Experienced in State and Federal Courts in Virginia
I’ve spent my legal career fighting to protect others’ rights in state and federal courts in Virginia, and I’ve represented clients from many areas of Virginia as well as clients from throughout the United States and numerous foreign nationals in the state and federal courts in Virginia. I have practiced criminal and traffic law since 1999.
I also represent clients in Virginia expungement matters (petitioning a circuit court to expunge criminal charges that were nolle prosequi (or formally dropped), the client was acquitted, or the charge was otherwise dismissed).
Throughout my entire legal career my law offices have been in Virginia Beach or Norfolk, Virginia. I have practiced in all of the courts in the Virginia Beach/Norfolk area, as well as many courts outside of the area. While I occasionally represent clients outside of the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, my primary geographical areas of representation are Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Hampton, Newport News, and Northampton.
Before attending law school (1996 – 1999) I served as a U.S. Army Ranger (3rd Ranger Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment), a city police officer (Lynchburg, Virginia), and as a Virginia state trooper. While I have been in private practice since graduating from law school and becoming a licensed attorney subsequent to the Virginia bar exam in 1999, I worked as an intern in the Virginia Beach Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney and the Chesapeake Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney during law school.
I prosecuted numerous trials during my internship with the Virginia Beach Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney (during my third year of law school, while in the presence of a licensed attorney (prosecutor).
I believe that my combination of legal, law enforcement, and military experience provides me with a unique skill set to assist clients in their criminal and traffic law matters. I have litigated scores of cases since being admitted to the Virginia State Bar in 1999, including high profile cases.
Strong Litigation Skills
I believe that I am an experienced, skilled litigator (trial attorney) with more than 20 years of courtroom experience in state and federal courts in Virginia. I have represented clients in jury trials in federal and state courts in Virginia. I represented a Somali national accused of piracy under the law of nations, among other charges in a federal jury trial, which was a case with national media coverage. I have represented clients in other federal jury trials accused of RICO, murder, robbery, conspiracy, firearms charges, etc.
I have represented foreign nationals in federal court from Belarus, Argentina, Mexico, Senegal, and another Somali national in a high profile piracy matter involving Americans on a yacht (S/V Quest). I have represented clients in numerous state jury trials accused of violent felonies as well as non-violent felonies.
While every case is unique and the results depend on a variety of factors, I have had jury verdicts that acquitted my clients of the charged crimes in a federal jury trial and state jury trials. I have represented hundreds of clients in trials before judges, which are known as bench trials. I have represented clients on appellate matters and argued before the Court of Appeals of Virginia and the Supreme Court of Virginia, and I have had cases in the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
Please remember that these case results do not in any way guarantee or predict a similar result in any future case undertaken by me.
Strong Negotiation Skills
Many serious criminal law cases do not go to trial – they are settled or agreed upon by plea agreement. While negotiations and trial work require different skill sets, I am well-experienced in both.
While I pride myself in being a litigator, or trial attorney, not every case does, or should, go to trial. Many cases can be resolved without the necessity — or expense — of trial. Part of being a skilled and experienced attorney is knowing when to recommend to a client that a case should be taken to trial.
The decision is ultimately the client’s to make, and it is not always an easy decision. I believe it is important that opposing counsel (the prosecutor) knows that his or her counterpart has extensive trial experience.
One of my fundamental principles is that I am honest. I always tell my clients the truth, whether it is what the client prefers to hear or otherwise. While the practice of law ultimately is a business, it is a profession, and it requires proper education, experience, legal skill, and the ability to talk to clients in clear, understandable, and candid terms.
It is essential that clients are aware of the potential perils that they may face by taking or not taking some course of action. Clients will receive an honest assessment of their legal matters from me at the initial consultation, and throughout my representation.