The Collins Law Firm, P.C.
Free Initial Consultations
local 757-818-9539 toll free 800-483-1156

Portsmouth Criminal Defense Law Blog

Portsmouth teacher faces drug charges

Police in Virginia will be on high alert for those they believe are committing drug crimes, and they won't hesitate to arrest someone who has allegedly possessed or intended to distribute drugs. For example, a teacher from I.C. Norcom High School in Portsmouth, Virginia, was recently denied bond following arrest on multiple drug charges. The 48-year-old teacher, from Chesapeake, was charged following an investigation between Portsmouth Police and the Norfolk Drug Enforcement Agency stemming from multiple occasions of alleged heroin sales in both April and May of this year.

According to court paperwork, the teacher left school on May 18 and met with a buyer at a predetermined location to a confidential source, witnessed by detectives at the scene. This transaction was also within 1,000 feet of the Effingham Street YMCA. Following tests, it was determined that the material tested positive for not only heroin, but also Fentanyl.

What is expungement?

Many people in Virginia may have heard of expungement, but may not know what it means. Expungement, in its simplest term, is the "sealing" of one's legal record of an arrest or criminal conviction. While the arrest or conviction for most intents and purposes does not appear on a person's criminal background, it does not mean that it completely erased. It can still be accessed and used under certain circumstances.

Although the expunged conviction or arrest will not be accessible to potential employers, educational institutions, private investigators or anyone who searches through one's public record, it is still accessible to law enforcement and the courts. Even the sealed arrest or conviction can be used in the court of law during subsequent trials as a previous offense.

What constitutes domestic violence?

One common reason police are called out to a situation is to resolve a potential domestic violence incident. But what exactly is domestic violence? Despite what some in Virginia may believe, domestic violence can take many forms, well beyond that of physical violence.

Domestic violence does include physical violence, but may also include other forms of violence including emotional abuse, such as minimizing a spouse's importance or self-worth in the family. Domestic violence also includes economic abuse by controlling the finances and making one spouse feel dependent and reliant on the controlling spouse. Sexual abuse can also be considered domestic violence. Taking sexual advantage of a significant other or spouse against their wishes is still considered domestic violence or rape.

What are the most common juvenile violent crimes?

While we all want the best for our children, the fact is that sometimes our children find themselves in less than ideal situations, and on occasion that can lead to a violent crime. At times, they may just be in the wrong place at the wrong time. They may be hanging out with friends who are likely to commit crimes. Or they may not have had the proper upbringing to understand the difference between right and wrong. Whatever the case may be, it still happens. Although violent crimes among juveniles is far less than adults, it is still prevalent.

In 2014, there were over sixty-one thousand violent crimes committed by juveniles in the United States. This includes over 600 cases of murder, nearly two thousand cases of forcible rape, as well as nearly twenty-three thousand cases of robbery and over thirty-five thousand cases of assault.

Man accused of committing homicide in Virginia back in 2014

A person accused of homicide back in July 2014 has recently been apprehended by police. The first incident first took place on an early morning in July 2014, when police responded to a report of shots being fired in the area. When police arrived at West Queen Street in Hampton, Virginia, they found a 25-year-old person suffering from life-threatening gunshot wounds. Later in the same area, they found a man on the sidewalk of North Back River Road dead.

Then, in February 2015, a police officer ran into a man he deemed suspicious on LaSalle Avenue. The man reportedly gave false information and ran from the officer. Following a chase, the man allegedly pulled a gun; the office took cover and the man left the scene.

Man killed following alleged robbery in Norfolk

An alleged robbery gone awry in Norfolk, Virginia, has left a 48-year-old man dead, according to authorities. Police responded to the scene of the man's house on Dungee Street in Norfolk where they found the man with serious injuries. He was immediately transported to Sentrara Norfolk General Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

According to another resident, an unidentified person, wearing a hood and mask, woke him up and reportedly stole money, then entered another room, allegedly shot his friend, and ran. The deceased's friend was uncertain of a motive, but speculated that perhaps the man he had done something to the suspect. The deceased's friend and resident at the home was still surprised, stating that this should not have happened, and that this was a nice, quiet neighborhood. The authorities believe that this is an isolated incident.

How drug manufacturing is determined

In order for law officials in Virginia to determine that you are manufacturing drugs, they must first catch you in possession of the drugs or equipment to manufacture, and prove that there is an intent to manufacture or cultivate the drugs. This means that owning marijuana seeds or possessing a high quantity of pseudoephedrine, which is used in the production of methamphetamine, may not be enough; they may also need proof such as laboratory equipment to prove that you had an intent to manufacture the drugs as well.

Things can get further complicated when you consider the fact that much equipment and even materials that are often used in the manufacturing of illegal drugs could also be used for legal purposes as well. One may be able to avoid the charges if they can provide a permit showing permission or authorization to own the supplies or equipment.

What you need to know before entering the juvenile law system

Portsmouth residents may be interested to hear that prior to the age of six or seven, the courts believe that children are not mature enough to understand the difference between right and wrong; they call this "dolci incapax." They also believe that when they do things, even something illegal, it is not done with criminal intent, or "mens rea." As such, in a majority of cases children at that age or younger are protected against criminal charges or prosecution.

Beyond that age, the courts in the United States will hold a person accountable for his or her actions. In most states, including Virginia, children 18 years of age or younger will be charged in the juvenile court system. For certain serious crimes however, the case may be transferred to the adult court system and the accused may face adult sentences and sent to an adult correctional facility.

Drunk driving: when one or two becomes four or more

The day began innocently enough. It was a Sunday afternoon in Portsmouth, and you and a few buddies went out to the ball game. A few beers and a few hotdogs later, the game is over and you head over to bar. A couple more rounds are consumed and then you head towards home.

Then you see the police lights and hear the siren behind you. You've been pulled over, and the officer wants to you to perform a field sobriety test. In many cases, a police officer who suspects you may be driving under the influence has a series of tests he can run to prove your insobriety.

Police chase, standoff leads to multiple charges in Portsmouth

Things escalated quickly for a 28-year-old Portsmouth man following a police attempt to pull him over for driving with a known revoked license near Duke and Effingham Street in Portsmouth, Virginia, last Sunday night shortly before 8:00 p.m. The man, driving a black Mercedes, led the cops on a slow-speed chase, which ended when police laid out a spike strip on Frederick Boulevard. The vehicle came to a stop beside a gas station near Interstate 264, but the night was not over.

The man reportedly pulled out a gun and moved it toward himself while police surrounded the vehicle. The area was blocked off while a hostage negotiator and SWAT teams were called in. Eventually, the man surrendered near midnight.