Criminal Law FAQ
“Not knowing the first thing about hiring an attorney for an unexpected personal situation, a friend referred me to William Conners. From the very beginning, I felt very confident he would make sure that all negotiations and decisions made would benefit me and my daughter. Will has been very professional and caring and I cannot thank him enough.”A. S.
” William Conners represented me in my divorce which was complicated by the fact that my ex-wife and I owned several successful businesses together. I have used many attorneys in the past. Will’s performance was exemplary and many, many steps ahead in legal skill, strategy, preparation and sophistication. My goals were more than met (and then some) and I ended up with the businesses! I can wholeheartedly recommend him.”D.R.
“I was mired in a contentious divorce that had spiraled out of control through nightmarish claims that were chilling in their seriousness. While struggling to deal with the emotional turmoil of a marriage that was over, I was facing bleak options that realistically included losing my job, my children, and even my freedom. Through Mr. Conners’ skilled counsel I came through the nightmare with my family and my future intact – defeating the false charges, successfully resolving the marital dispute, and keeping custody of my children. I have no doubt that without his expert handling of my case things would have turned out very differently indeed, and for that I am forever grateful. Thank you for giving me back my future!”D. G.
“A few of the initial things that impressed me about Will and his staff were their accessibility, promptness in responding to my requests and thorough explanation of the answers to my questions. I appreciated Will’s approach to giving me options and recommendations, and then he let me have a say in the decisions regarding the direction of my divorce case. Throughout the process, Will’s priorities remained focused on preparing my case to win in court if a fair settlement could not be reached and minimizing financial consequences without expensive legal posturing. He was my expert legal counsel and a part-time coach that knew how to motivate me and help me get through it. Will and his staff genuinely cared about the emotional and financial toll that the divorce was exacting on me. Without hesitation, I recommend William Conners for his expertise in Family Law matters and his compassion for the person he represents.”C.K.
“My divorce featured all the most difficult aspects including a vindictive spouse willing to do and say anything to destroy me and exclude my role in our children’s lives. No matter how difficult the situation though, Will Conners provided devoted and professional representation. He took the time and interest to understand my dynamic and craft a strategy that unveiled my spouses’ false vendetta, preserved the relationship between me and my children and protected my financial interests. I count myself fortunate to have had Will as my attorney and wholeheartedly recommend him.”P.B.
“I came to see William R.F. Conners for a divorce and to work out custody issues for my 5 year old son. I was very impressed with my first and subsequent visits to see Mr. Conners. I always felt that kindness was a given, my case was given the attention and professionalism it deserved, with particular emphasis on the welfare of my son and the staff was always courteous and helpful. Mr. Conners worked very hard on my case and always returned my calls in a timely manner. I highly recommend William R.F. Conners to anyone who needs a lawyer who makes you feel like your case is the most important one that he has.”C.O.
“As a commercial airplane pilot, a clean driving record is essential to my career. When I was charged by a Virginia state trooper with misdemeanor Reckless Driving by speed on radar (90 mph in a 55 mph zone), I was facing potential jail time, huge fines and a suspension of my privilege to drive. If convicted, I would have had to report the conviction to the FAA and faced potential suspension of my pilot’s license. The stakes were high and I turned to Attorney William Conners for help. Attorney Conners used his knowledge of traffic law and regulations to fight for me at trial and we won with the charge being totally DISMISSED without my even having to testify! If you need legal representation for a serious traffic charge, call Attorney Conners and experience what it really means to have someone on your side.”L.A.
“Charged with a clear “no win” 3rd Felony DUI, I was facing a dark future. I was destined to be a felon with no right to drive for 10 years and a jail sentence of 6 months to 5 years! Add my life threatening health problems and the situation could not have been worse. However, my prayers were answered and Attorney Will Conners succeeded in getting the charge greatly reduced with minimal consequences. I served less than 1 day in jail after my court hearing which I consider a miracle. I am so grateful for Will’s intelligence, loyalty and kindness. He made a profound difference in my life and I will never forget what he did to help me.”S.A.
