27 March 2004

Apparently, I am scaring Matt with my stories of the joy of practicing criminal law in Virginia. He specifically links to my last post. Hopefully, I'm not scaring too many of you away. If it's any consolation, I have yet to have the court of appeals accept one of my cases (and some of them took a lot of research and pegged clear errors). I figure somebody out there is probably reading my blawg and waiting until I file a petition with one cite from the 9th Circuit against well settled Virginia and 4th Circuit precedent. Then they'll be able to sit there and torture me for revenge.

In further comment on Matt's post, I must point out that the Virginia Constitution does not exist for those accused of crimes:
"Our courts have consistently held that the protections afforded under the Virginia Constitution are co-extensive with those in the United States Constitution." Bennefield v. Commonwealth, 21 Va. App. 729, 739-40, 467 S.E.2d 306, 311 (1996). See also Lowe v. Commonwealth, 230 Va. 346, 348 n.1, 337 S.E.2d 273, 275 n.1 (1985) (explaining that protections under Virginia's Constitution and statutes are "substantially the same as those contained in the Fourth Amendment"); O'Mara v. Commonwealth, 33 Va. App. 525, 535 S.E.2d 175 (2000) (explaining that the protection of the right to free speech is co-extensive with federal constitutional protection). Because the rights guaranteed by the Virginia Constitution and the United States Constitution are co-extensive, we use the same analysis.

Paris v. Commonwealth (2001)
The way this always comes out is that the Virginia Constitution is ignored by our courts.

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