Efforts to reduce or eliminate a criminal record or jail time are sought after goals in most cases.
Virginia – Individuals facing criminal charges in Virginia may be at risk for jail time or significant fines, in addition to overarching threats to their entire future job and housing stability. Offenses can be classified as felonies or misdemeanors, with felonies punishable by confinement in a Virginia State Correctional Facility. It is imperative for individuals who have been charged with criminal infractions of the law in Virginia to seek criminal defense counsel based on their: 1) case load; 2) jury trial experience; 3) years practicing criminal law; 4) success rate; 5) venue; and 6) case diversity. It is a better option to hire a seasoned criminal defense attorney over representation by an assigned public defender to achieve a positive outcome.
Misdemeanor v. felony
Virginia lawmakers designate crimes as misdemeanors which can be less serious crimes punishable by up to 12 months in a local jail, or felonies considered more serious crimes punishable by state imprisonment.
- Misdemeanors are classified as Class 1, 2, 3, or 4, but lawmakers can also set specific penalties. Misdemeanors in Virginia typically have statutes of limitations of one year from the date the crime was committed.
- Most felonies are designated as Class 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 felonies. In Virginia, felony crimes have no statutes of limitations—meaning a felony criminal case can be filed at any time. Virginia does not designate a class for every felony. For certain felonies, the law specifies the penalty in the criminal statute such as:
- Second-degree murder punishable by 5 to 40 years in prison.
- A carjacking penalty of 15 years to life in prison.
- A rape by force penalty of five years to life in prison.
- Aggravated sexual battery punishable by one to 20 years in prison.
- A grand larceny penalty of one to 20 years in prison or up to 12 months in jail.
Benefits of experienced criminal lawyers
Experienced Virginia criminal lawyers know how to 1) navigate a trial, 2) negotiate with prosecuting attorneys, 3) research and build on pertinent case law, and 4) cultivate professional relationships with all facets of the legal infrastructure that may impact an individual’s unique criminal case. Criminal lawyers usually represent a wide spectrum of criminal activities including white collar crimes such as embezzlement, drug charges, theft charges, vehicular manslaughter, and DUI charges for example. Efforts to reduce or eliminate a criminal record or jail time are sought after goals in most cases, but even with a reduction in jail time, reduced fines and probation, a conviction and a record have lasting negative impacts to future livelihood regarding financial aid, public housing, or the ability to find gainful employment or a place to live.
Expensive legal fees
Legal fees for criminal representation can be quite pricey and often force a client to utilize the services of a public defender. Individuals charged with criminal activity in Virginia should be aware that the fines and fees and jail time may be reduced if they have a knowledgeable attorney working to that end. What seems like expensive payment for services may save money overall and the benefit of a private attorney is that they will have more time to focus on the particulars of one case to provide a seamless defense.
Hire a lawyer
Individuals who have been charged with criminal activity in Virginia should hire an attorney at the Law Offices of Boon & Beale, PLLC, who can offer personalized attention, supported by a solid history of success in criminal litigation. Legal counsel will review a case and discuss viable legal strategies for a case based on the circumstances of the arrest and any past criminal record that could impact the outcome of the current criminal charges.