Hampton Roads Criminal Lawyer
Hampton Roads, with its large harbor, strong military presence, and extensive coastal areas, is one of the most vibrant regions of Virginia. There is a lot going on in Hampton Roads, and if one of those things leads to you being accused of a criminal offense, it is in your interest to contact a dedicated Hampton Roads criminal lawyer to help protect your freedom and reputation.
Criminal Offenses in Hampton Roads
In Virginia, drug offenses range from minor to extremely severe, depending on situation. For example, under Virginia Code Section 18.2-250.1, a first-time offense for marijuana possession carries a penalty of 30 days in jail and a $500 dollar fine.
However, under Virginia Code Section 18.2-248, being found guilty of manufacturing, selling, or distributing (or intending to do any of those things) 100 grams of heroin, 500 grams of cocaine, or 10 grams of meth comes with a penalty of 5 years to life imprisonment, a fine of one million dollars, or both.
Assault is the use of force or threats to make another person fear harmful contact. Assault and battery is following through on the threats, that is, actually engaging in the harmful contact. Under Virginia Code Section 18.2-57, assault and battery is a class 1 misdemeanor, which carries a penalty of up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $2,500, or both. There are enhanced penalties depending on circumstances, for example, if the target of assault is a law enforcement officer or was targeted for race, religion, or nationality.
Larceny, Robbery, and Burglary
Larceny is the act of stealing. Under Virginia Code Section 18.2-95 grand larceny occurs when the accused steals more than $200, takes more than $5 directly from another person, or steals a firearm. Grand larceny is punishable by 1 to 20 years imprisonment or, at the discretion of a jury, by up to 12 months in jail, a fine of up to $2,500, or both.
Under Virginia Code Section 18.2-96, petit larceny occurs when an individual steals less than $200 or when they steal less than $5 directly from another person. It qualifies as a class 1 misdemeanor, which carries a penalty of up to 12 months in jail, a fine of up to $2,500, or both.
Burglary is the act of breaking into a place to steal, not the act of stealing itself. Under Virginia Code Section 18.2-89, breaking and entering the dwelling of another person with intent to commit a felony or larceny is a class 3 felony (five to 20 years imprisonment; fine of up to $100,000.) If a deadly weapon was involved, it becomes a class 2 felony (20 years to life imprisonment; fine of up to $100,000.)
Robbery is the use of threat or violence to commit larceny. According to Virginia Code Section 18.2-58, it is a felony charge and comes with a sentence of 5 years to life in prison.
An experienced Hampton Roads criminal attorney will be able to work with prosecutors to help minimize the sentence for whatever theft-related charge you may be facing.
Driving under the influence is covered under Virginia Code Section 18.2-266. The strict definition of driving under the influence means driving with a blood alcohol content of over .08%, although it can apply in any situation in which any mind-altering substance impairs your ability to drive.
Under Virginia Code Section 18.2-270, the basic penalty for a DUI charge is a class 1 misdemeanor (up to a year in jail; a fine of up to $2,500) with a minimum fine of $250. However, higher BAC and repeated offenses can sharply increase these penalties making it important that a Hampton Roads criminal lawyer is contacted as soon as possible.
For example, a fourth conviction within 10 years is a class 6 felony with a mandatory minimum $1,000 fine and 1 year in jail. The maximum penalty for a class six felony is up to five years in prison, but a jury can modify that to only a year in prison, a fine of up to $2,500, or both.
This is not an exhaustive list, but some of the other crimes you can be charged with include:
How a Hampton Roads Criminal Lawyer Can Help
Facing a criminal charge can range from a minor inconvenience for the lesser penalties all the way up to life-changing worry about the maximum penalties. Either way, facing a month in jail or life in jail, a criminal trial can bring stress and disruption into your life and tarnish your reputation.
A well-seasoned and resourceful Hampton Roads criminal lawyer can minimize any negative impact such a charge may have on your life. Call today for a free consultation.