Criminal Defense

If You Need a Robust Defense for Criminal Charges

If You Need a Robust Defense for Criminal Charges

Turn to a criminal law firm in Leesburg, VA

Any legal situation that involves criminal charges can have a devastating impact on your life. You'll want to find an attorney who can assist you quickly. Koehler & Vernail, Attorneys at Law is a criminal law firm in Leesburg, VA. We represent both defendants and the prosecution, and we assist with expungements and appeals.

Contact us now to discuss your options with a local criminal attorney.

Our local criminal attorneys don't just defend crimes, we represent people

At Koehler & Vernail, we make sure we not only provide quality representation, but also take the take to understand the person we are representing. Through getting to know the person we are representing as a whole we are able to provide the government with relevant information that may lead to a more appropriate resolution. By taking the time to get to know our clients, we often find out underlying symptoms that has impacted the client's decisions and we are able to understand what motivates out clients.

Koehler and Vernail's Approach To Criminal Defense

1. Get to know the client

At the Koehler & Vernail, we always see our clients as people and make sure we take the time to get the know the person we are representing. On top of that, we always provide our clients with resources to help deal with any issues that may have impacted past choices including:

  • chemical dependency
  • anger issues
  • counseling needs

2. Review the charging documents

When a person is officially charged with a crime they are provided with one of the following documents, a summons, warrant or direct indictment, charging documents provides actual notice to the defendant what he or she is accused of doing. The documents contain a great deal of information on what the client is being charged with. In some cases these documents could contain errors that could significantly impact the outcome of the case. This is why our team reviews every document we are provided with a fine-tooth comb to set our clients and the case up for success.

3. Review The Admissibility of the Commonwealth' Evidence

Every person has the constitutional rights in order to protect him or her against any abuses by the government. Many of these protections have to do with the collection of evidence that may be used in a trial. If the government goes beyond its' constitutional authority, the defense has the right to challenge evidence based on the following government conduct:

  • Illegal stops of a person or their vehicle;
  • Statements taken improperly or via intimidation;
  • Illegal searches of a person or property;
  • Illegal seizures of a person's property; and
  • Improperly obtained or executed warrants.

4. Analyze Admissible Evidence to see if it Supports the Charge and Determine what Defenses are Available

It is crucial to understand the strength of the prosecution's case and potential defenses. Understanding this information can help a client choose if going to trail is the right choice for him or her. Some examples of the different defenses one can take for a criminal charge are:

  • Not Guilty - When someone simply did not commit the crime of which they are accused
  • Self Defense - When someone reasonably fears, given the circumstances, they are in imminent danger of great bodily harm or death, and the force used is the force necessary to prevent such harm
  • Insanity - When someone either; doesn't understand what they are doing (in legal terms, the nature, character, and consequences of the act); or cannot distinguish between right and wrong; or Is overtaken by an irresistible impulse to commit a criminal act, they may have a defense to their conduct
  • Entrapment - Where government conduct influences someone to commit an act not otherwise predisposed to commit
  • Duress - When someone engages in conduct due to force or threat of force, which compels the conduct

5. Open a Dialogue with the Prosecuting Attorney Regarding the Status of the Case and Plea Agreements

In the majority of cases, the Commonwealth Attorney will offer a plea deal. In terms of a plea deal, it is best to start this conversation early to, one, allow the defense to be proactive in addressing any concerns that may arise, and two, to allow the client to fully understand what is being asked of him or her in the deal and be able to make necessary arrangements.

6. Sentencing

People do make mistakes in life and they are people who are convicted of crimes at the end of a trial, but being convicted is not the end of the story. Once convicted, a person is then sentenced based on the seriousness of the crime he or she is being convicted of. Sentences can range from deferred findings to community service, fines, jail sentences, incarceration in a penitentiary and in the most heinous crimes, death.

When it comes to sentencing, it is important to understand that a proper criminal sentence is not only to punish a defendant but to rehabilitate that person. This is where knowing the client as a person becomes critical. What reasons exist for leniency? What sentencing alternatives are available to help rehabilitate the defendant? What steps has the defendant taken to show he or she accepts responsibility?

Knowing the answer to these (and other) questions allows a criminal attorney to advocate for a resolution that provides a client the best opportunity to be successful in the future.