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Trends in the Richmond Criminal Justice System

As a criminal defense attorney in Richmond the charges I see Officers in Richmond trying to crack down on the most are gun charges, including illegal possession of firearms, and DUIs. These are what we see most actively prosecuted in Richmond.

Why Do You Think This Is?

I think it really comes down just the public safety issues with the city. This location we’re having you know, two colleges right in the middle of downtown, you know. They’re trying to protect the students. They also provide it for the city.

And again, gun violence—Richmond has a recent history of excessive gun violence. Though it has gotten much better in the City, law enforcement is taking a proactive stance in enforcing and prosecuting gun crimes. With the high number of young adults and students in the Richmond area, you deal with a high number of DUI and drug possession cases in the City.

Are There Any Other Charges In Which Richmond Prosecutors Are Trying To Crack Down On or Prosecute Firmly?

They are also looking for crimes that target students in the city like robbery, theft, muggings.  Virginia Commonwealth University is very important to the City of Richmond and has over 30,000 students.  So the City’s prosecutors take a very hard stance against crimes which target this part of the City.  It is a very high priority to protect these students from any criminal element. The charges that may relate to assault or muggings or robberies are heavily enforced and very heavily prosecuted in the city.

What Are Some Problems That You See With The Current Criminal Justice System And How it Currently Operates?

One main problem in my personal opinion is some of the strict sentencing guidelines that come with these criminal charges. Over the last few years the Virginia Legislator has increased the number of charges that come with  minimum mandatory sentences.

Again, these minimum mandatory sentences take discretion away from prosecutors and judges and even defense attorneys in trying to negotiate cases.