Criminal Charges, Criminal Defense, Criminal Law, Arraignment, Discovery, Discovery Process, Arrest, Prosecutor, Criminal Charges, Settlement, Dismissal, Motion to Strike, Evidence, Prosectution.

What To Do When… You Are Facing Criminal Charges.


What To Do When Legal Chat Podcast... As Seen on the News from Critzer Cardani PC

WTDW Podcast Home Page – What To Do When… A Dummies Guide to the Legalverse

The objective of the What To Do When… podcast is to discuss common legal scenarios faced by everyday citizens in Virginia. Critzer and Cardani practice law throughout Virginia and focus their practice around the state’s capital of Richmond, in the Piedmont region. Tune in and subscribe to learn about legal topics such as reckless driving by speeding, bad lawyers, Will Knows Weed, juvenile defense, juvenile sex crimes, reckless driving, the legalization of marijuana in Virginia, divorce 101, Child Support, There is Still Hope, and others.

What To Do When… You Are Facing Criminal Charges.

On this legal video podcast chat in Critzer Cardani’s What To Do When… podcast series, join our hosts Scott Cardani, Jackie Critzer, and also Will Smith as they share about What To Do When… You Are Facing Criminal Charges. This video and audio podcast episode focuses on how to walk out the legal process and what they includes here in Virginia.

Tune in today for not only our top take-aways, but also legal insight about the following subject matters and other helpful action items from a ‘legal chat slant’ from Critzer Cardani’s legal partners.

* Criminal Charges and Trial Preparations
* Criminal charges: What to do after arrest and arraignment.
* The importance of not discussing the details of a criminal case with anyone except your attorney.
* Criminal trial preparation, discovery process, and timelines.
* Criminal charges, trial preparation, and negotiation strategies.
* Criminal defense and trial process.

Watch the Video, Listen to the Audio version and / or Follow, Like, and Share… “What To Do When…” Legal Chat Podcast from Critzer Cardani PC.

The objective of the What To Do When… podcast is to discuss common legal scenarios faced by everyday citizens in Virginia. Critzer and Cardani practice law throughout Virginia and focus their practice around the state’s capital of Richmond, in the Piedmont region. Tune in and subscribe to learn about legal topics such as reckless driving by speeding, bad lawyers, Will Knows Weed, juvenile defense, juvenile sex crimes, reckless driving, the legalization of marijuana in Virginia, divorce 101, Child Support, There is Still Hope and others.

Thank you for sending us your feedback, questions, or topic suggestions for future #WTDW | What To Do When… episodes by emailing [email protected].

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What To Do When… Intro 00:01
Welcome to What To Do When… A podcast from real lawyers with real perspective, where we explore a variety of legal issues and scenarios. Each week we focus on a new topic and discuss what to do when and if any of these legal scenarios ever happened to you or a loved one. With over 40 years of combined legal experience, our hosts offer their unique perspectives and insights on a range of real life legal situations.

Jackie Critzer 0:28

Hi, welcome back to another podcast here at Critzer Cardani. In Richmond, Virginia. I’m Jackie.

Scott Cardani 0:34

I’m Scott.

Will Smith III 0:33
I’m Will.

Scott Cardani 0:35
Hey Jackie, what do we have on the docket for this day?

Jackie Critzer 0:37
What To Do When… You Are Cacing Criminal Charges.

Scott Cardani 0:43
So this is we’re talking about? You’ve been arrested, and now you have charges pending. Correct Will?

Will Smith III 0:48
Yeah, I think that’s what we’re looking at.

Scott Cardani 0:50
What do we what are we talking about here?

Will Smith III 0:51
Well, I mean, We’re not… We’re talking about post arrest. Now, after your arraignment, you know, you have a trial date set right?

Jackie Critzer 0:56
Are we in jail are not in jail?

Will Smith III 0:58
We could be in jail, we could not be in jail.

Jackie Critzer 1:00
Is there a difference? Is there a difference on how we get to trial if we’re being held versus in jail versus not?

Will Smith III 1:08
Same Avenue.

Jackie Critzer 1:08
Same Avenue. Oh, except don’t talk to people in jail either.

Will Smith III 1:13
Or on the phone? Right?

Scott Cardani 1:14
Your if you’re in jail, your phone calls are being recorded.

Jackie Critzer 1:19
Every single one.

Scott Cardani 1:20
Every single solitary one. And they do listen to them.

Will Smith III 1:24
Oh, all the time.

Jackie Critzer 1:25
All the time.

Will Smith III 1:24
They’re hoping they’re hoping that they get to listen to your confession, right?

