Top Rated Chesterfield County VA Criminal Lawyers • 1500+ Reviews

Best Law Firm 2024 Riley Wells Attorneys at Law - Traffic Ticket, Reckless Driving, Speeding, and Virginia Criminal Defense Lawyer Don’t trust your future to a law firm that either juggles many areas of law or simply does not possess the experience. Riley & Wells Attorneys-At-Law are recognized by Virginia Super Lawyers and rated “AV Preeminent” by Martindale-Hubbell for the highest professional excellence in legal ability and ethical standards. We are also recognized as a “Best Law Firm” by U.S. News & World Report. You need to know your rights under the law, and how to act to protect them immediately – either before memories fade, evidence is lost, witnesses disappear or you have waived a defense. Let us review your case. We have been positively reviewed more than any other law firm that defends Chesterfield county criminal cases.

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Chesterfield County VA Criminal Defense Attorneys

Being arrested can be an embarrassing, frightening, and devastating experience. Now is not the time to have a Chesterfield County VA Criminal Lawyer that will lecture you about your choices. The simple fact is you are in trouble with the law, and you need a non-judgmental advocate to give you straightforward advice about protecting yourself before the Court and presenting your best defense, period. Don’t wait to get help! Contact a professional who can help you with your case. CAUTION: Criminal law is a specialized area of law and can be very complicated.  The case disposition may forever affect your future. Do not trust a law firm that lacks the necessary experience.

Chesterfield VA Criminal Lawyer Client Review


Effective Criminal Defense Trial Attorneys in Chesterfield County VA

Effective Criminal Defense Trial AttorneysThe criminal justice system can be overwhelming. Criminal trials are a very complicated and highly specialized area of the law. Accomplished Chesterfield VA Criminal Defense Attorneys know that people accused of a crime are most worried about losing their freedom and incarceration. Our lawyers possess over 60 years of collective criminal law experience. We will zealously represent and defend you through all of the stages of your case. Our Chesterfield VA criminal lawyers successfully defend clients accused of criminal offenses before the Chesterfield Courts every week. Our criminal defense attorneys understand that people quickly need clear answers to their legal questions when they become a target of a criminal investigation or are arrested. You can benefit from our experience.

Riley & Wells Attorneys-At-Law Defends Chesterfield VA Criminal Cases

  • Probation Violations
  • Grand Larceny
  • Receiving Stolen Property
  • Prostitution
  • Reside in a Bawdy House
  • Conspiracy
  • Sex Offenses
  • Worthless/Bad Checks
  • Underage Possession of Alcohol
  • Obstruction of Justice
  • Brandishing a Firearm
  • Shoplifting
  • Expungements
  • Destruction of Property

Free Consultation with Top Rated Chesterfield VA Criminal Lawyers

Our Chesterfield County criminal defense attorneys offer a free no obligation consultation for those individuals who have found themselves in the unfortunate position of having to defend a criminal case. The biggest issues for most are the lack of experience and legal knowledge. The average person does not understand how to best defend a Chesterfield County criminal case. Our experienced Chesterfield County VA criminal lawyers know the best tactics for obtaining the best results. We spend hours in the Chesterfield Courts every week and are familiar with the habits of the different judges and the law enforcement officers who make the arrests. This specialized knowledge is invaluable in order to best defend your criminal case.

Chesterfield VA Criminal Attorneys Recognized by Virginia Super Lawyers

Super Lawyers for Virginia Criminal Law and Traffic Defense Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from over 70 practice areas including criminal law who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Super Lawyers recognizes the top attorneys nationwide across a variety of practice areas and firm sizes using a patented process of independent research and peer input. Our Chesterfield VA criminal lawyers have been recognized as Virginia Super Lawyers since 2009 for criminal defense. No more than five percent of lawyers in the state are named to Super Lawyers and no more than 2.5 percent are named to the Rising Stars list. This recognition is merit based. Retain a Chesterfield VA criminal defense attorney who has been recognized as a Virginia Super Lawyer.

