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Felonies and Misdemeanors

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Felonies and Misdemeanors

Virginia Felonies and Misdemeanors 

There can be no question that certain types of crimes are more serious than others, which is why there is a classification system for various criminal charges under US and state law. The Code of Virginia employs the distinction that may be familiar to you, which categorizes offenses as felonies or misdemeanors. Severe and violent crimes are designated as felonies, punishable by a year or more in prison. Though misdemeanors are lower on the scale, penalties can still include long jail sentences and fines. 

If you were recently arrested, retaining skilled legal representation is critical. There may be defenses or other strategies to fight the charges, and you can count on Hampton Injury Law PLC to leverage all possible opportunities. Please contact the firm right away to schedule a case evaluation. A Virginia felonies and misdemeanors attorney can provide personalized details, and an overview is useful.

Basics of Felony Offenses in Virginia

Within the category of felonies, there are six classes, numbered in accordance with their severity. Each offense spells out a range of punishments, so a judge can issue any sentence within these parameters.

  • Class 6 is the least serious felony, punishable by one to five years in prison.
  • A Class 5 felony carries a mandatory minimum of one year, but a judge could order up to 10 years of incarceration.
  • If convicted of a Class 4 felony, the range of punishment is two to 10 years imprisonment.
  • For a Class 3 felony, the mandatory minimum is five years, and the maximum prison sentence is 20 years.
  • Sentencing for a Class 2 felony conviction starts at 20 years, though a judge could order life in prison in some cases.
  • A Class 1 felony is the highest level, usually charged in cases of aggravated murder. The punishment could be life imprisonment.

Overview of Misdemeanors in Virginia

Misdemeanor charges are also numbered, creating a system of four categories. Class 3 and 4 misdemeanors involve minor charges, so there may be fines but no jail time. A conviction for a Class 2 misdemeanor could mean up to six months of incarceration, and a Class 1 misdemeanor is up to one year.

Legal Help with Felony and Misdemeanor Cases

There are some subtle differences between how criminal procedure rules work with these two classifications, but many of the same concepts apply. You will have your day in court to present defenses or otherwise fight the charges. An experienced defense attorney from Hampton Injury Law PLC can be at your side to help with the following, if relevant to your case:

  • Entering a plea and getting bond for pretrial release;
  • Gathering evidence;
  • Developing a defense strategy to contest the allegations;
  • Filing motions to request that the court dismiss the charges;
  • Taking depositions of witnesses;
  • Discussing plea bargaining with the prosecutor; and,
  • Advocating on your behalf at trial.

Consult With a Virginia Felonies and Misdemeanors Lawyer Right Away

For additional details on how Hampton Injury Law PLC can assist with your criminal case, please call or send us a message online to set up a case evaluation. After learning more about your situation, an experienced criminal defense attorney can explain additional details about felony and misdemeanor charges.

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