Criminal charges and convictions in Virginia can completely upend your life. You have to prepare to defend yourself in court, and if you are convicted, your life will change forever. Not only will you spend time in jail, but a criminal conviction may determine where you can live, what kind of job you can get, and how you’re viewed by the public.
The best time to contact a criminal defense attorney for advice and representation is immediately. You need to create a plan while the evidence is fresh, before the witnesses have scattered, and before the prosecution is fully committed to the notion of taking you down.
For highly-skilled, resourceful, and energetic criminal defense services on felony or serious misdemeanor charges in state or federal court, contact a trial lawyer at the Richmond criminal law firm of Cravens & Noll. Our criminal defense attorneys in Virginia help clients achieve the best available outcomes on charges from serious traffic violations to capital murder. We are dedicated to understanding your case and getting your life back on track.
Common Criminal Cases in Richmond, VA
Our criminal defense lawyers work hard to protect you from exposure to serious punishment in such cases as the following:
- Assault and Battery
- Domestic Violence
- Sexual Assault
- White collar crimes
- Drug possession and distribution
We are recognized leaders in a variety of areas of criminal defense, bringing our experience and empathy to each and every case.
What Determines a Felony and a Misdemeanor in Virginia?
In Virginia, criminal charges are classified in two different levels: misdemeanor and felony. These classes are based on the severity of the crime and determine your punishment if convicted by the court.
- Misdemeanor: In Virginia, these crimes are considered the lesser of the two. You can face up to 12 months in jail and a fine up to $2,500 for a misdemeanor charge. These crimes are categorized in 4 “classes”. Class 1 misdemeanors are the most serious and entail the highest fines and jail time. The least serious misdemeanor is Class 4, which sees a comparable lower fine and jail time.
- Felony: In contrast, a felony is the most serious charge in Virginia. Those convicted of a felony may serve time in a state prison. In addition, there may be significant fines of up to $100,000. Felonies are also classified by categories, ranging from Class 6, the least severe, to Class 1, the most severe. Class 1 felonies can even result in the death penalty.
The classes of each level are determined by the damage value and the severity of the crime. For example, murder is considered a Class 1 felony in Virginia, while domestic violence is considered a Class 1 misdemeanor.
Virginia Statute of Limitations
For any crime that is committed, there is a period of time where the state can begin criminal prosecution. This is called a statute of limitations, and it determines how long after a crime can someone be tried for committing the act.
In Virginia, there is a different statute of limitations for both misdemeanors and felonies. Misdemeanors usually have a time period of one year, while felonies are more serious, and therefore do not have a statute of limitations.
No matter the time limit, it’s important to meet with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. A knowledgeable lawyer will walk you through the investigation and court process, making sure you get all of the necessary information before too much time has passed.
In any case; however, do not talk to the police or other people. Make no admissions. Invoke your 5th amendment privilege.
What a Defense Lawyer Can do for You
No matter how serious your case, from sexual assault to manslaughter or drug possession, you need to hire a skilled defense lawyer to give you a fighting chance in court. Hiring a knowledgeable defense lawyer gives you the greatest likelihood of successful defense to the charges.
Meeting with a defense attorney, let them help you build your case. Your lawyer can conduct an investigation to gather evidence and witness testimony. They can also serve as the communication hub between yourself and the prosecution or the judge.
If you hire a determined defense attorney, they will need to do the preparation necessary to get you the best outcome for your criminal charges. They can create possible plea negotiation strategies to help reduce your sentence, and or properly defend your position.
Contact the Criminal Defense Attorneys at Cravens and Noll
At the Virginia criminal law office of Cravens & Noll, we work closely with our clients to help you understand your options with respect to the charges you’re facing and your most likely plea negotiation options. Our criminal law firm in Richmond believes firmly in early and aggressive engagement with the prosecution in both the state and federal courts, all while we investigate the facts to further support your strongest defense at trial.
Our experienced attorneys attorneys have a deep understanding of the law and how a criminal charge can change your life. From murder, DUI’s, sexual assault, or embezzlement, our goal is to return your life to normal as quickly as possible. We also represent clients in bail and bond hearings, parole violations, and appeals.
For an initial consultation about our approach to client service in criminal defense, contact Cravens & Noll.