting, Petit Larceny, and Grand Larceny

Chris Voltin Criminal Law

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GRAND LARCENY, PETIT LARCENY, AND SHOPLIFTING (OR CONCEALMENT)? The difference between grand larceny and petit larceny in Virginia depends entirely on the value of the goods stolen.  Va. Code Sec. 18.2-95 defines grand larceny as the intentional taking of someone else’s property when the value of the property taken is $200 or more.  Va. Code Sec. …

Sheriff Bill Watson v. Mayor Kenny Wright and the Difference Between Misdemeanor and Felony Evade and Elude

Chris Voltin Criminal Law

Sheriff Bill Watson v. Mayor Kenny Wright: Politics or Enforcing the Law? As many people already know, Sheriff Bill Watson and Mayor Kenny Wright of Portsmouth, Virginia, squared off on Tuesday night in a very unusual low-speed police chase.  According to local news networks, Sheriff Watson attempted to issue a traffic summons to Mayor Wright for an expired inspection sticker …

Reasonable Doubt: What does it mean? What About Steven Avery?

Chris Voltin Criminal Law

What is Proof Beyond a Reasonable Doubt? These days it seems like everyone is talking about Steven Avery and the Netflix docuseries “Making a Murderer.”  The news networks and social media have had a field day with the high profile case out of Wisconsin.  There is even a misguided petition to the President of the United States, Barack Obama, seeking Avery’s …

Internet Sex Crimes: What You Need to Know!

Chris Voltin Criminal Law

Internet sex crimes are extremely serious. Not only are crimes such as possession of child pornography, distribution of child pornography, and solicitation of a minor felony offenses, but convictions can lead to consequences such as registration on the Virginia Sex Offender Registry for life. Further, sex crime convictions can severely impact your ability to obtain employment, go to school, or …