Felony and Misdemeanor Charges in Manassas
In Manassas and throughout the rest of Virginia there are two types of criminal offenses that you can face: misdemeanors and felonies. The following is information on each of these charges, their associated penalties, and how a Manassas criminal lawyer can help. Call today to learn more.
Penalties For Misdemeanor and Felony Charges
For misdemeanor crimes in Manassas, a person can be put in jail for up to 12 months and fined up to $2500. There are also particular penalties in certain misdemeanor cases such as loss of license, being directed to undergo probation for a period of time, being drug screened, or being required to complete different classes or treatments as directed by the court or the probation officer.
In felony cases, individuals potentially face prison time. The least serious felonies are still very serious and can include a penalty of up to five years in prison. At the other end of the spectrum, the most serious felonies can include life in prison. In addition, a felony conviction will come with the loss of civil rights such as the right to vote, the right to hold public office, the right to have a concealed carry permit and the right to own or possess a firearm.
The type of case will dictate what penalty is possible or likely in a particular case and it will have to be looked at individually by an experienced lawyer.
If You Are Given a Fine and Cannot Pay, What Happens?
When a person has been convicted of a crime and directed to pay fines and court costs but is unable to do so, there are a number of different options. In most cases, the individual will get extra time from the court to pay these fines and costs or they will be able to work out a payment plan with the Clerk’s Office.
However, if they do not pay their costs and fines there can be serious consequences, starting with the automatic suspension of their Virginia driver’s license for a fine that is outstanding for 30 days or more. In addition, if a person received a suspended jail sentence as part of their penalty, the suspension will be conditioned upon the payment of costs and fines. So the court can initiate what is called a Rule to Show Cause (pdf), which is a contempt proceeding, and bring the person back in to potentially impose the jail or prison time as a consequence of not paying the costs and fines.
Benefit of Hiring A Manassas Criminal Lawyer
First and foremost there is no substitute for experience. There are a large range of possibilities in any criminal case, and an experienced lawyer will be familiar with them, know how to react to each of them and know how to give their client the best opportunity to get the best possible legal outcome under these circumstances. There is a great deal of unknown in every case and a lawyer having the experience and wherewithal to react as things occur will give their clients the best chance. An attorney who is lacking in experience “won’t know what they don’t know” and this can be of significant detriment to their clients in virtually any kind of case.