Fairfax County, VA Misdemeanor Attorney
Most people know a misdemeanor is less serious than a felony charge. But lesser or not, a misdemeanor charge must be taken seriously. A misdemeanor can still require jail time, significant fines, and can scar your permanent record, threatening your chances at future job opportunities and barring your from certain privileges allowed only to Virginia citizens with clean records. Facing misdemeanor charges in Fairfax County, VA requires the help of an experienced and aggressive defense lawyer in Fairfax County.
The attorneys with our firm can help you to understand the nature of your charges, as well as defend you in court, should a trial be necessary. Other benefits of signing a qualified criminal defense attorney in Fairfax include:
- Having an articulate and qualified advocate on your side, defending your rights
- Not having to deal with court-related paperwork or administrative matters
- Benefiting from the investigative resources that come with signing a lawyer from a private firm
- Knowing that your case is a priority
If you are currently facing misdemeanor charges and are unfamiliar with Virginia’s state law as it relates to your charge, don’t delay in seeking the answers only a qualified criminal defense attorney can provide.
Crimes: Differences between a Felony and a Misdemeanor
Misdemeanor crimes may consist of any number of harmful actions perpetrated against another person or the community at large. The U.S. legal system divides crimes into two main categories: felonies and misdemeanors. Basically, a felony is any criminal act that could be punishable by imprisonment in a state prison for over a year. Felonies include grand larceny, drug possession, malicious wounding, to name a few. Misdemeanors are lesser crimes, such as reckless driving, with maximum punishments of potentially 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine.
According to Virginia Criminal Codes, misdemeanors are grouped into the following categories:
In accordance with Virginia law, Fairfax County classifies misdemeanors into four classes:
- A Class 1 misdemeanor is a crime just short of a felony and has the highest repercussions of any misdemeanor charge. Those found guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor can be charged up to $2,500 and may face up to 12 months in jail. Some crimes that have been classified as Class 1 misdemeanors include driving under the influence, sexual battery, solicitation, prostitution, and trespass.
- Fines of up to $1,000 and/or six months in jail may be the punishment for those charged with a Class 2 misdemeanor.
- A Class 3 misdemeanor is punishable by fines of up to $500.
- Those convicted of a Class 4 misdemeanor may have to pay fines up to $250.
Defense: Knowing Your Rights
The final outcome of your case depends on a number of factors: the circumstances surrounding the alleged offense, the discretion of the court, and, even more importantly, the defense of the accused. Some acts may be arguable between a felony and a misdemeanor. In this case, the final decision of the severity of the crime depends heavily on the discretion of the Commonwealth’s Attorney. This discretion shows why seeking help from a lawyer experienced with misdemeanors is so important, as an experienced defense attorney can work with the prosecutor to reduce or eliminate your charges.
Those who are unfamiliar with their rights may unknowingly allow those rights to be stripped away and violated. They may not know the options available to them. Those who are not educated in legal proceedings will be at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to appearing in a court of law. Our experienced criminal defense attorneys know how to fight for their clients and protect the rights guaranteed to them by the Constitution. Legal knowledge and well-crafted argument are vital when it comes to battle in the courtroom.
Retain a Fairfax Criminal Lawyer
Fairfax County also has very specific guidelines for misdemeanor appeals. It is said that ignorance of the law is no excuse when it comes to violation of the law. The same can be said for entering a court of law. If you have no one protecting your rights for you, you could be in trouble. Facing charges of a misdemeanor is very unsettling, as even minor offense can disrupt your personal and professional reputation. Know that there are a variety of strategies for convincing the court to give you a lesser sentence, for proving that your offense was not as the state characterized, or for proving your complete and utter innocence. But it’s not easy. Defendants who represent themselves rarely do as well as defendants who have legal counsel. Our lawyers understand the law and know how to navigate the criminal justice system in Fairfax County, Virginia. Trust us to represent you, and let us fight for your rights and defend against your misdemeanor charge.
Fairfax County, Virginia
The population growth of Fairfax County, Virginia has consistently increased over the past twenty years. Police in Fairfax go the extra mile to protect the general safety of the area, and in any effort to maintain the lofty quality of life, law enforcement may occasionally be overzealous in their pursuits and the charges levied. If you get caught up in a misdemeanor prosecution, it’s important to have your rights properly protected by an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Fairfax County Court
Fairfax County has a circuit court, which is the highest trial court in Virginia. Both civil and criminal cases are tried at the Fairfax Circuit Court. This court also hears the appeals of misdemeanor cases from Fairfax General District Court.