Chesterfield Virginia Trial Courts Are Adversarial By Design

Chesterfield Virginia Trial Courts Are Adversarial By DesignIf you have been charged with violating a Chesterfield Virginia criminal law, then your case will eventually be set before the Chesterfield Courts. Criminal cases are adversarial by design. This involves a structured and formalized dispute between the Chesterfield Commonwealth Attorneys office and the defense. The adversarial system is designed to ensure a fair trial process subject to the rules of law and evidence by allowing each side to present their case and to be able to challenge the other’s arguments and evidence. Depending on the seriousness of the charges, the case may progress through many of the criminal justice system stages. The Chesterfield Judge ultimately evaluates the evidence & arguments and makes a ruling.

The Arrest
Probable cause is required for an arrest. Probable cause simply means that there is a good reason to believe the suspect committed a crime. The “warrant requirement” means that the Chesterfield police officer must have an arrest warrant to make an arrest; however, there are numerous exceptions to this requirement, which is often when the offense in question was observed by the Chesterfield police officer.

If the Chesterfield police are going to question the suspect after the arrest while the suspect is in custody, then the police officers must inform the suspects of their Miranda rights: 1) right to an attorney, 2) the right to remain silent, and 3) the right to have your attorney present during questioning.

After the arrest, the suspect is taken to the police station for booking or processing. This will require being fingerprinted and photographed. Officials will confirm details such as full name and birth date. The magistrate then conducts a bail hearing to determine conditions for pretrial release.

Arraignment | Pre-trial
The arraignment is the first court appearance where the Chesterfield County judge informs the defendant of his or her right to an attorney. The judge may also review bail.

Bail | Pre-Trial Release

A person who is held in custody pending trial or a hearing shall be admitted to bail unless there is probable cause to believe that he will not appear for the trial or hearing or if his liberty will constitute an unreasonable danger to himself or another.

Plea bargain
Criminal cases are sometimes resolved where the defense and the prosecution agree to a specific outcome. Chesterfield County judges usually abide by plea agreements, although they are not required to do so.

Preliminary hearing for felony cases
Felony cases initiated on an arrest warrant then proceed to what is called a preliminary hearing in the District Court. The Chesterfield Commonwealth’s Attorney must present probable cause evidence to the Judge who then certifies the case to the grand jury if there is probable cause to support the charge. The primary difference between this procedure and the magistrate issuing an arrest warrant based on probable cause is that a Chesterfield VA criminal defense attorney can present evidence and/or cross-examine the prosecution’s witnesses. If the defendant was indicted by the prosecutor then there is no preliminary hearing in the District Court.

Misdemeanor trials are held in the District Court with a Judge. Felony trials (or misdemeanor appeals from the District Court) are held in the Circuit Court, where the defendant has a right to trial by jury. At trial, the prosecution is required to present evidence to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The defendant may present evidence, but that is not required. The lawyers for each party argue their respective case.

Verdict | Sentencing
In a jury trial, all jurors must agree that the evidence proves the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If the jury cannot agree, then a mistrial will be declared on the charges to which there is no agreement, and those charges may be tried again later before new jurors. In a Judge or bench trial, the Judge determines if the evidence is sufficient to prove the offense alleged.

Sentencing guidelines are prepared for the Judge hearing the case to assist in imposing a penalty if the defendant is found guilty. The jury does not receive any assistance from such guidelines. The guidelines assign point values for various aspects of the conviction, such as the nature of the crime and the defendant’s criminal history, and then calculate a range for an appropriate sentence. Judges have leeway in determining the sentence, but often impose a sentence within the guidelines.

