What is a Misdemeanor in Virginia?
Misdemeanors are crimes usually punishable by a period of confinement in a local jail for up to one year. It is essential to have an aggressive criminal defense attorney represent you in court when you are charged with committing a misdemeanor. Although they do not involve conduct considered as serious as a felony, misdemeanor convictions will still leave you with a criminal record that might exclude you from certain types of employment long after your sentence has been served.
The criminal laws place crimes into one of four classes of misdemeanors. The classes range from 1 to 4 depending upon severity of the punishment associated with the crime. The following are the misdemeanor classifications, examples of some of the crimes in each class and penalties associated with each class:
- Class 1 misdemeanors: Shoplifting goods with a value of less than $200, domestic violence, DUI, possession of marijuana and reckless driving are examples. The penalties include up to one year in jail and a fine up to $2,500 or both. Also included in this classification are misdemeanors for which the statute does not include a class designation.
- Class 2 misdemeanors: Crimes include possession of drug paraphernalia. Punishment includes up to six months in a local jail and fines up to $1,000 or both.
- Class 3 misdemeanors: Crimes include possession of some controlled substances. Penalties include fines up to $500 without jail time.
- Class 4 misdemeanors: Crimes include public intoxication as a first offense. Penalties are limited to fines up to $250.
Fighting Against Criminal Charges with an Aggressive Defense
Whether you are confronting federal or local criminal charges, the Smith Law Firm has an experienced defense attorney to handle your case in Virginia or your federal criminal defense.