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Being charged with a criminal offense can put your freedom, financial well-being, and personal relationships at risk since a criminal charge could lead to a conviction. When facing a criminal charge, it is important to have an advocate who is focused on your best interests while defending you.
An experienced Nottoway County criminal lawyer or legal team will work tirelessly to limit the damage to you following an arrest and help you avoid a conviction.
Crimes in Virginia are classified as misdemeanor or felony offenses and the classification dictates the penalties that could be imposed if you are convicted. The penalty for a misdemeanor offense is limited to less than 12 months of incarceration and fines up to $2,500. A felony offense could result in fines up to $100,000, imprisonment for life, or death.
There are four classes of misdemeanors in Virginia; a class one misdemeanor is the most serious and is punishable with the maximum penalty. Two of the most common class one misdemeanors in Virginia are driving under the influence (DUI) or simple marijuana possession.
A class two misdemeanor in Virginia is punishable with up to six months incarceration and a fine that does not exceed $1,000. Possession of drug paraphernalia could be classified as a class two misdemeanor.
Class three misdemeanors are punishable with fines that do not exceed $500. A class four misdemeanor offense could result in a fine up to $250. While charges under either classification would not result in incarceration, it would still be included on your permanent criminal record. Public intoxication is a common class four misdemeanor.
There are six classes of felonies, the most serious of which is a class one felony. Felonies include very serious crimes such as homicide and many sex crimes. Class one felonies may be punishable with incarceration for life and in the most serious cases, death. Class two felonies may be punished with fines up to $100,000, up to 20 years incarceration, or both. Burglary with exceptional circumstances could be punishable as a class two felony.
A common class three felony is battery with the intent to kill, which could result in a minimum penalty of incarceration for five years and a fine up to $100,000.
Class four felonies generally include crimes where there was no physical injury that is solely caused by the act, but the act does result in damage to a person or the community, such as embezzlement. It may be punished with up to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $100,000.
Class five felonies may be punished with up to 10 years incarceration and up to a $2,500 fine.
The least serious felony in Virginia is a class six felony, which is punishable with up to five years imprisonment. Animal cruelty could be charged under this classification.
The judicial system can seem scary and difficult to navigate, but the entirety of the process can be made easier with the assistance of someone who is familiar with it.
Contact an experienced Nottoway County criminal defense attorney, regardless of whether the initial charge is a misdemeanor or a felony offense, to secure the best outcome for your case.
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