SENTENCING IN VIRGINIA GENERAL DISTRICT COURT
Sentencings in General District Court for Virginia misdemeanors usually occur the same day of the trial or plea. The Commonwealth's Attorney argues for what they consider the appropriate sentence, and defense counsel then responds. We have the opportunity to present evidence, or witnesses, and the client always has the opportunity to address the court. Our clients can rest assured that we will have gathered all the necessary documents and character witnesses to cast them in the best light in front of the judge. Everyone deserves to have their unique story told, and for a compassionate advocate to stand up for them. We consider this our calling and favorite part of this work.
SENTENCING IN VIRGINIA CIRCUIT COURT
Sentencing in Circuit Court on Virginia felonies is a wholly different matter than sentencings in General District Court. The Court usually orders the Office of Probation to conduct an investigation, an interview of the defendant, and to prepare a Pre-Sentence Investigation Report before sentencing. Many defendants going through this process are uninformed about the perils of this investigation and how to use it to their benefit. However, our approach not only helps prepare the client for the investigation and interview, we also work closely with a client's support system to submit positive information for the report. Because we meticulously calculate and take all possible outcomes into consideration, we are able to give our clients strong predictions as to what their sentencing guidelines will be, and at the sentencing hearing, we ensure that our clients' witnesses are heard, and stories are vividly told. We will also work closely together with our clients to prepare an appropriate statement to read or say in Court, as it is very important the Court hear your voice, and get a sense of who you are, other than just the charge you have been found guilty of.