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Newport News Criminal Attorney

Newport News MapIf you are charged with any criminal offense in Virginia, it is important that you seriously consider obtaining legal representation. Even relatively minor criminal offenses (e.g., class 1 misdemeanors) can have a negative impact on your life by becoming part of your criminal record.

If you are charged with a crime in Newport News, you should at the very least consult with a Newport News criminal lawyer to learn about the law surrounding the charges, the penalties you face if you are convicted, and what options are available to you.

Criminal Law in Newport News, Virginia

Criminal laws outline unlawful conduct punishable by jail or prison time and/or fines. In fact, the Virginia Code’s Title 18.2 covers “Crimes and Offenses Generally,” explaining the type of acts considered unlawful and their punishments. For instance, the Commonwealth’s codes sections 18.2-250 to 18.2-256 are health and safety charges that range from marijuana possession to serious charges of possession with intent to sell.

Drug Charges

Virginia prosecutes drug offenses very seriously throughout the state. Section 18.2-250.1 of the Virginia Code makes it unlawful to intentionally or knowingly possess marijuana without a valid prescription. Punishment for a possession of marijuana conviction can range up to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine.

On the other hand, manufacturing, selling, distributing, possessing methamphetamines with the intent to sell is described under Section 18.2-248.03. Any individual in Newport News is guilty of this charge if he or she manufactures, sells, distributes or gives more than 28 grams of a substance or mixture containing:

  • Salts.
  • Methamphetamine.
  • Isomers.

A conviction of this felony carries a fine of $500,000 and prison time of five to 40 years. It must be served consecutively with any other convictions a person has at that time. For example, these penalties would stack with penalties from a conviction of possession of marijuana.

If you are accused of drug possession or any of the crimes listed here, contact a Newport News criminal lawyer. A well-qualified attorney will investigate all the facts of your case and explain the defense options available to you. Below is a list of other crimes our legal team will assist you with:

Crimes Against a Person

Crimes against a person include everything from simple assault and aggravated malicious wounding to manslaughter and homicide.

Homicide

Virginia Code Section 18.2-32 relates to first and second degree murder in the Commonwealth (other than capital murder). A person is accused of first degree murder when he or she commits homicide by:

  • Lying in wait;
  • Poisoning;
  • Imprisonment;
  • Starving;
  • Any deliberate, willful and premeditated killing; or
  • Commission of or an attempt to commit rape, arson or forcible sodomy, kidnapping, burglary or robbery.

A conviction of first degree murder carries 20 years to life in prison and a $100,000 fine. Any other type of murder (not capital or first degree) is considered second degree murder. It is punishable by five to 40 years in prison.

Aggravated Malicious Wounding

You may be reading this because you or your loved one has been accused of violating section 18.2-51.2 or been charged with aggravated malicious wounding. This crime involves an individual maliciously stabbing, shooting, wounding, or cutting a person so as to cause permanent and significant physical impairment. The government must also prove the act was committed with the intent to:

  • Maim
  • Disable
  • Disfigure
  • Kill

Aggravated malicious wounding is a Class 2 felony.  If you are convicted of this crime, you face 20 years to life and a fine of $100,000.

If the person is not permanently or significantly injured, it is considered malicious wounding and is a Class 3 felony punishable by five to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.

Speak with a Newport News criminal lawyer about possible defenses to use in your case.

Crimes Against Property

You may be charged with crimes against property when you are accused of things like arson, larceny, and burglary. Additionally, if someone is involved in a hit and run accident that damages property, a person may face both civil

Arson

For example, Section 18.2-77 outlines burning or destroying a dwelling house. According to the code, anyone is guilty of the crime if he or she maliciously burns or by use of any explosive device or substance destroys a building or vessel. It is punishable by five years to life and a fine. If the building was unoccupied, it is a Class 4 felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a $100,000 fine.

Grand Larceny

The Commonwealth defines grand larceny under Section 18.2-95. There are three ways for theft to constitute grand larceny, as opposed to petit (misdemeanor) larceny. First, it is grand larceny to remove $5 or more worth of money or goods off a victim’s person. Second, it is grand larceny to steal $200 or more worth of goods from another person generally (e.g., from their home, their vehicle, etc.).

Lastly, it is always grand larceny when a person steals a firearm. He or she must have the intent to permanently deprive the owner of the possessions. The crime carries a prison sentence of one to 20 years (or at times, at the discretion of the jury, up to 12 months in jail).

Burglary

Burglary is outlined under Section 18.2-89. A person is guilty of this crime if he or she breaks into and enters property of another with the intent to commit larceny or a felony after the fact. It is a Class 3 felony. Therefore, a person would receive five to 20 years in prison. However, if a weapon was used, it constitutes a Class 2 felony, which can be penalized by 20 years to life.

Yet, crimes like burglary are subject to further complexities because of the difference between statutory burglary and common law burglary. To learn more about criminal charges, please contact us today for a free case analysis.

Other Practice Areas

In Newport News, crimes against property can be as serious as crimes against a person. In 2013, the Newport News Police Department reported 4,321 larceny cases and 954 arrests for burglary. If you have a property crimes case pending in the Commonwealth, contact our Newport News criminal lawyer today.

It’s imperative that you seek legal representation to fight the charges you face. Contact us for a free consultation. Newport News criminal lawyer Karin Riley Porter and her team of attorneys are ready to fight for you.