The Answers You Need to Many Common Legal Questions
Often, our clients have little experience with the law, and they share many questions and concerns when faced with a legal matter. The attorneys at Greenspun Shapiro PC understand you need answers, and we offer many of them here. Hear our thoughts on issues relating to criminal charges, traffic charges, real estate transactions, civil litigation, personal injury cases, business disputes, administrative hearings, and more.
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What to Do If There is a Warrant for Your Arrest in Virginia
If you have a warrant out for your arrest, here’s how a criminal defense lawyer can help you. Contact us today to speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer.
A person can become aware of a charge against them many different ways. The most common ways are:
- being arrested
- being issued a summons on the spot.
Arrests take place for nearly all felonies at the time they are committed, if possible, and for some misdemeanors, such as DUI/DWI and public intoxication. A summons, or what most people think of as a ticket, is usually issued for speeding, other traffic infractions, reckless driving, and minor drug possession offenses. In other cases, a person may not be accused of a crime until hours, days, or weeks after the alleged crime occurred.
When a person is not arrested or issued a summons at the time of the offense, the police will need an arrest warrant to take the suspect into custody. Police officers are not required to disclose whether a warrant has been issued for a suspect. However, in some cases, the police do disclose this information, or a person may otherwise learn that he or she is wanted by a particular jurisdiction.
Step 1: Contact Our Trusted Virginia Criminal Defense Lawyers
If you learn that you are wanted by a jurisdiction, you should first contact a criminal defense lawyer who practices in that area to ensure your rights are fully protected and you have the best defense moving forward.
Our trusted attorneys at Greenspun Shapiro PC can practice in all Northern Virginia jurisdictions, as well as federal court:
- Fairfax City
- Fairfax County
- Falls Church
- Loudoun County
- Prince William County
Having a criminal defense lawyer who is familiar with your circumstances can give you an idea of whether you will be released or held in jail, based on the specific circumstances of your case. Familiarity with the jurisdiction will also be important, as each county’s jail processing and bond procedures differ. Contacting a criminal defense lawyer at Greenspun Shapiro PC is the best thing you can do because we:
- Will immediately start working on your defense
- Are experienced negotiating with police and prosecutors
- Are dedicated to helping people accused of crimes obtain the best possible outcomes to their cases.
Step 2: Turn Yourself into the Correct Jurisdiction
After speaking with a criminal defense lawyer, the next step is typically to turn yourself into the jurisdiction in which you are wanted. Going to a different jurisdiction may delay your release. If a suspect is outside the jurisdiction that issued the warrant, the judge likely will not set a bond. Instead, a transportation order will be issued, and the suspect will be transported to the jurisdiction in which the charges are pending before release is addressed. If you are wanted out-of-state, you should contact criminal defense lawyers in both states to determine what needs to be done.
For the final two steps to take if you have a warrant out for your arrest, be sure to look for the second part of this blog series that will be published soon.
Step 3: Prepare for Bond
Depending on the type of charges and other factors, a magistrate may be able to set bond. However, some charges are considered particularly dangerous, such as:
Those charges have a presumption against release, so a magistrate judge will not have the option to set bond. If the magistrate does not, or cannot, set bond, it will be important to have a criminal defense lawyer ready to file a bond motion and family or friends ready to help provide support by posting the bond or hiring a bondsman (Bondsman typically charge a fee of 10% of the total bond, which is not refundable).
Step 4: Do Not Make Verbal or Written Statements
No matter whether you are released immediately or held, it is important that you do not make any verbal or written disclosures to anyone during this process. Anything stated to a police officer, or even a fellow inmate, could potentially be used against you. It is vital that no case-related statements be made over jail phones. Many of the phones available to inmates in Northern Virginia’s jails are recorded by the jail and reviewed by prosecutors and law enforcement. This can then become evidence in the government’s case.
Seek the Legal Help of a Criminal Defense Lawyer
If it’s time to contact an attorney, call the trusted Fairfax criminal defense lawyer at Greenspun Shapiro PC by calling 703-352-0100 or by emailing us using the online contact form. Our attorneys provide superior legal services to our clients in Fairfax and throughout Virginia.
