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Collateral Consequences

When a person is convicted of a crime in Virginia, there are often unexpected collateral consequences that occur as a result. After a misdemeanor or felony conviction, court-ordered criminal penalties are not the only consequences. It is important for you to understand the pot

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Pardons

The Virginia Constitution, Art. V, Sec. 12, and the Virginia Code § 53.1-229, vest the Governor with the power to commute a death sentence and to grant pardons or reprieves, and this power is absolute. This means that once the court process is over, only the Governor has the power to alter your conviction. Nobody can reverse his decision. However, the Governor is not likely to substitute his judgment for that of the court in most cases. Only in cases of extraordinary circumstances can you expect the Governor to act.

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Differences Between State and Federal Habeas Corpus

Habeas corpus is available to prisoners challenging their convictions and sentences. State prisoners have the right to petition the state and federal courts for habeas corpus relief. However, there are crucial differences between the state habeas and federal habeas process and the standards governing them that some prisoners filing pro-se often confuse and convolute in their arguments.

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Brady Violations: Police or Prosecutor Misconduct

The term “Brady claim” comes from a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1963: Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83. The court held in Brady that the prosecution has a constitutional duty to disclose evidence that is exculpatory to a criminal defendant, or which can be used by the defendant for impeachment purposes.

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Habeas Corpus

Habeas corpus is perhaps the most critical writ available to prisoners for challenging criminal convictions and sentences in state and federal courts. It is often the only opportunity to raise claims regarding pretrial, trial, and appeal matters that were not, or could not, previously be raised in those proceedings.

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Post-Conviction

If you've been convicted of a crime, you can still fight to protect your freedom. If your constitutional rights to counsel were violated or the government did not turn over exculpatory evidence, your conviction may be thrown out. Habeas cases are difficult to win, but Bryan can help you ascertain your chances for success. Unfortunately, for many, a habeas petition is the last chance to get a fair trial and prove their innocence.

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Motivations for False Claims

Many people are shocked to find out they are accused of sexual assault. The police may come to make an arrest and the “suspect” is confused about who accused them of sexual assault and when the accusation came out. It may have involved an ex-girlfriend or boyfriend, one-night stand, or a former friend who they never even had sex with.

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Defense Strategies for Sex Crimes

Anytime you face a sex offense in the Commonwealth of Virginia you face potentially serious consequences. Convictions can result in high fines, long prison sentences, and registration as a sex offender. Even being charged with a sex crime can impact your reputation in the community.

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Defense Strategies for Violent Crimes

Violent crimes can carry heavy sentences that can follow someone for the rest of their life. A felony criminal conviction can limit your rights to get a job, own a gun, and even make it harder to find a place to live. Defense strategies for violent crimes can help protect those charged with:

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Criminal Defense for UVA Students

College students who are arrested face unique consequences. An arrest can mean the loss of a scholarship, loss of financial aid eligibility, or getting kicked out of school. Many university students are arrested for simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. With so much at stake, it is important for students to have an experienced criminal defense attorney on their side to fight the charges against them.

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