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My 2021 Highlight: Speaking with Henry Montgomery on ICAN National Zoom Call

It was almost 6PM on Friday, November 19, 2021, and I had just picked up a cheeseburger, fries, and an orange fountain soda from DQ’s. I’d been working from home all day and wanted to get on the scheduled Incarcerated Children’s Advocacy Network’s (“ICAN”) 2021 national zoom call.

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Virginia’s Conviction Integrity Unit

Wrongfully convicted persons in Virginia face an uphill battle in getting their convictions overturned. Virginia’s laws are strict and claims of innocence face difficult hurdles.

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Extrinsic Fraud: Can It Be Used to Overturn a Criminal Conviction?

Although not apparent in the body of published caselaw, a legal doctrine that prisoners have clung to over the years to challenge criminal convictions is that of extrinsic fraud. The reason why it is so appealing as a legal basis is that a judgment obtained by extrinsic fraud is void and can be challenged at any time (i.e., beyond the statute of limitations that restrict challenges to criminal convictions). Intrinsic fraud is another type of fraud, considered less severe.

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Speedy Trial Right & COVID-19

An accused has the right to a speedy trial under the 6th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. What this means is that an accused has the right to be tried for the alleged charges within a reasonable amount of time from arrest. It is a powerful ground to seek dismissal of the case. If the court determines that the delay between arrest and trial is unreasonable, it can dismiss the indictment, in which case, Virginia law allow the prosecution to appeal the decision.

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Proving Your Innocence with New Evidence: Tyler v. Commonwealth

Proving actual innocence under Virginia law following a criminal conviction is not an easy feat. Suppose you are convicted of assaulting and strangling another based on the testimony of the complainant, but you are claiming that you did not strangle the person, and a witness who did not testify at your trial comes forward corroborating your claim. Suppose also that the person you were accused of doing this to was later charged with harming someone else.

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Withdrawing a Guilty Plea

It is very rare for the courts to allow someone to withdraw a guilty plea, but it is not impossible. For starters, the vast majority of criminal cases are resolved in the courts by guilty pleas. There are many reasons for this.

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Federal Appeals Court Reverses State Supreme Court on IAC Claim

The sentencing phase in a criminal case is an important opportunity for an attorney to present mitigating evidence on his client’s behalf to argue for a lesser sentence. Evidence of a client’s upbringing and traumatic childhood, for example, are important mitigating factors for the court to consider in deciding an appropriate sentence.

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Employment & Security Clearances

Thousands of people who work and live throughout Virginia have a criminal record. Though there are some federal and state-wide legal protections, a criminal record still matters if you want to be employed in Virginia. It doesn't matter if you are applying for some positions, but a criminal record may play a pivotal role in many other positions.

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Criminal Convictions & Professional Licenses

A criminal conviction isn't just a matter of having a criminal record that pops up whenever a background check is conducted – quite possibly for the rest of your life – it is also about the quality of life you can live after you have paid your debt to society. Regardless of whether you are actually guilty or not, a conviction can cause irreparable harm.

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Criminal Record Impact on Family Matters

A criminal record can affect a person's life in many ways. We know this to be particularly true when it comes to job searches and housing. But it can affect family life as well. The ways it can affect family life are both direct and indirect. That's why, in part, Bryan Jones works hard to put forth the best defense for his clients.

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