Criminal Defense Attorney in Norfolk

Norfolk Criminal Defense Attorneys

Our team of experienced lawyers has the knowledge, skill, and determination needed to stand up for your rights. We have years of experience analyzing testimony, negotiating with prosecutors, and handling all other aspects of a criminal defense case. We’ve handled everything from traffic court to the most serious criminal charges.

If you have been accused of a criminal offense, it’s important to start mounting your defense as soon as you can. Contact us today

How a Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Make a Difference in Your Case

A criminal defense attorney will protect you and your rights. Criminal cases are extremely complex and can change the course of your life. Prison time can cost you years. Fines can drain the finances you and your family need. A criminal record can close doors on opportunities for the rest of your life.

If you’ve been arrested or accused of a crime, get the legal help you need as soon as you can.

From arrest, through arraignment, pre-trial, and the trial itself, a criminal defense attorney can help you with professional advice and advocacy. A criminal defense attorney will work to protect you during all phases of a criminal case:

Criminal Defense

Arrest and Arraignment

They’re critical times in a criminal case, and it’s easy for defendants to make mistakes. What you say and do during this time can have a tremendous impact on the outcome of the case. If you’ve been arrested, contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. An attorney will let you know your rights and will counsel you on the next moves.

Evidence and Witnesses

A criminal defense attorney will gather the evidence and witness statements that your case needs. This can be challenging work that must be done according to strict, detailed rules. Defense attorneys understand how to work with investigators and witnesses to build your defense.

Negotiating a Plea Bargain

In some cases, a defendant will want to negotiate a deal with prosecutors. Attorneys know how prosecutors work, and they know the rules that guide them. When negotiating a plea bargain, experience and knowledge are critical if you want to receive a favorable outcome. A criminal defense attorney will represent you and your interests in negotiations.

Legal Analysis and Counsel

A criminal case relies upon strict and detailed rules. These rules govern everything: the criminal hearing process and procedures, evidence standards, legal arguments, negotiations, and trial rules and procedures. It’s a complex process, and it’s easy to make mistakes. A criminal defense attorney will help you navigate the rules and avoid traps.

Keeping You Informed

Many things happen during a criminal case. Prosecutors submit arguments and reports to the court. Judges rule on motions. In some cases, new evidence may arise that will shape a defendant’s case. A criminal defense attorney will stay alert and inform you of any important legal or evidentiary changes in your case. A criminal defense attorney will counsel you about how your case is going and how it may turn out. They will provide objective and honest advice about your case. When you’re facing a criminal charge, it’s important to have someone trustworthy on your side who knows the facts, the law, and how to build your defense.

Everything in a Trial Matters

A trial is one of the final steps in a criminal case, and it may be the last opportunity a defendant has to go free. A criminal attorney knows trial procedures, rules of evidence, and everything that goes into building a persuasive defense. An attorney will help you understand what’s going on in a trial and what needs to happen.

Types of Criminal Defense Cases We Handle

At Ruloff, Swain, Haddad, Morecock, Talbert & Woodward, P.C., we handle the defense of criminal charges ranging from minor misdemeanors to serious felonies. We have years of experience handling many types of criminal cases, such as the following:

White-collar crimes, including bank fraud, identity theft, or money laundering

Drug crimes, including the cultivation, possession, or distribution of illegal narcotics

Violent crimes, including arson, assault and battery, or homicide

Sexual crimes, including rape, child abuse, or prostitution

Misdemeanors, including petty theft, vandalism, and trespassing

Traffic violations and offenses

If you’re charged with a crime, you have a right to counsel. At Ruloff, Swain, Haddad, Morecock, Talbert & Woodward, P.C., we’ll work to build the strongest defense possible. Prosecutors will do their job and try to convict. We’ll do our job and defend you.

