Skilled Defense Attorneys for Felonies & Misdemeanors in Virginia
Experienced trial lawyers fight for your rights
Virginia divides serious criminal offenses into two categories: felonies and misdemeanors. If you are accused of either type of crime, you should immediately retain experienced criminal defense counsel. It is a mistake to assume that the facts will speak for themselves; a skilled trial lawyer can make all the difference in the end result of your case. You can trust the trial lawyers at The Stallings Law Group, P.C. to thoroughly investigate your case and deliver aggressive representation on your behalf.
Classifications of felony crimes in Virginia
Virginia criminal law has six classes of felonies, with Class 1 representing the most serious crimes. Classes, examples and penalties are as follows:
- Class 1 — Capital murder. Punishable by life imprisonment and a fine of up to $100,000, or if the defendant was an adult at the time of the offense and not mentally retarded, the death penalty is permitted.
- Class 2 — Burglary with a deadly weapon. Punishable by 20 years to life imprisonment and a fine of $100,000.
- Class 3 — Malicious wounding. Punishable by a prison term of five to 20 years and a maximum fine of $100,000.
- Class 4 — Arson of an occupied building. Punishable by imprisonment of two to 10 years and a maximum fine of $100,000.
- Class 5 — Battery on a person. Can be either a felony or a misdemeanor. If the court finds reason to sentence as a felony, the convicted person receives one to 10 years in prison.
- Class 6 — Animal cruelty. Can be either a felony or a misdemeanor. If the court finds reason to sentence as a felony, the convicted person receives one to five years in prison.
There is no statute of limitations for felonies in Virginia. Felonies have additional consequences, such as the loss of voting rights and the right to own firearms.
Classifications of misdemeanor crimes in Virginia
The Virginia Code has four classes of misdemeanors. These are still serious crimes, but carry less severe punishments than felonies.
- Class 1 — The most serious misdemeanors under the Virginia Code are punishable by up to 12 months in county jail, a maximum fine of $2,500, or both. Class 1 is the default class for misdemeanors which lawmakers do not assign a specific class or sentence. Examples include domestic violence and carrying a firearm without a permit.
- Class 2 — Crimes, such as possession of drug paraphernalia, are punishable by up to six months in county jail, a maximum fine of up to $1,000, or both.
- Class 3 and 4 — The least serious misdemeanors are punishable by fines of up to $500 and $250 respectively, but no jail time. Examples include destruction of property and public intoxication.
Even if the prosecution offers to let you off with only a fine, a guilty plea means that you are a convicted criminal. Before you cooperate with the authorities, consult an experienced defense attorney to make sure any deal is in your best interests.
The statutes of limitations for Virginia felonies and misdemeanors
In Virginia, there is no statute of limitations for a felony, so the government’s right to pursue prosecution against a felony suspect never expires. However, the statute of limitations for a misdemeanor is one year, so if you are not arrested within that time frame, you need not fear prosecution.
Contact our defense attorneys for felony and misdemeanor cases in Virginia Beach
A conviction for a felony or misdemeanor carries serious consequences. Trust the defense attorneys at The Stallings Law Group, P.C. to fight for your rights and vigorously pursue the best results possible. Call 757-422-4700 to schedule a free 30 minute consultation or contact our office online.