Legal Services & Representation

While the firm's focus tends to be on Criminal and Traffic representation, there is ample experience in areas such as Real Estate, Wills and Trusts, Contracts, General Civil and Personal Injury.

Please use the links to the left to find out more about our legal services.

The firm's foundation is honest, ethical and loyal representation of all of its clients through hard work; and the goal is timely, result oriented case resolution.

Criminal Defense

General Information:

Misdemeanors

Criminal offenses that are punishable by a maximum of 12 months in jail or a $2,500.00 fine or both.

The first court date listed on the warrant or summons will be the attorney status date. This is the date on which the court will ask the individual charged whether he or she intends to hire counsel, request court appointed counsel or proceed without counsel.

If an individual requests court appointed counsel, the court will ascertain whether they are indigent and thus eligible for the court to appoint a lawyer to represent them. Charged individuals should be aware that court appointed counsel in not always free.

If the person is convicted, (even of a lessor offense) the cost of the attorney will be added to their overall court costs. If an individual chooses to hire counsel, they will be given a date by which the hired attorney must have sent a letter confirming the representation to the court.

Felonies

Criminal offenses that are punishable by a prison sentence ranging from 1 year to life and/or an fine from $2,500.00 to $100,000.00.

The punishment range is determined by the classification of the felony. Virginia has Class 1 through 6, with 6 being the lowest level.

Virginia has two levels of courts, General District and Circuit Courts. General District Courts do not have trials on Felony charges, but conduct preliminary hearings wherein the prosecutor must prove probable cause in order to have the charge(s) certified to the Grand Jury.

If certified, the Grand Jury meets and hears evidence from witnesses and/or law enforcement and determines whether an indictment should be handed down.

If indicted, the charged individual then faces a trial on the merits of the case in Circuit Court, wherein the prosecutor must prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt

Misdemeanor Examples include:

  • Possession of Marijuana
  • Assault and Battery
  • Obstruction of Justice
  • Driving with a Suspended License
  • Possession of Alcohol Under 21
  • Disorderly Conduct
  • Destruction of Property

Felony Examples include:

  • Possession of Cocaine, Heroin, Ecstasy, etc.
  • Driving After Having Been Declared Habitual Offender
  • Grand Larceny
  • Resisting Arrest
  • Eluding Law Enforcement
  • DUI 3rd offense


Traffic Infractions

Types of Violations and General Information:

Speeding Violations

Citations for less than 81 mph or less than 20 mph over the posted limit, whichever is less

Reckless Driving (by speed)

Citations for speeds in excess of 80 mph or 20 mph over the posted limit

Reckless Driving (general)

driving in a manner that endangers life, limb or property of a person

Traffic Citations:

Traffic citations are likely the most common way in which normal individuals come into contact with the criminal justice system. They can happen for a variety of reasons: not paying attention to speed, not familiar with the acceleration or drive of the vehicle, not familiar with the area and the speed limits, trying to make up time, faulty equipment, etc.

Paying off a traffic citation is an admission of guilt and results in a conviction as charged. Speeding and reckless driving convictions in Virginia will cause points to be assessed on an individual's DMV report which most often result in increased insurance rates. Virginia has reciprocity with most other states and will most likely notify your home state licensing authority (DMV, MVA, etc) of any conviction that occurs here.

Typical Representation Format:

When a prospective client contacts the firm, they are asked a variety of questions; from biographical information to facts specific about the stop. Prospective clients will either speak to the attorney directly or may provide some information to a staff member and either await a return call from the attorney or set up a specific date and time for a telephone interview.

With the exception of citations for speeds in excess of 100 mph or unusual general reckless driving citations, clients who retain counsel do not have to appear in court. This includes normal reckless driving by speed even though the citation will state otherwise.

Armed with the mitigating information obtained from the client, the attorney proceeds to court on the set date, negotiates with the citing officer and attempts to convince the court, on the client's behalf for the best possible reduction in the charge.

As per the client's request, notification of the outcome of the case may be given via mail, fax or email. Clients may also call the firm on the afternoon of the court date to inquire as to the result. Any fines and court costs incurred must be paid within15 days after the court date. Attorney fees may be paid by MasterCard, Visa or Discover, cash, money order, cashier's check or personal check, (personal checks must be received at least 10 days in advance of the court date).