Scott Cardani 1:29
Guys this goes back to our fifth amendment podcasts we had. You have the right to remain silent. Use it. And that includes on jail telephones, because, again, most crimes are won because the defendant admitted to it or said something enough to get him to that point, not because they had evidence against you.

Jackie Critzer 1:49
Or they’re talking to somebody in jail. They didn’t realize that person was going to turn on him or that they were in any number of reasons. You should not be discussing the facts of the case for which your trial is coming. That should not be a topic of discussion, whether you have a visitor that’s coming in to see you in jail, or you’re on the phone, or you’re talking on the phone through the glass, or you’re talking to your cellmate.

What about if you’re not in jail? I just want to talk about my mom and dad about the case.

Will Smith III 2:21
I mean, I guess you do it at your own peril, right? Well, I mean, anybody that you discuss this with, I mean, they could use your statements against you.

Scott Cardani 2:28
So they can be called as a witness at your trial. So for instance, my son, Caleb gets in trouble.

Jackie Critzer 2:36
Poor Caleb…

Scott Cardani 2:37
And he comes in, he tells me all about it. Dad, this is what happened. I did this, this and this.

Jackie Critzer 2:44
And assuming Scott’s not his attorney, right, so there’s no privilege.

Scott Cardani 2:47
I’m I’m dad at this point. So anyways, he calls me and tells me all the facts of what he just did. That’s not privileged, they can call me as a witness. And I don’t have my right to self incrimination. My fifth amendment right, I’m just a witness. I mean, I would be smart enough to get round it. But my point is, when you’re talking to anybody, once, you know where through this process, should you be talking to anybody without us telling you, with an attorney telling you, you can talk to that person. But this is so important, because we want to tell our family, what to tell our friends, we want to, you know, plead our innocence and all those kinds of things. And in those processes, you end up probably saying stuff that you shouldn’t say.

Will Smith III 3:30
Right. And so yeah, we’re we’re talking about getting ready for trial. And if the prosecution hears what they need to hear from you, or from somebody else that you’ve told, in your case, is going to be pretty much sealed, I think, at that point. But in the event that you remain silent, right, and you don’t have anybody, you know, we’re talking about what, what the prosecution has to hand over to you kind of the timeliness of that, and what you can expect to receive in preparation for your trial.

Scott Cardani 3:56
So we call that discovery. But that’s a big word. Go ahead Jackie. Yeah, I saw that.

Jackie Critzer 4:01
Well, no, I’m not the question’s not ready yet. Okay, questions ready, but go…

Will Smith III 4:05
Well, in discovery, right. We’ve use discovery every time we go to trial for a criminal case, and expect a response from the prosecution.

Jackie Critzer 4:12
Well, let’s just use every that’s a big word. Like discovery channel? (smirk)

Will Smith III 4:15
Discovery is going to be, you know, what the prosecution provides to you or to the defendant regarding any exculpatory evidence or impeachment evidence against someone.

Scott Cardani 4:15
Or any evidence they have, right?

Will Smith III 4:16
It should be but any evidence that you have I know that some prosecutors are a little bit more cagey than others, but you know, for the most part, you’re gonna get an open file from from a lot of these prosecutors.

Jackie Critzer 4:35
But what if you, as the defense attorney, don’t ask for this discovery? Or you don’t ask for basically what they have against your client? What what happens – do they still have to tell you?

Will Smith III 4:48
I mean, they don’t have to tell you without a formal discovery motion being filed. They have no obligation actually under the law to do that. So yeah, if you don’t file your discovery motion, you’re not going to know what you’re charged with or what you know, the allegations are are against you. You’re gonna go to intro blind.

Jackie Critzer 5:02
So now I’m the criminal defendant, I’ve been accused of heinous things. Number one, I have to keep my mouth shut, whether I’m in jail or out of jail. I talked to no one except my attorney. And also, I may be asked my attorney about this process, this discovery thing. Maybe I say, Hey, have you asked them what they have against me? And you’re engaging your attorney in this process, all three of us have been asked questions about discovery or about procedure, right that that you should be asking. You should be informed enough to be asking your attorney these questions. But really, your attorney should be sharing this information with you to begin with. They shouldn’t be taking steps in your case without telling you about it. So make sure that you are staying in touch with your attorney, maybe not multiple times a day. But stay in touch with your attorney, ask them the questions. And if you’re not hearing from them, if there’s no action in the case, you might want to be asking, you know, how long should I wait before I hear from you? What are we waiting for you you should be kept in in up to date on what’s going on in your case.

Will Smith III 6:06
Right? And so you’re waiting on that response from the Commonwealth attorney. Until we get to that point, though, it’s not going to help to to make that call or to try to stay up to date with what what they have.