“I am extremely pleased that I chose William R. F. Conners as my attorney for my criminal case. After interviewing several Loudoun County attorneys, I found Mr. Conner’s fee to be by far the best, his personality to be friendly, and his accessibility to be superior. Most of all, Mr. Conners went above and beyond what I expected by putting in numerous unexpected hours and doing an astounding job arguing against the prosecutor. As a result of his hard work and courtroom savvy, my charge was reduced beyond what was expected. I highly recommend William Conners for any of your legal needs.”C. P.
“After I was involved in a terrible car accident, I had no idea what to do. How do I handle the insurance questions, medical bills, lost time from work? Knowing I couldn’t, and shouldn’t, take this task on myself, I found Mr. Conners law firm thru an internet search. Shortly after completing the on line questionnaire from his website, I received a phone call from Mr. Conners. He was very polite, offered to meet and discuss my case. At the first meeting he made me feel comfortable. Will was always very prompt to answer any questions I had, both email and when I called the office; we even talked on the weekends. I had total faith that he had my best interest in making decisions and recommendations needed to resolve my case. I would recommend his services to any of my friends and family. “T.M.
“As recent immigrants to the U.S. we have been completely unprepared for dealing with the consequences of obvious negligence my wife encountered during one fateful visit to her new OB/GYN doctor. It was only due to the timely interference of more competent physicians and sheer luck we have been able to avoid permanent damage to her health. On our friends’ recommendation we asked the “Law Office of William R. F. Conners, P.C” to take up our personal injury suit, and through all the stages the firm provided us with the top-rate legal advice. In the end it was solely thanks to their persistence and professionalism that we have been able to arrive to a mutually acceptable settlement of our case. Our special kudos go to Mr. William Conners for his sharp legal acumen and personal dedication.”A.C. & I.C.
“The injuries I suffered in a car crash were severe and permanent. The extent to which Will prepared my case was extraordinary. Will Conners is the lawyer to call if you have been involved in a motor vehicle collision and suffered personal injury.”W.E.
“How do you thank someone who took a very frustrating situation and turned it into success! Even after being threatened with a “Contempt of Court” citation my ex-husband stopped support payments. I was told I could garnish his social security payments but that led to one phone call after another to government offices and no solution. I finally found Will and he told me to stop worrying that he would take care of everything. He did just that by following through and taking my ex to court. After back-and-forth coversations I received all of my past due support payments plus attorney’s fees and court costs without going before a judge. There aren’t enough thanks or praise for such a dedicated and caring attorney.”D.R.
“Will handled my family law case in the 2009-2011 time frame, and was instrumental in helping me achieve a desired result – and avoiding costly litigation. He was very familiar with law specifically applicable to my case, and was highly familiar with the opposing counsels tactics & tendencies. Will managed my case efficieintly and also helped me to do much of my own documentation (hence saving costs). I would be happy to recommend him in the area of family law. He’s a highly ethical counselor, with excellent knowledge of applicable law to divorce cases, and provided me good guidance on my case. Highly recommend.”J. C.
“Nowadays, it is somewhat of a challenge to go through life without the need of an attorney. Should the need arise for a competent attorney to handle one’s legal affairs, I strongly recommend Will Conners. Will has handled a few of our family cases, including personal injury, family law and business transactions. His competency level in handling our cases was above and beyond any other attorney’s I have seen. Will has an extremely keen eye for details and always puts the client’s interest on a priority level. In a nutshell, Will is THE attorney our family turns to when any need arises for legal advice or representation. I would highly recommend Will. In my humble opinion, he is the best!”A. H.
“I hired Will to represent me in a difficult divorce case. He did an absolute excellent job making sure my interests were looked after. It was a difficult time for me with an wife that had some personal issues. In the end Will made sure I did what needed to be done to protect myself but showed compassion for the woman I was divorcing without ever sacrificing my personal interests. I would employ his services again for any legal issues, which I hope there will be none, in a heartbeat!!! Rating would be 4.5 “K.A.
“Attorney Will Connors helped me in filing an accident lawsuit against a drunk driver. Although it took a while for Will and his staff to reach the settlement which I desired, they were with me and my case every step of the way, keeping me fully informed and in the loop on every step of the process. They were most professional in every way, and I am one hundred percent pleased at having chosen Will to be my attorney on this issue. I would recommend Will and his firm without reservation.”T.P.
