Criminal Defense Attorney in Virginia

Overview

There is likely no more vulnerable time in a person’s life, than when they have been charged with the commission of a crime.  At this point the government’s power against an individual is at its apex.  If you have been accused of a crime, you need someone to stand by your side and zealously fight for you.  Bold, courageous representation is what you want, and that’s what the Flynn Law Firm provides.  Whether it is a misdemeanor, a felony, or a juvenile crime, The Flynn Law Firm is a firm that you can trust to stand up for the little guy, to act with the highest integrity and fight for you every step of the way.

The government has the duty to prove each of its accusations against a citizen beyond a reasonable doubt.  In other words, it is the government’s burden to ensure that they can prove their case without any reasonable doubt.  If they’re unable to meet this lofty burden then the court has no choice but to enter a finding of not guilty.  You need a firm that you can trust to put the government’s feet to the fire, and an attorney who will fight for you.

Whether it is a misdemeanor or a felony, in Juvenile court or Circuit court, you need representation you can trust to fight for you to the very end. Contact us to discuss your specific needs and set up an appointment today.

Felonies and Misdemeanors

In Virginia, a misdemeanor is any criminal charge whose sentence is one year or less.  Even here, misdemeanors are further classified due to the severity of the alleged conduct. A Class 1 misdemeanor is the most serious of the misdemeanors, with a potential penalty of up to one year, and up to $2,500 (or both). Misdemeanor penalties decrease in severity as the class increases in number. In other words, a Class 1 misdemeanor is more serious than a Class 2 misdemeanor and so on.

Examples of Virginia misdemeanor classifications and their penalties, as well as examples are as follows:

Misdemeanor Sentence Fine Examples
Class 1 Up to 1 year in jail Up to $2,500 Petit Larceny, DUI,
Possession of Marijuana, Assault and Battery,
Possession of a Schedule III Drug
Class 2 Up to 6 months in jail Up to $1,250 Reckless Driving,
Possession of Schedule IV Drug,
No Operator’s License (First offense)
Class 3 N/A Up to $500 Possession of a Schedule V Drug
Class 4 N/A Up to $250 Possession of a Schedule VI Drug,
Public Intoxication

It should be noted that for purposes of actually serving a sentence, misdemeanor time is computed by dividing the actual time in half.  So, if someone is sentenced to serve two days in jail, they would only have to serve one day, if the charge they are found guilty of is a misdemeanor.

Felonies on the other hand are criminal charges whose sentence is one year or more.  Like misdemeanors these charges are classified similarly, starting from Class 1 through Class 6.  Class1 felonies are the most serious charges issued by the Commonwealth of Virginia, and Class 6 felonies are the least severe of the felony charges.

Examples of Virginia felony classifications and their penalties, as well as examples are as follows:

Felony Sentence Fine Examples
Class 1 Up to life in prison Up to $100,000 Capital Murder,
First Degree Murder
Class 2 Up to life in prison Up to $100,000 Aggravated Malicious Wounding,
Second Degree Murder
Class 3 5 years to 20 years Up to $100,000 Malicious Wounding,
Arson of an Occupied Building
Class 4 2 years to 10 years Up to $100,000 Arson of an Unoccupied Building,
Forgery of a Public Record
Class 5 1 year to 10 years Up to $2,500 Possession of a Sch. I/II Drug,
Involuntary Manslaughter,
Forgery, Uttering
Class 6 1 year to 5 years Up to $2,500 Assault on Law Enforcement,
3rd or Subsequent Larceny,
Unlawful Wounding

Unclassified Felonies and Misdemeanors

Felonies and misdemeanors are generally classified in the manner described above.  However, that is just a general classification.  Some crimes are not classified along these lines, and are considered “unclassified felonies” or “unclassified misdemeanors.”  This just means that the penalty for the crime does not neatly fall within the framework described.  To find out the penalty and / or fine for an unclassified crime, you would have to look to the statute itself to locate the penalty.  For example, theft related charges are typically treated as unclassified felonies.  Therefore, someone accused of Grand Larceny, wanting to know what the maximum fine / penalty for that charge would have to go to the statute to determine the maximum penalty.

Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations for Virginia crimes can limit the Commonwealth’s ability to prosecute a case.  In practice, however, it rarely affects a case.  For misdemeanors, the statute of limitations – generally speaking – is one year from the date of the crime.  Felonies, on the other hand, typically have no statute of limitations. There are exceptions to this rule, and you should contact the Flynn Law Firm to discuss the facts of your case to see whether your case might fall under an exception.