Jackie Critzer 6:14
Once they once you ask for it. You’re a lawyer now, okay. And I might have called you a few times and confirmed that you issued this discovery thing. But how long do they have to give you the answers?

Will Smith III 6:30
What’s the timing that they are supposed to be required to provide it to you is 10 days before trial.

Jackie Critzer 6:35
That’s it?

Will Smith III 6:36
Just 10 days, but this is what this is at the lower level right in the district court 10 days before trial, they’re expected to give it over.

Jackie Critzer 6:43
So you could ask for this discovery thing months before trial. And they have until 10 days prior to trial to give it to you?

Will Smith III 6:49
That’s right. So you’re kind of sometimes just sitting waiting to get a response back from the prosecution. But the obligation is that they have plenty of time to wait and give you at the last minute.

Scott Cardani 7:01
That’s why a lot of times people who have criminal charges don’t understand because they’re calling us for an update. And we don’t have one because, okay, once I’ve done my initial conversation with you and got all the facts that I need from you, my next step is waiting on that discovery. So I can compare and contrast and prepare for trial until I get that discovery 95% of time I’m not getting any new information. So you call me in and I get it. Trust me, if you’re charged a crime, it is frustrating, because you want to know what’s going on?

Jackie Critzer 7:29
Sure I’m going to be calling you.

Scott Cardani 7:32
All I can tell you normally is I don’t have anything yet. And it’s I don’t want to say that. Sometimes I don’t want to answer the call, because I know you’re calling about for the third time and you want answers. And I don’t have them because I can’t push the Commonwealth given to me earlier because they have this 10 day rule. So they’re not they have no obligation, no pressure, no whatever. So it’s like, what do I do? So, you know, we want you understand, we understand your concern, we understand that you want the information, but know that we want it also.

Jackie Critzer 8:02
But the Criminal Procedure is set up so that they have all this time up until 10 days prior to trial to really prepare their case. And to really go talk to the witnesses that maybe you’ve spoken to, or to get the Forensics Analysis back from the lab or they have all of this time. Because it does take time to build a case when you’re the prosecutor. But that’s why they have the length of time that they have. So it is important that you stay quiet the entire time you’re waiting, whether it’s weeks or months or years, and not give them something they can add to that that case file just the 10 days prior to trial.

Scott Cardani 8:41
And again, one other thing I want to touch on there, just so you know is that if it’s really a bad evidence dump, like we get so much that we can’t deal with. We can file a motion for continuance and 95% of time the judge is going to give that to us if we need more time to process. But what we’re talking about is your waiting period, and you understanding that we’re waiting too, and there’s just not a lot that can be done in that period. And we know it’s frustrating. It’s frustrating for us because we’d much rather process and get our ducks in a row. So when we go to trial, we’re prepared.

Jackie Critzer 9:11
So is there any negotiating during that time? I mean, you’ve issued this request for information. Now you’re just waiting. Are you in any kind of communication with the prosecutor? I mean, is the case just like hovering around just waiting to be to be heard?

Will Smith III 9:26
I feel like other than just contacting them and looking for an update to see if you can get a little bit sooner. There’s not what negotiating position do you have, if you don’t know what they have against your client.

Jackie Critzer 9:36

Will Smith III 9:37
It’s really difficult to try to, you know, sit down and have some type of settlement conference with them or just kind of some conference call in general. Just because they could have a ton of evidence against you or all or almost nothing.

Jackie Critzer 9:48

Scott Cardani 9:48
That’s the key.

Jackie Critzer 9:48
But you’re arguing from a position where you think you have a defense but you don’t necessarily want to give them that defense yet because you don’t know what the evidence is against you.

Scott Cardani 9:49
That’s what people don’t understand. They’re like, why aren’t you doing anything my case because you My speaking too early is the same as you speaking too early. You know, it’s called negotiating against yourself. You never want to negotiate against yourself. So I come to Will, he’s the prosecutor and I go, Hey, you know, why don’t we give my guy six months? Because this this and this. Will’s sitting there and he’s like, I got no evidence on this guy. So, yeah Sure, I’ll take six months.

Will Smith III 10:14

Scott Cardani 10:15
You know, that might have been a case that they had to withdraw at trial and would even call it an ‘Nolle Pros’ or something like that, or dismiss it. Or we may want on a motion to strike because they don’t have the evidence. So just because my client Jackie, who’s a horrible person, by the way, comes to me and tells me all this stuff that she did. Yeah, I did i Okay, well, we’ll take a petty larceny from CVS. She went in and she took…

Jackie Critzer 10:38

Scott Cardani 10:38
3 Gallons of milk.

