Top Rated Richmond VA Criminal Lawyer • 1500+ Client Reviews

Best Law Firm 2024 Riley Wells Attorneys at Law - Traffic Ticket, Reckless Driving, Speeding, and Virginia Criminal Defense Lawyer Riley & Wells Attorneys-At-Law is an established local Richmond VA law firm that specializes in criminal law. Our Richmond VA criminal lawyers represent and defend clients who have been charged with violating a criminal offense. We are recognized as a “Best Law Firm” by U.S. News & World Report. The Richmond law enforcement community is serious about enforcing the law. Many of the cases filed before Richmond Courts are criminal cases. You can benefit from our experience. Let us review your case. We are located a few miles from the Courthouse. Our firm has been positively reviewed more than any other law firm that defends criminal cases in Richmond VA. We can help!

Put our experience to work for you – Let us review your case!

30,000+ Clients Represented

1500+ Client Reviews

60+ Years of Combined Experience

Experienced Richmond VA Criminal Defense Attorney

Criminal Defense Attorney Richmond VAOur Richmond VA criminal defense firm has the skill to develop creative solutions to deliver highly personalized service for each client after specializing in criminal law for over 60 collective years. We understand that being arrested and facing a term of incarceration can be an embarrassing, stressful & frightening experience. Our goal is to protect both your freedom and your future. This is not a time to be lectured about poor decision-making. Now is the time to focus on presenting your best defense before the Richmond Courts. 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.

Richmond VA Criminal Law Attorney Client Review

Liath Bricks
Liath Bricks
Quick response, professional staff, great service, and the best outcome I could hope for.

Richmond VA Lawyers Dedicated to Defending Your Best Interests

The criminal justice system can be overwhelming. If you are being investigated by law enforcement or have already been arrested then your prior acts may have been illegal. The best decision you can make now is to engage the best Richmond VA criminal defense lawyer to protect you in your time of need. We will zealously represent and defend you through all of the stages of your case. Our Richmond VA criminal lawyers successfully defend clients accused of criminal offenses before the Richmond Courts every week. We believe that clients with criminal cases benefit when their lawyer specializes in criminal defense and regularly represents clients before the same Richmond Judges every week.

Riley & Wells Attorneys-At-Law Defend Richmond VA Criminal Cases

  • Federal Offenses
  • Murder
  • Protective Order/Violation
  • Discharging a firearm in public
  • Robbery
  • Malicious Wounding
  • Assault & Battery
  • Forgery
  • Solicitation of Prostitution
  • Concealed Weapon
  • False Pretenses
  • Drugs
  • Expungements
  • Ignition Interlock Violations
  • Alcohol Offenses
  • VASAP Violations
  • Gun in Airport
  • Asset Forfeiture
  • Fake ID
  • Sexual Battery
  • Failure To Appear/Capias
  • Possession of Marijuana
  • Reckless Handling of a Firearm
  • Manslaughter
  • DUI / DWI
  • Fraud
  • Petty Larceny
  • Trespassing
  • Hit and Run
  • Vandalism
  • Domestic Violence
  • Abduction
  • Firearm Offenses
  • Grand Larceny

  • Probation Violations
  • Larceny
  • Firearm Rights Restoration
  • Receiving Stolen Property
  • Prostitution
  • Reside in a Bawdy House
  • Felon in possession of firearm
  • Destruction of Property
  • Conspiracy
  • Sex Offenses
  • Worthless/Bad Checks
  • Underage Possession of Alcohol
  • Obstruction of Justice
  • Brandishing a Firearm
  • Shoplifting
  • VASAP Violations

Richmond VA Federal Criminal Law Attorney for Eastern District of VA

Richmond VA Federal Criminal Law Attorney for Eastern District of VAFederal criminal charges tend to be more serious and carry penalties that are more severe than Virginia state criminal charges. For this reason, it is critically important to retain the best Richmond VA Federal Criminal Law Defense Attorney if you are being investigated by the federal authorities or have already been accused of a federal crime. We represent clients who have matters involving the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) just to name a few. Our skilled federal criminal lawyers represent and defend clients before the Eastern District of Virginia’s federal court which is located in the City of Richmond.

