Building a proper Fairfax carjacking defense requires many different parts. An attorney listening to the case and trying to help a person would first discuss the facts and the circumstances surrounding what happened. When law enforcement officers come to the scene, they err towards the side of sometimes overcharging to make sure that they are not letting any serious offenders get by. The defense attorney would try to assess if is this the right charge. They assess whether or not it is an appropriate charge. Consult with an experienced Fairfax theft lawyer if you are facing carjacking charges.
Collecting evidence is important in building a Fairfax carjacking defense. The lawyer would collect items like video surveillance or they would talk to witnesses. In cases of video surveillance, a lot of times cameras are on a short term loop and get overwritten quickly. The first thing a lawyer would do is send a preservation letter asking that entity to preserve the evidence pending a subpoena to get that information. They would also hire investigators if this is necessary, taking a look at the scene, questioning the actual happening compared to the charge, where and what streets it occurred, if there are any skid marks showing one way or another, if an accident was involved, and other similar actions. A lawyer would also hire an investigator if necessary to take a look at what happened from a different angle and provide feedback.
Another thing an attorney would do is to request discovery from the government. Discovery in Fairfax is a little limited. However, attorneys can get any statements that the defendant has made, written or oral, as well as the substance of any statements that were made to law enforcement. They can also get any criminal record the person has. Different counties do it different ways. Some of them do it in written form or orally and informally, but a local defense attorney would do what the county goes by and they would request that discovery from the government.
Lastly, if it looks like the elements can be proven and the government will be able to carry its burden, one thing that defense attorney would do is to help the defendant plan for mitigation or highlight mitigating factors. That would be taking any classes, doing any community service, paying restitution, or at least preparing to pay any restitution back to the family. These are all aspects to building a Fairfax carjacking defense.
Experts to prepare for a Fairfax carjacking case would include accident reconstruction experts or people that can go back to the scene and assess how an accident or how an assault took place. Also, not just experts or investigators are involved, but any video surveillance. For example, in a scenario where only a voice was recorded, experts would come in to testify whether the voice matches that of the defendant’s or the accused’s at the time. Any experts that would use surveillance or witnesses that would be needed would be something that a defense attorney would think about and prepare ahead of time.
If it seems as though the prosecution has enough evidence, probation or reduced sentencing might be a good idea. Sometimes building a good carjacking defense means mitigation or doing a few things ahead of time to plan for the outcome and soften the landing. Provided that it is an individual with no prior criminal record and an outstanding citizen of the community, a defense attorney would first try to build that profile ahead of time. They will try to put in evidence to show that the person is worthy of an amendment down or a break. They would go into the person’s resume, career, previous volunteerism that they have done, and any awards or achievements that they received. Then a defense attorney would use all of that to ask for a lower sentence or a possible probation.
One of the code sections invoked frequently in scenarios of carjacking and car theft charges in general is trespass. Trespass is one of the code sections in Fairfax that allows for a continuance of the case for a period of time to see how the defendant is behaving. It is called a period of good behavior to make sure that the person does not get in any further trouble, and if they do, they comply with some of those requirements and their case gets dismissed.
Another possibility is a general continuance of the charge at any time, asking the defendant to comply with a few other requirements and then a lower sentence would be involved or imposed at the end of the process.