Jackie Critzer 10:39
Oh, three gallons of milk? Oh, my children were hungry.

Scott Cardani 10:42
And so she walks out with three gallons, she gets caught. She’s like, I know, I did it. You know, I’m just gonna take it.

Jackie Critzer 10:49
I had good reason.

Scott Cardani 10:51
And that’s the thing. I go to the Commonwealth. And I don’t have any of the discover yet. And I go, well, well, you know, you know, Jackie, she’s, you know, homeless living in the street again.

Jackie Critzer 11:00
Oh mercy.

Scott Cardani 11:01
She has, you know, she has these kids at home and she needed milk.

Jackie Critzer 11:04
My not home.

Scott Cardani 11:06
Your not not home. Her… uhhhh. Whatever. My point is, at that point, I made me negotiating against her interests, because we’ll may not even know what she took. Number one, he may not know, there might have been a camera footage, there may not be anything other than an allegation. Jackie may have been smart enough to ditch the milk before anybody got anybody got her.

Jackie Critzer 11:29
I mean, any number of things.

Scott Cardani 11:30
Any number of things. So you know, when you’re, you gotta be really careful with that, because discovery is a really important part. And, and there’s this whole stuff with Brady, and we go and all that stuff, but I don’t know that you need to know, specific terms, but there may be a piece of evidence they get us that gets you out of it completely.

Will Smith III 11:47

Scott Cardani 11:47
You know?

Jackie Critzer 11:49
It wasn’t actually me, it was…

Will Smith III 11:51
Absolutely… or there’s there’s impeachment evidence against one of the witnesses that they have against you. You know, so I mean, there’s plenty of things that can ultimately get you found not guilty of something or reduce the charge the very least.

Scott Cardani 12:02
Absolutely, Jackie said something, I want to make really clear. So say Jackie did steal the three gallons of milk, right? But they have Mary Jane on camera. And they don’t have Jackie, and we go, I go to Will and go. Oh, yeah, you know, but Jackie did it, and give her six months? And then I get the video two days later. And it’s Mary Jane and not Jackie, on the video, they had no evidence of Jackie doing it. She felt guilty because she did it. She knew she did they had the wrong person. Right? They just didn’t know Mary Jane wasn’t Jackie, you know, stuff like that happens all the time.

Jackie Critzer 12:32
So maybe I went out the back door not out of the cooler in the front of the store or whatever the case may be.

Scott Cardani 12:37

Jackie Critzer 12:37
Not to make light of it. And I don’t mean to make light of people who are in necessitous circumstances who really do steal bread and milk and food for their families. I’m not making light of it. It’s still a crime. But you understand. While I don’t do much criminal defense, but why these guys are waiting to hear what the Commonwealth has. And no, they’re probably not calling to try to convince the other attorney that you really are innocent. That the communication is just very limited for the same reason we want you to communicate very little with anybody other than your attorney.

Will Smith III 12:38

Jackie Critzer 12:41
Anything else Will?

Will Smith III

I think that’s it.

Scott Cardani 13:04
Okay. Well, we again, we want you to be aware of this process. There is a process, going to trial. There’s all kinds of things like jury trials and bench trials, and your attorney will talk to you about all those things. But again, when you are charged and you’re ready to go to trial, and you’ve done your arraignment, there may be a waiting period that’s not in our control whatsoever. But again, we don’t mind you calling and we understand that you’re in a position but don’t be offended. We say we don’t have anything, we don’t have any updates, because usually we’re waiting for somebody else, and to update you. Because the bottom line is once I get that discovery, I want to talk to you because I want to go through it and prepare for trial, so I’m waiting on it.

Jackie Critzer 13:52
But in the meantime, keep your mouth shut in jail out of jail no matter where you are. Keep your mouth shut, including text messages and social media and emails and WhatsApp or whatever private technology you think you have that isn’t nearly as private as you hoped.

Scott Cardani 14:07
Including best friends that you think are private.

Will Smith III 14:09

Jackie Critzer 14:09
And wait for the discovery to come out that that could be your best tool is just the waiting process.

Will Smith III 14:15

Jackie Critzer 14:16
Thanks everyone. Like and subscribe, send your questions to [email protected].

Scott Cardani 14:21
Thanks for being with us.

Will Smith III 14:22

What To Do When… Outro 14:23

We hope you’ve enjoyed this episode of What To Do When… For more episodes, be sure to subscribe to our podcast and we encourage you to check archives to listen to previous topics. Tune in next week for a new episode and some fresh perspective from Critzer Cardani.

Need Legal Representation? Contact Critzer Cardani.

We look forward to helping you in this venture and Good Luck!