Free Consultation with Top Rated Richmond Criminal Lawyers

Free Consultation with Top Rated Richmond VA Criminal LawyersOur Richmond VA 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 Richmond criminal case. Our experienced Richmond VA criminal lawyers know the best tactics for obtaining the best results. We spend hours in the Richmond 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.

Richmond VA Criminal Attorneys Recognized by Virginia Super Lawyers

Super Lawyers for Virginia Criminal Law and Traffic Defense Super Lawyers is a rates outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas including criminal law who have attained a high-degree of 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 Richmond VA criminal lawyers have been recognized as Virginia Super Lawyers since 2009 for criminal defense. No more than five percent of the 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 Richmond Criminal Defense Attorney who is recognized as a Virginia Super Lawyer.

Richmond Virginia Trial Courts Are Adversarial By Design

Richmond Virginia Trial Courts Are Adversarial By DesignIf you have been charged with violating a Richmond Virginia criminal law, then your case will eventually be set before the Richmond Courts. Criminal cases are adversarial by design. This involves a structured and formalized dispute between the Richmond 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 Richmond 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 Richmond 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 Richmond police officer.

If the Richmond 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 Richmond Jail 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 judge informs the defendant of his or her right to a Richmond criminal defense 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
Many criminal cases are resolved where the defense and the Commonwealth Attorney agree to a specific outcome. Richmond 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 Richmond District Court. The Richmond 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 Richmond 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 Commonwealth Attorney 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 Richmond VA Criminal Lawyer

Legal Elite Richmond VA Criminal LawyerVirginia Business is dedicated to covering legal activity in Richmond VA. In cooperation with the Virginia Bar Association, top Virginia attorneys from various practice areas including criminal law 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 Richmond VA Legal Elite criminal lawyer for your case.

Local Richmond Attorneys Defending Your Constitutional Rights

Criminal Trial Lawyers Defending Constitutional Rights in Richmond VAIt is critical that you completely understand the various rights that the U.S. Constitution provides if you have been accused of a Richmond VA criminal offense. 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 to the Constitution have particular importance for those who have been accused of a crime. Our responsibility as your Richmond VA criminal lawyer will be to assert and protect those rights at every stage of your case. This area of constitutional law is virtually impossible to learn without the assistance of a top rated 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 a Richmond VA criminal defense 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:
    1. 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.
    2. 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).
    3. 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.
    4. Degree of prejudice to the defendant which the delay has caused.
  7. Virginia Speedy Trial Statute Va. Code 19.2-243

“AV Preeminent” Rated Richmond VA Criminal Attorneys

“AV Preeminent” Rated Richmond VA Criminal AttorneysFor over 135 years, Martindale-Hubbell has been the authority for evaluating legal professionals for ability and ethical standards through a Peer Review Rating system established by judges and attorneys. Riley & Wells Attorneys-A-Law is an AV Preeminent® rated Richmond VA criminal law defense firm. The highest Martindale-Hubbell peer rating standard. This rating is given to those who are ranked at the highest level of professional excellence for their legal expertise, communication skills, and ethical standards by their peers. Retain a Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent rated Richmond VA criminal law office for your case. Review the law firm’s legal rating and exercise caution before you secure representation with a Richmond criminal defense firm that maintains an inferior rating for legal ability and ethical standards.

Richmond VA Criminal Disorderly Conduct Case DISMISSED

Richmond VA Criminal Defense Attorney Convinces Judge to DISMISS Disorderly ConductOur Richmond VA criminal defense lawyers represented a client who arrested by the Richmond Police Department for disorderly conduct pursuant to Va. Code 18.2-415. This is a class one misdemeanor criminal offense. Our client had been out that night celebrating the holidays. The client was at a prominent downtown restaurant at the time of the incident. According to law enforcement, our client had an encounter with the restaurant’s security guard. We were able to develop defenses and assemble mitigation evidence and eventually convince the Richmond General District Court to DISMISS the case. Click on Case Result image above to see actual court record

Let us review your case. We can help!

11/10/2015 | Updated 4/26/2024

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