One of the most important principles in our American judicial system is that we are all innocent until proven guilty. In other words, in order to be convicted of a crime, the government must prove every essential element of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecution fails to do this, they have no choice but to find the suspect innocent. When charged with a crime, it is vital to hire an aggressive criminal defense attorney who will zealously fight your case every step of the way. Criminal defense attorney Rex Flynn of the Flynn Law Firm in Fairfax, Virginia offers legal advice that you can trust.
What to do when charged with a crime in Virginia?
Being arrested or finding out you are under criminal investigation can be a devastating moment. In these situations, however, it’s important to remain calm and remember that you have options. In the unfortunate event that you are arrested, it is crucial that you understand that anything you say during the event can be used as evidence against you in the court of law. The arresting officers are most likely unaware of the nature of your case, so assume the arrest is inevitable and act accordingly. The best thing to do is to simply cooperate and give law enforcement the identifying information they need from you, but do not discuss the details of your case without legal representation.
If you find out that you are under criminal investigation, the first thing you should do is contact a competent criminal defense attorney. Get any copies of subpoenas or any relevant legal documents regarding your case to you attorney immediately. Try to refrain from speaking about your case with anyone but your attorney. People who you feel you could trust may be forced to testify against you, and anything you may have said to them in confidence could be used as evidence against you.
An arrest of any nature warrants the legal advice from a competent criminal defense attorney who can explain your options and defend your interests. The attorney at the Flynn Law Firm dedicate themselves to protecting their clients’ rights and achieving the best possible outcome at every level of their case.
Criminal Charges in Virginia
The first step in building your defense is understanding the charges filed against you. If you were arrested in Virginia, you where either charged with a misdemeanor, felony, or unclassified misdemeanor/felony.
A misdemeanor is a minor crime with a maximum penalty of $2,500 in fines and up to one year of jail time. Misdemeanors, in Virginia, are divided into four different classes depending on the severity of the crime. Class 1 misdemeanors—such as: assault and battery; possession of marijuana or a class III drug; driving under the influence; and petit larceny—are the most serious and carry the maximum penalty. Class 2 misdemeanors can result in penalties of up to six months incarceration and fines up to $1,250. Examples of Class 2 misdemeanors include: reckless driving, driving without a license (first offense), and possession of a class IV drug. Class 3 and 4 misdemeanors do not carry jail time. However, you do risk fines of up to $500 for a Class 3 misdemeanor and $250 for a Class 4 misdemeanor.
On the other hand, felonies are much graver offenses that naturally carry much more serious consequences. Felonies in Virginia are divided into six different classes. Class 1 and 2 felonies are the most serious, and they can result in penalties of up to life in prison and $100,000 in fines. Crimes associated with Class 1 & 2 felonies include murder and malicious aggravated assault. Class 3 felonies, such as arson of an occupied building, face 5-20 years in prison along and up to $100,000 in fines. Class 4 felonies, like forgery of public records, also carry up to $100,000 in fines, but only 2-10 years in prison.
Class 5 and 6 felonies are “wobbler” crimes that can be either felonies or misdemeanors, depending on how they’re charged and the nature of the crime. Either way both classes face up to $2,500 in fines and possible jail time. Class 5 felonies may result in a prison sentence of 1-10 years, while Class 6 felonies carry terms of up to 5 years.
There are also crimes in Virginia that do not fall neatly into the legal framework of misdemeanors and felonies. These crimes are called unclassified misdemeanors/ felonies. There are a number of unclassified misdemeanors/ felonies with different punishments. In these cases, the sentencing range is listed in the statutory section of the actual charge. Contacting an attorney, at the Flynn Law Firm, will give you a clearer understanding of the possible penalties applicable to your case.
The Flynn Law Firm Takes on Criminal Cases in Fairfax, VA
Being charged with a crime is always a serious matter. Apart from possible jail time and costly fees, a criminal record can ruin relationships and possibly end educational and career opportunities. With so much at stake, it is crucial that you get the legal help you need as you face your criminal charges. At the Flynn Law Firm, attorney Rex Flynn and his team are prepared and determined to fight your case to the very end. With years of experience, attorney Flynn has represented clients in cases dealing with theft, fraud, assault and battery, sexual assault, and drug possession. So if you or someone you love has been charged with a crime in Fairfax, Virginia, contact our local office immediately to set up a free consultation.