Tips for Preparing for Criminal Defense Court

A defendant’s behavior in court matters. A court appearance is an important time in a criminal case, and your behavior will reflect, for better or worse, upon your case. There are many things that you can do to improve your chances of a positive outcome. The following suggestions for how to dress and behave in court are designed to help your case in any way possible:

  • Dress appropriately for court. Too many people arrive for a court hearing wearing casual clothing. This shows disrespect to the court and the judicial process. If a judge feels the court is being disrespected, problems may arise. The fact is that regardless of the setting, appearances matter. Don’t hurt your chances in a criminal proceeding with inappropriate clothing.
    • Men should wear a suit and tie or a dress shirt, a tie, and dress pants. Wear clothes that fit well, and do not wear clothing that is too tight or too loose. Wear closed-toe shoes with dark socks and make sure that your shoes are clean and polished. Your appearance will help demonstrate that you are mature and respectful of the court.
    • Women should also dress conservatively when appearing in court. Wear a conservative dress or suit that demonstrates you are mature and respectful of the court. As with men, do not wear clothing that is too tight or too loose. Wear conservative and sensible shoes that fit with the court setting.
    • Wear clothing that is subdued. Avoid strong colors and patterns.
    • Groom yourself before court. Shower, get a haircut, and make sure that that your appearance is neat and clean.
    • Cover any tattoos and remove any piercings that you can. Tattoos can be a personal expression of identity and style. But in court, exposed tattoos and piercings may send a message that a client doesn’t respect the norms of the court. Be sure to cover any tattoos that you can and remove any piercings may appear out of the normal.
    • Keep your appearance simple and clean. There is no need to make things complicated. Show the court that you respect their standards by dressing according to their expectations.
    • Respect the court’s rules on appearance. Courtrooms are conservative places, so you should follow the rules above. That said, some courts may allow for variation. Talk with your lawyer and follow the customs of the court.
  • Arrive early for your appearance. We’ve all had times when we’ve run a bit late. A court appearance should not be one of those times. Plan ahead for transportation and parking. Arrive early and leave enough time to get through a security screening.
  • Treat the judge with respect. A judge is the authority in a courtroom. People can be held in contempt and arrested for not treating the judge with respect. Help your case as best you can: show the judge that you are respectful and mature.
    • If you need to address the judge, address them as, “Your Honor.”
    • Never interrupt the judge when they are speaking.
    • Stand when a judge enters a courtroom or leaves a courtroom. Watch your attorney and others in the courtroom if you are unsure.
    • Stand when addressing the judge.
    • Answer the judge’s questions truthfully and respectfully.
  • Treat prosecutors and witnesses with respect. In a criminal case, emotions can run high. Remember that your conduct and your language will reflect directly on your case. Demonstrate that you are respectful and have self-control. If you are unsure when and how to respond to statements, consult with your lawyer. Never interrupt someone else when they are speaking.
  • Monitor your body language. Not all communication is verbal. Posture, eye-rolling, sighing, and many other actions can hurt you in a court proceeding. Stay calm and composed while you are in court.
  • Keep distractions and conversations outside of the courtroom. Do not bring your children into the court. Leave them with a relative or a caretaker instead. Turn off your cell phone and be sure to remove any distractions. When you’re in court, distractions can disrupt the proceedings, and when you cause disruptions, you may hurt your case.

Facing Criminal Charges? Let Our Norfolk Criminal Defense Lawyers Be Your Voice

A criminal charge threatens your future. A conviction could ruin your finances, shut down opportunities, and even send you to prison. If you have been charged with a crime, it is important to have an experienced and trustworthy attorney who will fight for you.

The Norfolk criminal defense attorneys at Ruloff, Swain, Haddad, Morecock, Talbert & Woodward, P.C., have represented criminal defendants in cases ranging from traffic court to the most serious felonies. We know how to build a strong defense. If you’ve been arrested or charged with a crime in the Norfolk region of Virginia, contact us today so that we can stand up for your freedom and your livelihood.