“ Will has been a pleasure to work with during a difficult child custody battle. He has been almost always available, always on top of circumstances, provided very good counsel, quickly assimilated my issues without excessive dialogue and exhibited great flexibility under changing circumstances. While legal services don’t come cheap, his ability to quickly comprehend my issues probably netted a savings.”J.A.
“Will Conners has been my lawyer for several years and has guided me through some difficult family law situations that occurred as a result of a divorce. His patience and ability to schedule and meet appointments and court appearances have been amazing. He was even able to formulate a plan to handle the final details of my case which is proving to be the best course of action. He has always been there for me when I needed him.”D.A.
- I hired Will to represent me in an arduous divorce case knotted with a complicated financial scenario, and troublesome spousal support battle. Will and his staff’s unending commitment, and patience quickly sorted through my retired military and executive careers, disabled veteran entitlements, and the best interest of the children amidst an emotionally overbearing ex-spouse. My case rapidly spiraled from separation to divorce in under one year. His steadfast professionalism and goodness guided me through a toxic situation that protects both my finances and the children. I can’t thank Will and his staff enough.
Notice: The client quotations above are not to be construed to guarantee or predict a similar result in any future case undertaken by any attorney of the Law Office of William R.F. Conners, P.C. Each case result depends upon a variety of factors unique to each case and client.
You have many questions during this difficult time about your criminal charge. We have the answers.
After reading the FAQs below, contact the Law Office of William R.F. Conners, P.C., to arrange a no fee Consultation to learn more and preserve your rights.
GENERAL PROCESS IN CRIMINAL PROSECTION IN LOUDOUN COUNTY, VA
(Q) What is an arrest?
(A) An arrest means you have been charged with a crime. You will get a summons to appear in court by the arresting police officer or you will be taken into custody and take you before a magistrate.
(Q) I have received a summons. Should I sign it?
(A) You should sign the summons. It is a document that lists the crime with which you have been charged, the date and time of the incident, and the date on which you must appear in court. Signing it does not indicate that you are guiltyonly that you have seen the summons and have been told of your court date. If you do not sign the summons, the police officer has the power to take you into custody and take you before a magistrate.
(Q) What is a magistrate?
(A) Magistrates are state officials who can issue warrants for arrest based on factors such as citizen complaints and police observations. They can also make an initial decision regarding the release of an arrestee’s release while awaiting trial. People with a stable job, family or address may be released on a promise to appear. Other arrestees may have to post a cash bond in order to ensure their appearance at trial. Still others may be held in jail until trial if the magistrate and judge deem them dangerous or unlikely to appear for trial or subject to other risk or aggravated factors.
(Q) What if I am not released and cannot make bail?
(A) You will be taken before a judge for an arraignment. During this type of hearing, a judge will review the magistrate’s decision and may release you or lower the bond amount.
(Q) Is it okay to represent myself at trial?
(A) You have a right to represent yourself in court but it is not advisable. Most people do not have the knowledge and training needed to thoroughly protect their interests in court and the consequences of an improperly represented case can be severe. An attorney skilled in handling criminal matters will understand the “ins and outs” of court procedure, the law and the many factors involved in successfully defending and/or mitigating the charges against you. You should contact an attorney as soon as possible after you have been arrested.
(Q) What if I can’t afford an attorney?
(A) If the charges against you are serious enough to result in a possible jail sentence, a judge may grant you a court appointed attorney, if your income is low enough. You will not be charged the attorney’s services unless you are found guilty. If you are found guilty, the cost of the attorney will be added to any fines and court costs you must pay.
(Q) What happens if I miss my court date?
(A) If you have been assessed with a pre-payable fine, you may pay by mail to avoid court. Contact the court listed on your summons for the full amount owed and send your payment at least 5 days before your court date. (Note: by pre-paying the fine, you are admitting guilt.) You should consult with an attorney prior to pre-paying to ensure you have not overlooked your options. Otherwise, it is very important to go to court on the date and time scheduled. If you do not, consequences may include: suspension of your drivers license, losing any bond money posted, being tried in your absence and found guilty with a maximum sentence imposed, and/or being charged with the offense of failure to appear. A warrant could be issued for your arrest and you could be held without bond.
(Q) Where and how will my case be tried?
