1. Can I Persuade the Government to Drop My Charges?

    Is it possible to persuade the prosecutor to change his or her mind and not prosecute you after you have been charged with a crime? If you suspect that you may be charged, is it possible to persuade the prosecutor not to bring charges? The answer is "yes" to both questions, but don't count on it. However, I am convinced that in many cases a major effort to convince the prosecutor not to proceed is…Read More

  2. Is Malice Really That Bad?

    All criminal charges have elements the prosecutor must prove before they can secure a conviction. In Virginia, for example, first degree murder is defined in Virginia Code §18.2-32 as any "willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing." This means that in any charge for first degree murder, the prosecutor (Commonwealth Attorney) must prove the killing was 1) willful, 2) deliberate, and 3) premedi…Read More

  3. Death Tattoo

    One day I received a phone call from an FBI agent that had worked with me when I was a Federal Prosecutor. The agent's son had been charged in state court with malicious wounding after a fight outside a bar. The young man had beaten one of his adversaries so severely that he required a hospital stay of about one month to recover. The family was very concerned that their son was in grave danger of …Read More

  4. Officer, That’s Not Mine!: When Possession is Criminal

    Marijuana laws are rapidly changing throughout the country, with some states and even the District of Columbia making possession of limited quantities legal. Many states and the federal government, however, still have laws against marijuana, and other illicit drugs, which makes even the possession of those drugs illegal, whether or not you use them. Many think so long as they don't have the drugs …Read More

  5. It stinks in here Dad, hang up the tree!

    They're everywhere, air freshener trees in varied scents and themes.  You pick it up after your car wash to freshen up the interior but where are you supposed to hang that thing?  If you drive in Virginia and are tempted to hang it from your rear-view mirror, think again, unless you want to be stopped by police and given a ticket (or worse). In Virginia, according to Virginia Code 46.2-1054 "[i]…Read More

  6. DUIs, Traffic Lawyers, And You, Part One

    Understanding Your Best Options In today's post, we will be staring into the unknown abyss that is a DUI, along with its facets and intricacies. Why would we want to bring up such an uncomfortable topic like DUIs as they pertain to traffic law as a whole? That is an excellent question, we are thrilled you asked. The first reason is that people get in these situations more often than most any of us…Read More

  7. Using Social Media Activity As Criminal Evidence

    Can Social Media Be Used As Evidence In A Case? Social media networking is widely used and is still a greatly unexplored part of modern day life. While social media has brought its own set of benefits, the potential for its dangers are still being realized. The ability to broadcast details of you and your life is a unique part of today's culture for the average adult and not every subscriber uses …Read More

  8. When You Have Vehicle-Related Trouble, Contact a Traffic Lawyer Immediately

    If you've been arrested or ticketed because of a violation (or perceived violation), there's much more at stake than you might realize. You could not only lose your right to drive, but also face jail time or even prison time. TATE BYWATER is ready to help you during this tough time. We have years of experience defending those who have been accused of wrongdoings involving vehicles, and we're read…Read More

  9. Mom, What’s a Bawdy Place?

    You've heard the old saying, "you can't legislate morality."  Well, it turns out you can, in some instances.  In recent years the United States Supreme Court has held it is unconstitutional for states to pass laws that prohibit consensual adult sexual activity. Many states, however, including Virginia, still have laws on the books that prohibit various forms of immoral activity such as adultery …Read More

  10. Hiring the Right Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Change Your Life

    If you've been accused of criminal wrongdoing, whether it's a simple traffic infraction or murder, hiring the right criminal defense lawyer is the first step to getting your life back in order. At TATE BYWATER, we've defended thousands of defendants over the years and have an excellent track record of helping people avoid the worst punishment. What can the right criminal defense attorney do for yo…Read More