Misdemeanor Appeals in Virginia

Virginia Misdemeanor Appeal from District to Circuit Court

Fairfax criminal lawyer

One has a right to appeal the court’s ruling if found guilty of a Virginia misdemeanor in district court. The case is appealed to the circuit court, and heard de novo. This means that there is a new trial. It does not mean the original case result is irrelevant…

Note: even if a case is a misdemeanor and not a felony, a conviction can lead to employment problems. For example, possession of marijuana in Virginia is a misdemeanor for certain quantities, but it may not be something an employer is looking for. The same may be true for many others, including misdemeanor assault and battery.

Even if a person pays the court costs and fines associated with the underlying case (finding of guilt), they are still permitted to appeal. The prosecution should not mention the district courts ruling at a circuit court appeal.  On the other hand, some statements or admissions could be used against the defendant who is appealing in circuit court. Our Virginia and local Fairfax criminal lawyer explains the intricacies of the appeal to clients depending upon their case facts.

Time is Not on Your Side

The decision to appeal must be made quickly. Once the district court case concludes, the convicted person has 10 days to file a Notice of Appeal. This puts the district court on notice. If contemplating a Virginia appeal of a misdemeanor, do not waste time and contact a lawyer quickly.

Other Considerations

If you appeal a misdemeanor from a district court to a circuit court in Virginia, be aware that you could end up with a different punishment. The Commonwealth is not able to prosecute a person for a greater charge than the original conviction’s charge in district court.

Once the Notice of Appeal is filed (within the strict 10 day time limit), then one may file to reopen the case within 60 days . The district court may, or may not amend a judgment. If a satisfactory amendment is made, then the appeal can be withdrawn from the circuit court.

The Court of Appeals of Virginia may be the next step after an unsuccessful outcome of a misdemeanor appeal heard in circuit court.

For information and a free-consultation, contact a local Fairfax criminal lawyer, Prince William criminal lawyer, Alexandria criminal lawyer, Loudoun defense attorney, or Virginia criminal defense attorney as soon as you seek information about appealing your misdemeanor conviction in Virginia. You may also wish to ask about whether or not you may qualify to for expungement. To expunge a record means to seal it from public view.

Reach our Virginia defense attorneys office at 703.665.3719

or, use our online case evaluation form to submit a question or request an in-office consultation. We are located about two miles from the Fairfax County General District Court, at:

11325 Random Hills Rd. #360

Fairfax, VA 22030

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Brenton D. Vincenzes is a lifelong Fairfax County resident and Fairfax Criminal Defense Lawyer. He is a member of the Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, National College of DUI Defense, NORML, and has been awarded the following in 2014-15: Top 100 Trial Lawyer (National Trial Lawyers) Top 40 Under 40 Trial Lawyer (National Trial Lawyers) Nationally Ranked Top 10 Under 40 Defense Attorney (National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys) 10 Best in Client Satisfaction for Criminal Defense (American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys) Nationally Ranked Top 1% Attorney Award Recipient (National Association of Distinguished Counsel) As a local leader, Mr. Vincenzes mentors troubled youths, volunteers his time to serve at his church, takes select pro bono clients, and strives to improve the community. Mr. Vincenzes represents men, women, and juveniles through zealous and diligent advocacy, strategic planning, and skilled trial work preparation. Mr. Vincenzes' areas of criminal law practice are broad, and include most felonies and misdemeanors such as: reckless driving, DUI & DWI, drug offenses, assault and battery, domestic violence, assault on an officer, destruction of property, alcohol offenses, firearm offenses, larceny, shoplifting, embezzlement, fraud, and other theft offenses, and moving traffic violations among others. His private legal services are available in most Northern Virginia jurisdictions, including Fairfax County, Arlington County, Prince William County, Loudoun County, Stafford County, Alexandria, Manassas, Leesburg, South Riding, and other cities and towns.


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