Fairfax Criminal Defense Attorney
SEARCHES - If the police conduct a search and seizure that doesn’t honor your rights guaranteed by the Constitution the court may throw the entire case out of court. Mere suspicion is not enough for an officer to search you or your car; they must have some sort of evidence to serve as probable cause or must have had a warrant for any drugs they find to be admissible in court. Vaughan Jones ALWAYS examines whether the seizure of drugs is lawful. If an arrest or search is questionable Vaughan will file a motion to suppress the drugs
DEFENSES - If the police fail to properly document the chain of custody for drugs seized I will expose this flaw and get the case dismissed. I have also used the defenses of entrapment, agency, and unwitting participation.
FOREFEITURE - Virginia law allows police to keep your property if it connected to illegal drug activity. In order to keep your things, the government has to specifically follow rules established by the General Assembly and the Supreme Court.
UNDERCOVER POLICE, SNITCHES, AND INFORMANTS - Often, the police use a paid informant or undercover officer who claims to have observed a person selling drugs to another person. As a former prosecutor who has used these tactics I know that informants are always trying to benefit themselves (by trying to avoid a conviction or actually accepting cash payments for each arrest!) and often provide unreliable and false information. I have experience challenging the credibility of police informants. I expose their criminal records and make sure the court knows the true motives behind their testimony.
ALTERNATIVE SENTENCING - If you have an addiction and you are convicted, there are still ways to avoid jail. I have experience gaining clients' admission into alternative sentencing programs. I have often used a special Virginia law which allows for first time offenders to avoid jail and have the conviction taken from their criminal record!
AGGRESSIVE NEGOTIATION - If the police have done everything right, the only way to avoid a maximum penalty is to have a lawyer who has a good relationship with the courts and the prosecutors. If you did it and they’ve got you, fighting isn’t always the best option. My experience gives me insight into the numerous reasons why a prosecutor might want to negotiate a case instead of go to trial. I’ve arranged for many distribution cases to be changed to simple possession, reducing what could have been 40 years in jail to probation and no incarceration.
CHALLENGING DNA EVIDENCE - DNA profiling is a technique employed by forensic scientists to assist in the identification of individuals on the basis of their respective DNA profiles. DNA evidence is often hailed as unquestionable proof of the circumstances of an alleged criminal event. The science however is only as reliable as the people who employ the technique. I have examined or refuted DNA evidence in hundreds of cases. Often there are problems with the collection, analysis, and conclusions of the test results.
THROW OUT LINEUP IDENTIFICATIONS - The Constitution requires police to use specific procedures when they conduct a lineup. Failure to follow these steps illegally influences the alleged witness pick out a certain person. I am not afraid to challenge the process the police use to conduct these lineups. I’ve even advanced unique defenses such as cross racial identification challenges.
Contact Fairfax criminal defense lawyer Vaughan C. Jones today if you have been charged with a crime in Virginia.