THE HARVARD LAWYER

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HarvardLawyer

THOMAS MICHAEL CURTIS

A VIRGINIA CRIMINAL LAWYER

     I have been a federal prosecutor and a criminal defense attorney in private practice since 1990.  I practice in both the federal and the state courts.   I have successfully helped individuals avoid criminal prosecution and exonerate themselves at trial and through the appeals process.  I help to insure that the criminal justice system works the way the Founding Fathers intended it to work.  I defend the Bill of Rights one client at a time and I insure that my clients are treated fairly and equitably.  My job is to insure that the government plays by the rules, that any damage to you is minimized, and that justice is served.

     There is nothing more serious or consequential than being charged with a crime.  Everything that you have or ever will have is on the line with a criminal prosecution.  There is no such thing as an inconsequential crime; even a misdemeanor conviction has serious and lasting consequences.  The entire weight of the government is on your shoulders and your future hangs in the balance.  A criminal conviction may diminish every opportunity you have and destroy your reputation.  It may take away your fortune, your freedom and even your life.  You need a seasoned and experienced advocate who will zealously represent you to insure that your are treated fairly and that you weather the greatest storm of your life intact and with the least amount of damage possible. 
 
     I believe there is no higher calling that being a criminal defense attorney.  In defending your rights, I defend at the same time the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the integrity of our criminal justice system.  I enjoy being a criminal defense lawyer and a defender of the Constitution.  It is an awesome responsibility to defend an individual in a criminal prosecution.

     There are literally thousands of laws codified in federal and state statutes and many hundreds more that exist as descendants of the common law.  It would serve no purpose to attempt to explain on this website every conceivable law that you might encounter as a criminal defendant.  If you believe you are the subject or target of an investigation, or if you have been charged with a crime, visit me and I will discuss with you all the elements of the crime, the caselaw dealing with that crime, and what our statutory and constitutional arguments will be in defending your case.  If you decide to hire me, I will vigorously defend you.

     One of the primary jobs of the criminal defense lawyer is to negotiate with the prosecutor and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the case in order to have charges amended or even dismissed before trial.  Open and frequent communication with both the prosecutor and the client is essential.

     In most cases, a criminal defense consists of challenging the evidence of the case in a series of pretrial motions regarding the admissibility of the evidence.  Prosecutors often overreach and charge criminal misconduct that is simply unsupported by the evidence or impossible to prove beyond a reasonable doubt.  The greatest ally of the criminal defendant is the jury system and the fact that the prosecution has to prove every element of a crime to every juror beyond a reasonable doubt.  This is no mean feat.

     A criminal defense trial lawyer has to be prepared to preserve at trial every element of the defense by protecting the trial record with appropriate motions and objections.  Without this protection of the record, it may be impossible to appeal the case.  A criminal defense trial lawyer must also have a rapport with the jury to create doubts as to the suffiency and weight of the government's evidence. 

     One of the most important jobs of the criminal defense lawyer is to minimize the damage of any conviction or guilty plea as a result of a plea agreement.  Skillful advocacy at the sentencing hearing, or in arriving at an agreed disposition with the prosecutor, is the hallmark of a skilled criminal defense lawyer.

     If it is necessary to appeal a case, I am an experienced civil and criminal appeals lawyer.  The courts of appeal will only hear cases if they are timely--if deadlines are met--and if the issues are preserved at trial by timely and relevant motions and objections.  It is of the utmost importance to retain a lawyer who is prepared to preserve the record at trial and to make use of that record in a creative and reasoned manner before the courts of appeal.

     I can help you navigate the criminal justice system.  I am an experienced prosecutor and criminal defense lawyer.  I know how to defend your constitutional rights and I know what to do to protect your interests in either a negotiated plea agreement with the prosecutor or with a trial and potential appeal of your case.  Settle for nothing less than the committed and experienced representation you deserve.  If you are facing criminal charges, don't hesitate to discuss your case with me.