Aggressive and caring criminal defense attorneys fighting on your behalf
Everyone makes mistakes. If what you do as a result of a mistake or an error in judgment violates the criminal law in Virginia, you could be facing serious consequences. Waiting until you have been arrested before contacting the law offices of the Smith Law Firm might be too late. The sooner you get one of our criminal defense lawyers working on your case, the sooner we can begin formulating a defense strategy for you.
Society uses criminal statutes to maintain order and ensure public safety by controlling behavior. A criminal law either prohibits certain conduct or imposes a duty to act. A crime is when you do something or fail to do something in violation of a criminal statute. When this happens, the defense attorneys from our office will stand by your side in court to protect your rights.
For example, it is a crime in Virginia to intentionally take the life of another human being. You can be arrested, prosecuted and sent to prison for killing someone. The reason is simple: The Commonwealth has a criminal statute enacted making it a crime.
Civil wrongs, such losing control of your car and crashing into and injuring a pedestrian, usually result in money damages awarded to the injured party, but criminal cases result in your arrest, criminal prosecution and punishment such as:
- Jail or imprisonment
- Fines paid to the government
- Probation supervision
- Community service
Another difference between a criminal case and a civil case is the parties. Civil cases involve people, businesses or organizations going against each other while crimes are prosecuted by the government against a defendant accused of violating the law.
Criminal cases are classified according to the severity of the crime. Particularly heinous offenses such as murder, rape and assault are felonies. Misdemeanors are serious criminal offenses, but they are not quite as severe as felonies.