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Wrongfully convicted defendants may receive assistance with bill

Facing criminal charges can be devastating, especially if you have been wrongfully accused. Wrongful conviction is even worse than a wrongful accusation. Without an effective criminal defense strategy, many innocent people end up spending years in prison for crimes they didn't commit. What's worse is that the real criminal continues to walk the streets putting lives in danger.

Wrongfully convicted people may need financial assistance once released from prison. Generally, the Virginia legislature will provide you with compensation for your wrongful imprisonment in exchange for a promise not to sue the state. However, the process can take too long, leaving these people without financial support.

Virginia state legislator Richard Sullivan has drafted a bill for the upcoming General Assembly to allow someone who has been released from prison after a wrongful conviction to receive $15,000 more quickly without promising not to file suit. This would allow the exoneree to get financial help without waiving his right to sue.

Cases involving wrongfully convicted defendants show how important it is to defend yourself properly after being charged with a crime. You will need to give a truthful account of what happened and provide solid, believable evidence to the jury. Your attorney can help you cover all the facts and make sure you tell the story in a way that makes jury members sympathize with you. You will also need to make sure that all of your witnesses are credible and that your evidence is admissible. Consult with your attorney to come up with the defense strategy that will work best for you.

Source: The Roanoke times, "Legislation introduced to assist wrongfully convicted," Frank Green, Dec. 26, 2016

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