"You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you…." We've heard television cops played by everyone from Jack Webb to Ice-T read people their rights for decades. However, when you're the person being detained and questioned by police, you may not be thinking about whether you received your "Miranda warning" or not.
Police in Virginia have reported that a 27-year-old man who was being sought in connection with a fatal Jan. 10 shooting in Chesapeake turned himself in on Jan. 14. Media reports indicate that the man is the 26-year-old victim's cousin. The Portsmouth resident faces several charges including shooting into an occupied residence, malicious wounding, using a firearm in the commission of a felony, and homicide in the second degree. He faces decades behind bars if he is convicted on all counts. The man is being held at the Chesapeake City Jail.
A Salvadoran woman has been extradited to Virginia to face charges in the death of another woman killed in a car accident in Henrico County in 2018. The 59-year-old woman was doing yard work on North Parham Road in August 2018 when she was struck by a car driven by the woman. While the accident victim was taken to the hospital, she passed away due to injuries in the crash two weeks later. The driver left the country after the accident, but her case was referred to Interpol. She was found in Spain in October, and the U.S. sought her extradition for involuntary manslaughter and failure to appear.
A 44-year-old man has entered guilty pleas in Virginia Beach Circuit Court on charges that he participated in the killing of a mother and son in 2004. No suspects had been arrested in the case until 2018 when investigators had a breakthrough that led them to the murder suspect out of state. His arrest then enabled authorities to arrest the husband of the female victim.
A Virginia jury deliberated for about two hours on Dec. 11 before finding a 22-year-old man guilty of murder, abduction and participating in a street gang. The man was one of four individuals charged with the abduction and murder of a Lynchburg teen in March 2017. The man could have faced the death penalty when he was sentenced on Dec. 12, but he struck a last-minute plea agreement to avoid that fate. In return for waiving his right to appeal the verdict, the man received life sentences without the possibility of parole on the murder and abduction charges and a 10-year sentence on the gang participation charge.
A person in Virginia who is facing forgery-related charges might be accused of doing something as relatively minor as signing a name to someone else's check or as significant as stealing millions of dollars. Forgery-related charges may encompass identity theft, creating a fake work of art in the name of a famous painter or applying for a credit card in another person's name.
The Virginia State Police reported that a single-vehicle crash in Caroline County during the early morning hours of Nov. 1 claimed the life of a 29-year-old man. The man was the passenger in a Dodge pickup truck that left the roadway. The 27-year-old driver of the pickup truck faces a raft of charges including counts of driving while under the influence of alcohol, being a felon in possession of a firearm and DUI manslaughter.
So many laws are on the books in Virginia that someone might break the law without realizing it. At the federal level, critics of the government and criminal justice system have identified laws that could call for felony charges despite their absurd triviality. One example cited by a representative from the Fairness Center is a federal criminal statute that requires people to wear waterproof shoes when moving a crate containing imported primates. Although critics recognize that some offenders commit serious crimes, the complexity and number of criminal laws make people vulnerable to conviction as a felon. Once someone has a felony record, the law strips away rights, like voting, child custody or owning a firearm.
Many serious crimes in Virginia are classified as felonies. These can include a number of drug charges, such as those linked to sales or manufacturing, as well as manslaughter or murder, sex charges, serious theft allegations, white-collar crimes and weapons charges. A felony conviction not only comes with prison time, but it can also be a serious bar to further education, employment or even housing. In Virginia, there are six classes of felonies, and each has a specified penalty associated with the crime.
Like the rest of the United States, the justice system in Virginia has different categories for criminal offenses. Whether a crime is a misdemeanor or felony typically depends on the severity of the offense. There is also a stark difference in the type of incarceration sentence an individual may receive if convicted.