How do I get my personal injury case started?
Simply contact us and attend an initial consultation with a trusted Fairfax personal injury attorney at Greenspun Shapiro, PC.
When is it better to settle personal injury lawsuits (rather than see them through trial)?
This is a good question that is rather complex to answer because, quite simply, it will depend on various factors, including you, your case and the settlement offer that is on the table. In general, however, some of the situations in which accepting a settlement offer may be a better option than seeing a case through trial include (but are not limited to) when:
- A fair settlement offer has been made and prolonging the case may cost you more than it may be worth.
- You are ready to put the case, the accident and your injuries behind you so you can move on with your life.
- There may be some serious risks associated with winning a favorable verdict from a trial.
What kind of compensation can I expect from my personal injury case?
Again, we can’t give you a specific answer about compensation for personal injury lawsuits without reviewing the particular details of a case. Some of the factors, however, that may contribute to greater compensation in personal injury lawsuits can include (but are not necessarily limited to):
- More severe injuries having been sustained by the plaintiff
- Irreversible impairments having been sustained by the plaintiff
- More damage having been incurred to the plaintiff’s property
- A pattern of negligence having been displayed by the defendant.
How long do I have to file a personal injury claim?
This is a good and important question to ask when it comes to personal injury lawsuits. The length of time in which you have to file personal injury lawsuits is known as the statute of limitations for these cases, and this time frame varies from state to state.
In the state of Virginia, there is a two-year statute of limitations for filing personal injury lawsuits. This means that, in order for injured people to seek compensation through personal injury lawsuits, these cases must be filed within two years of the date:
- On which the accident or incident that caused the personal injuries occurred; or
- On which the personal injuries were diagnosed or discovered.
Because these time frames are very strict, it’s best for injured people to move forward with filing personal injury lawsuits as soon as they can to avoid running out the statute of limitations.
How quickly are personal injury lawsuits resolved?
We can’t really answer this one without reviewing the details of a particular case. That being stated, however, some of the factors that may end up complicating personal injury lawsuits and, consequently, prolonging a resolution to these cases include (but are not necessarily limited to):
- More severe injuries (that may need to be established through expert witness testimony)
- More complicated claims of negligence (For instance, product liability and medical malpractice cases tend to be far more complicated than other types of personal injury lawsuits.)
- Corporate or government defendants (who tend to have legal teams ready to fight negligence allegations).
While you can easily get a more specific answer regarding your case by contacting Greenspun Shapiro, PC today, what you can take away from this is that you should generally expect personal injury lawsuits to take some time to resolve.
What if I may have played a role in causing the accident and/or injuries?
When people have somehow contributed to the accident or incident that led to their injuries, it may still be possible to pursue personal injury lawsuits, depending (of course) on the details of the incident and case. In general, in fact, as long as another party was more negligent that you were in the incident, you may still be able to move forward with a case and seek compensation for your injuries and losses.
That being said, however, whether or not it is worth it to you to move forward with a legal claim can depend on whether you may obtain sufficient compensation from this effort. To receive more specific info regarding this, contact a Fairfax personal injury attorney at Greenspun Shapiro, PC.
For some more answers to common questions about personal injury lawsuits, be sure to check out the upcoming second and third parts of this blog series!
What are some common examples of negligence in personal injury lawsuits?
First, it’s important to define the term negligence, as it’s the general basis of personal injury lawsuits. Simply put, negligence is the failure of one party to use reasonable care when performing some action and, consequently, causing damage, accidents and/or injuries. Here, “reasonable care” typically means the level of care that a reasonable person would have exerted in the same situation or under similar circumstances.
Given this, some examples of negligence can include (but are not exclusively limited to):
- Drunk driving, distracted driving and other types of driver error that cause motor vehicle accidents
- Failure to keep premises safe and, in turn, causing slip and fall accidents
- Failure to properly diagnose a medical condition and, in turn, causing health complications.
There are countless other examples of negligence in these cases, so it’s best to consult with an experienced attorney to find out more regarding your accident and whether you may have a viable personal injury claim.