Legal Elite Chesterfield Criminal Lawyer

Legal Elite Chesterfield VA Criminal LawyerVirginia Business is dedicated to covering legal activity in Chesterfield County VA. In cooperation with the Virginia Bar Association, top Virginia attorneys from various practice areas have been recognized as Legal Elite since 2000. There are over 23,000 legal practitioners in Virginia. Legal Elite recognitions are awarded to approximately 1400 attorneys each year. This is an exclusive list of top rated individuals who have been recognized by their peers for excellence. Only outstanding and experienced professionals are recognized by Virginia Business for being Legal Elite. A lawyer cannot purchase his or her way in to being recognized as a member of the Virginia Business Legal Elite community. Retain a Chesterfield VA Legal Elite criminal lawyer for your case.

Local Chesterfield County Attorneys Defending Your Constitutional Rights

Criminal Trial Lawyers Defending Constitutional Rights in Chesterfield CountyIt is critical that you understand the rights the U.S. Constitution provides you if you have been accused of a criminal offense in Chesterfield County VA. Certain parts of the Constitution’s Bill of Rights have had a major impact on the criminal justice system. Specifically, the fourth, fifth and sixth amendments of the Constitution have particular importance for those who have been accused of a crime. Our responsibility as your Chesterfield County VA criminal lawyer will be to assert and protect those rights at every stage of your case. This area of law is virtually impossible to learn without the assistance of a top rated local Chesterfield professional. The Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees the following:

  1. Right to counsel – In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to engage the attorney of his choice to defend the allegations.
  2. Right to a public trial
  3. Right to an impartial jury trial – verdict must be unanimous
  4. Right to confront and cross-examine one’s accusers
  5. Right to be informed of the nature of the charges – an indictment must allege all the ingredients of the crime to such a degree of precision that it would allow the accused to assert double jeopardy if the same charges are brought up in subsequent prosecution
  6. Right to a speedy trial – the U.S. Supreme Court has established a four-part case-by-case balancing test for determining whether the defendant’s constitutional speedy trial rights has been violated. The four factors are:
    • Length of delay. A delay of a year or more from the date on which the speedy trial right “attaches” (the date of arrest or indictment, whichever first occurs) was termed “presumptively prejudicial,” but the Court has never explicitly ruled that any absolute time limit applies.
    • Reason for the delay. The prosecution may not excessively delay the trial for its own advantage, but a trial may be delayed to secure the presence of an absent witness or other practical considerations (e.g., change of venue).
    • Time and manner in which the defendant has asserted his right. If a defendant agrees to the delay when it works to his own benefit, he cannot later claim that he has been unduly delayed.
    • Degree of prejudice to the defendant which the delay has caused.
    • Virginia Speedy Trial Statute Va. Code 19.2-243

Felony Destruction of Property & Conspiracy Nolle Prosequi

Skilled Chesterfield Criminal Lawyers will present your best defense


Riley & Wells Attorneys-At-Law represented a teenage client who was arrested for Felony Destruction of Property with Intent and Conspiracy to Destroy Property with Intent. The allegation emerged after evidence surfaced that our client, with others, used spray paint on a tunnel wall to write a memorial to their friend who had recently committed suicide at that location. Our attorneys thoroughly and completely analyzed our client’s case. We determined that the best course of action would probably be to convince the prosecution not to prosecute the case. Along those lines, we convinced the prosecution to drop the charges.

Chesterfield Statutory Burglary DISMISSED

Our Chesterfield County VA criminal defense lawyers successfully defended this burglary case


Riley & Wells Attorneys-At-Law represented an 18-year-old client arrested for statutory burglary. The client entered her boyfriend’s house and found him having an affair with another woman. Our client became enraged and attacked him and the other woman. The issue was whether our client entered the house intending to commit a crime. The Commonwealth Attorney was unwilling to drop the case or amend the allegation to a misdemeanor. Our client was naturally concerned about serving a prison sentence and becoming a convicted felon at the age of 18. We proceeded to trial, and the Judge granted our Motion to Strike. Case dismissed.

11/10/2015 | Updated 3/26/2024