Paying a Citation is an admission of guilt

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Representation

General Information:

18.2-266. Driving motor vehicle, engine, etc., while intoxicated, etc.

It shall be unlawful for any person to drive or operate any motor vehicle, engine or train (i) while such person has a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or more by weight by volume or 0.08 grams or more per 210 liters of breath as indicated by a chemical test administered as provided in this article, (ii) while such person is under the influence of alcohol, (iii) while such person is under the influence of any narcotic drug or any other self-administered intoxicant or drug of whatsoever nature, or any combination of such drugs, to a degree which impairs his ability to drive or operate any motor vehicle, engine or train safely, (iv) while such person is under the combined influence of alcohol and any drug or drugs to a degree which impairs his ability to drive or operate any motor vehicle, engine or train safely, or (v) while such person has a blood concentration of any of the following substances at a level that is equal to or greater than: (a) 0.02 milligrams of cocaine per liter of blood, (b) 0.1 milligrams of methamphetamine per liter of blood, (c) 0.01 milligrams of phencyclidine per liter of blood, or (d) 0.1 milligrams of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine per liter of blood. A charge alleging a violation of this section shall support a conviction under clauses (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), or (v). ADVANCE \d 5For the purposes of this article, the term "motor vehicle" includes mopeds, while operated on the public highways of this Commonwealth.

In Virginia, DUI and DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) are identical. It is a Class 1 Misdemeanor and can become a felony if it is the charged persons 3rd Offense within a ten year period. As a Class 1 Misdemeanor it carries a possible 12 months in jail, a $2,500.00 fine or both. Per statute it also carries a mandatory 12 month suspension of the individuals privilege to drive within Virginia as well a requirement that the charged individual complete the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program (VASAP) or a substantially similar and approved course in that persons home state. The class varies in length and the cost of the classes is charged to the convicted person.

In Virginia, if and individual has a BAC (blood alcohol content) of .08 or more, the prosecution gets the benefit of a legal presumption that the charged persons ability to operate the vehicle was impaired by the alcohol consumption. This presumption is technically one that is rebuttable, but rarely do judges find that the presumption has been overcome. If the BAC level is .15 or over, the law calls for a mandatory active incarceration period. The same holds true for multiple DUI convictions within 5 or 10 years.

DUI is a statutorily created crime, meaning that there was no such thing as DUI at common law, (before codified statutes) unlike crimes like theft, robbery, rape, and burglary. As such, it is possible to find loopholes in cases. However, if everyone involved in the case, from the prosecutions perspective, follows the letter of the law, it can be extremely difficult to successfully defend this type of charge. Considering this, it is always beneficial to have an attorney to defend a DUI, to go through the case and properly advise the individual charged.

Real Estate

General Information:

We are a proud partner with the following Real Estate professionals:

United Country-Richardson & Associates

Located in Emporia, Virginia, United Country-Richardson & Associates is proud to be a part of the nation's largest organization of real estate and auctioneer professionals specializing in all types of properties throughout rural America.

With a heritage dating back to 1925, we have a proven track record of uniting buyers and sellers throughout our network of 600+ offices.

Thinking of buying or selling? Please give us a call at (434) 336-0303 or visit our website at www.ucemporia.com.


Whitman Properties, Inc. — Homes, Land & Lake Real Estate

"Serving Southside Virginia Since 1979"

Robin R. Whitman, Broker/Owner

430 S. Main Street Emporia, VA 23847

434-634-5151 office   434-594-4457 cell

www.whitman-properties.com

rwhitman@whitman-properties.com

Featured listings from Whitman Properties, Inc.

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Beautiful views from every room of the main house — 3BR/2 BA, built 1994.

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Cottage with kitchen, bath, central heat/air sits on the pond.

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5 Acre pond included on this 6.33 acre site!

Brick ranch, 3BR/2BA, over 3000 sq. ft. Att garage PLUS det garage with bonus room.

Beautiful sunroom has fabulous view of the pond. MLS#96739 $349,500




Built 1908/Remodeled 2009.

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Sunny family/sunroom is wonderful! Lovely staircase, open & sunny rooms.

Owner flexible. MLS#99537 $149,900

CRESPA bonded
Settlement Agent

Land Closings for the following areas:

City of Emporia
Greensville County
Brunswick County
Southampton County
Sussex County


Copywright 2009, The Law Office of W. William Robinson III