(A) If charged with a traffic infraction or misdemeanor, you will be tried in General District Court. Juries are not used in General District Court so your case will be heard only by a judge. If you appeal the judgment against you, the appeal will be tried in Circuit Court (see below for appeals information). Felony (preliminary) matters also commence in General District Court before moving to Circuit Court for trial. Some juvenile and family matters are tried in Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court.
For offenses committed in Loudoun County, all courtrooms are at 18 East Market Street, Leesburg, VA, 20176. More Virginia court information can be found as follows:
(Q) What are the potential outcomes of my trial?
(A) Dismissal– the judge may find that there is inadequate evidence against you or that there are other grounds to dismiss the charges against you. The trial will not move forward and you will be free to go. Alternatively, the Commonwealth’s attorney (i.e., The prosecution) may decide not to prosecute, which is called Nolle Prosequi.
Deferred prosecution– for some minor criminal charges you may be offered the chance to participate in a community service and/or counseling program or be subject to other terms. If you successfully abide by and complete the programs and terms, the charges may be dismissed.
Not guilty– If you are found not guilty at the conclusion of your trial, you will be free to go.
Guilty– If you are found guilty at the conclusion of your trial, you will be sentenced.
(Q) If I am found guilty, what type of sentence will I receive?
(A) The Code of Virginia provides for the maximum and minimum penalties applicable to offenses. In addition to the seriousness of the charges, the severity of the sentence may be depend on your past criminal history, attitude, history and other factors. Sentence possibilities are:
Fine– You will be required to pay fines and court costs.
Jail Sentence– If you are convicted of certain misdemeanors in General District Court, you may be sentenced to up to a year in the local jail. If you spend time in jail before your trial, that time will be credited toward your sentence as time served. The Sheriff’s deputies may help you get into an alternative program such as electronic incarceration or work release (if approved). Note: you are very likely to be taken directly to jail at the conclusion of the trial although “late” of “deferred” reporting may be permitted in certain circumstances.
Prison Sentence– If you are convicted of a felony in Circuit Court, you may be sentenced to time in a state correctional facility. You will be held in the local jail pending transfer.
Suspended Sentence– If the judge suspends your sentence, the imposed fine and/or incarceration time will be delayed for a period of time which is set at the discretion of the court. You may be relieved of the suspended punishment (fine or jail time) if, at the end of the specified time, you have committed no other crimes and otherwise complied with required terms. Court costs cannot be suspended.
Probation– You may be placed on probation in lieu of all or part of a jail or prison sentence. A probation officer will supervise certain aspects of your life until the probation period is over. During that period, you may be subject to such conditions as counseling, monitoring and maintaining a job. For DUI and some drug offenses you may be assigned to the Alcohol Safety Action Program (ASAP) for probation, assessment, education, and treatment referral.
(Q) Can I appeal my conviction?
(A) You have a right to appeal the outcome of your case. If you were convicted in General District Court, your case may be appealed and tried “De Novo,” which essentially means all over again, in Circuit Court. You may request a trial by jury in Circuit Court. You must file the appeal within 10 calendar days of your conviction in General District Court. It is advisable that you use a skilled attorney to file your appeal and represent you.
If you were convicted in Circuit Court, you may appeal to the Court of Appeals for the Commonwealth of Virginia. The case will not be tried all over again. The Court of Appeals will only review the conduct of the first trial to determine whether law and procedures were properly followed.
(Q) Need More Valuable, No-cost, Initial Information? Read our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the following serious criminal traffic matters:
Contact the Law Office of William R. F. Conners, P.C. to learn how we can help if you or a loved one is facing a criminal charge including but not limited to:
- Driving Under the Influence/ Driving while Intoxicated (DUI/DWI)
- Reckless driving and serious traffic violations
- Domestic violence
- Assault and battery
After reading the FAQs (above), you should arrange a Criminal Defense Consultation. Time is of the essence. At this typically hour long meeting, you will meet with lawyer William R.F. Conners or another experienced attorney affiliated with the Firm. We will discuss the criminal charges you face, the facts of your case, your options and various outcome scenarios.
Contact the Law Office of William R. F. Conners, P.C. for assistance with your Loudoun County Criminal Defense matter.
Consultations offered by appointment • Credit cards accepted • No cost consultation for Criminal case consultation
DISCLAIMER: This site and any information contained herein is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.