A Richmond Criminal Defense Lawyer Fights for Your Sixth Amendment Rights
If you’re facing criminal charges in Richmond, or anywhere in Virginia, you have the right to a jury trial. An experienced Richmond criminal defense lawyer can help determine whether a trial by jury might improve your outcome in court.
Criminal charges are stressful; sentencing can bring life-altering outcomes including years behind bars. Don’t enter a criminal hearing without having a Richmond criminal defense lawyer determine whether a jury trial is best for you.
Attorney Cody Villalon is an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Richmond who has a proven track record of successfully helping his clients. Contact him at 804.316.0765 to learn how he can help you.
Why Choose Cody Villalon?
A solo practitioner, Cody Villalon represents clients in criminal cases. He is a dedicated and compassionate professional who handles every case personally, always making time for questions and concerns. He cares deeply about the futures of those he represents. Cody’s client testimonials show the satisfaction and gratitude of former clients.
Cody sets clients at ease and achieves impressive results. With over a decade of legal experience, he is respected by Richmond judges and prosecutors. He is also well-versed in pursuing both judge and jury verdicts, experience which helps him determine which type of trial is most beneficial in each case. His thorough preparation and aggressive defense ensure that every angle of a case is considered and pursued when representing clients facing criminal charges.
Understanding Your Right to Jury Trial Under Virginia Law
Sixth Amendment Right to Trial by Jury
The Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution grants the right to trial by jury in the face of criminal charges. In Virginia, criminal cases are heard in either the general district court (misdemeanors) or circuit court (felonies). If you’re facing a gun-related charge, consulting with a Richmond gun charge lawyer can prove valuable.
Virginia law respects the right to trial by jury in felony cases alone, except in the event of a misdemeanor appeal. If you’re facing felony charges in Virginia, it’s important to consult with a Richmond felony lawyer. You have the right to request a trial by jury rather than judge; engaging an experienced lawyer helps ensure your case is handled effectively.
In many felony cases, the accused doesn’t realize they have this option or may not understand the benefits. A less experienced attorney, or one who hopes to simplify court proceedings, might discourage a jury trial. While jury trials involve risk and time-consuming preparation, they are often the best option.
How Cody Villalon Protects Your Right to Jury Trial
Clients often ask two questions: “Is there a constitutional right to a jury trial?” and “Do I have a right to a jury trial?”
You have a constitutional right to a trial by jury — but only under certain circumstances. If your charges qualify you for this, you must ask: Is a trial by jury the right option?
Cody diligently works with each client to ensure they understand their legal rights and options. He assesses each case and identifies whether invoking the right to jury trial is the best choice.
Cody considers these questions:
- Is a jury likely to sympathize with your situation?
- Will the potential consequences cause a jury to rule more leniently?
- What type of evidence exists?
- Is the evidence likely to sway a jury for or against your case?
- Is there an emotional element that might help jury members connect with you?
- What is the possible sentencing for a conviction?
- Is there a chance of having your charges dropped or reduced?
No two cases are alike, and all possible options must be considered. You want to engage an experienced defense attorney who knows how to win over a jury and is not afraid to go to trial.
Cody Villalon, a skilled violent offense charge lawyer, has defended well over 1,000 cases, clocking over 5,000 courtroom hours. From DUIs to violent offenses, he has handled all types of Virginia criminal cases and has won jury trials ranging from violent felonies to misdemeanors.
Time is limited for requesting a trial by jury in Richmond criminal proceedings, act quickly. Call 804.316.0765 for a free consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Cody Villalon Responds to Your Concerns
Individuals facing criminal charges have a host of questions. Below, Cody has addressed some of those he hears most often.
IS THERE A CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO A JURY TRIAL?
Yes — but only for serious offenses. This right is granted in the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution. Your criminal defense attorney can review the charges and evidence in your case to determine if your situation is best served by a jury trial.
DO I HAVE A RIGHT TO A JURY TRIAL?
In the state of Virginia, you have the right to a jury trial if you’re facing felony charges, or if you’re appealing the ruling on a misdemeanor. Working with a knowledgeable Richmond criminal defense lawyer is the best way to ensure you’re choosing the best option for your case.
IS A JUDGE OR JURY TRIAL BETTER?
The answer is unique to every case. Both options have benefits and downsides. A lawyer will need to hear the details of your case before advising you on which option to choose.
DOES THE JURY HAVE TO SENTENCE IF THEY CONVICT THE DEFENDANT?
Recently Virginia laws surrounding jury trials changed. Now, a defendant can be sentenced by the judge if the jury convicts them, or they can elect for jury sentencing if they give the proper notice to the court. This makes jury trials a far more appealing option with less risk than they used to involve.
WILL A TRIAL BY JURY MAKE MY CASE TAKE LONGER?
Jury trials typically result in longer court proceedings because of the additional time associated with jury selection and deliberation. Because of this, the court generally needs more available time to schedule jury trials. This means that they are normally scheduled farther out than bench trials. An experienced lawyer will advise choosing a jury trial only if they believe it will benefit your case.
If you have additional questions, please contact us. We can provide more specific information once we better understand your situation.
How a Jury Trial Makes a Difference
Trial by jury brings some unique benefits. First, numbers matter. In a bench trial, the judge alone determines your innocence or guilt. With a jury, 12 people decide your fate if you are charged with a felony — and a unanimous verdict is necessary to convict. Misdemeanor trials involve seven jurors.
Juries are composed of regular people; they’re more likely to sympathize with your situation. For example, regular citizens might be more likely to doubt the word of a police officer who made a mistake. A judge might not want to openly question the officer’s word since they see them regularly. A jury of your peers should understand the importance of fully questioning the witness’s reliability; they might be more likely to empathize and rule in your favor. Generally, jurors view reasonable doubt as a high standard and don’t want to be responsible for sending someone to prison unless they are certain of guilt.
Judges however, are less likely to show sympathy for breaking the law. They have a duty to uphold the law; they are more likely to carefully consider the evidence and rule accordingly. Judges have also found countless people guilty and sentenced them; they are accustomed to determining fate and punishment.
Finally, jurors aren’t legally trained; they are less likely to ask difficult questions, refer to legal precedents, or consider details related to evidence or the law. A judge is likely to be more focused on case analysis. The impact of these things depends upon the case facts.
Our Richmond Criminal Defense Lawyer Is Ready to Help
Cody Villalon Provides Valuable Defense Services
While you have the right to a jury trial in Virginia, choosing this option isn’t always the best decision. It takes an experienced Richmond criminal defense attorney to consider all aspects of your case and advise you on the best course of action. Cody Villalon has this experience — and a track record of successful outcomes for his clients.
If you’re facing criminal charges in Richmond, you have very little time to explore the option of a trial by jury. Don’t delay: Arrange a free consultation by calling Cody Villalon at 804.316.0765 today.