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Misdemeanor vs. Felony Charges in Chantilly

Any criminal charge should be taken incredibly seriously in the Commonwealth of Virginia. No matter a misdemeanor or felony, an individual should be sure to enlist the help of a seasoned attorney who can best aid in defending a criminal case.

Misdemeanor vs. felony criminal charges in Chantilly come with many penalties that warrant a variety of defenses. Therefore, if you have been charged with a crime and are looking toward how to proceed legally, it is pertinent that you contact a Chantilly criminal lawyer. A knowledgeable attorney will be able to craft a strong defense to help lessen or dismiss any consequences you may be facing.

Misdemeanor Offenses

A misdemeanor offense in Virginia will be up to a $2,500 fine and up to 12 months in jail.  A Class 1 misdemeanor carries this penalty, and is the most serious of that degree of charge.

The long-term consequences of misdemeanor convictions in Chantilly are going to depend on the type of misdemeanor an individual has been charged with. No matter what, a misdemeanor conviction will stay on an individual’s record, so they will have to deal with the stigma of having a criminal conviction. An individual will also be facing fines and court costs.

Additionally, depending on the actual criminal charge, a person may have some type of license suspension or some type of court-mandated community service or classes but again, it is all dependent on what the individual is actually convicted of.

Impact on Security Clearances

A misdemeanor conviction can affect security clearances and criminal background checks. An attorney will have to disclose that an individual has had a criminal conviction if they are convicted of a misdemeanor, and that charge will come up if employers are checking an individual’s background.

A misdemeanor may also show up if an individual has been charged but not convicted, but that depends on the level of background check or the level of security clearance that the individual possesses.

Felony Offenses

Felony charges carry a wide range of punishments including lengthy prison time and hefty fines.

Fairfax County prosecutors treat felony criminal charges occurring in Chantilly very differently from misdemeanors. Felonies are taken much more seriously and will have harsher consequences. Additionally, the felony process is completely different from a misdemeanor process. This is the case even for non-violent felonies. Non-violent felonies will be treated more seriously and harshly than any degree of misdemeanor.

Role of Local Ordinances

Local Fairfax County ordinances often come into play in criminal cases. This happens when either the person is charged with breaking a local ordinance, or is in negotiation in certain driving offenses. Reducing a charge to a local ordinance will often help an individual avoid points on their license, so they come into play both as part of the negotiations process and as part of the criminal process in general.

Importance of an Attorney

It is important for an individual to contact an attorney early on in the case because there are many ways that an attorney can help mitigate damage even if an individual already thinks that their case is closed.

The sooner an individual contacts an attorney, the sooner they can begin working on the case. An attorney can start handling the damage immediately, preventing an individual from possibly saying things that could incriminate them and prevent them from acting in a way that could be used against them later on.

A seasoned lawyer will be able to speak as an intermediary between an individual and the police, or between the police and their family. An attorney can be involved early and often in the process, assisting an individual in defending their Chantilly misdemeanor or felony criminal charge.