Fairfax criminal law

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Misdemeanors in Virginia

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Virginia misdemeanor classes

For purposes of sentencing, there are four (4) different classes of misdemeanors in Virginia.  In reality, there are really five (5) types of misdemeanors, because there is an unclassified type in Virginia.

Virginia Class 1 Misdemeanor

A Virginia Class 1 Misdemeanor is the most serious category of misdemeanors. Examples of class 1 misdemeanors: reckless driving, driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI), assault & battery. The Virginia Code authorizes the following possible maximum sentences…

  • Jail – up to 12 months in confinement
  • Fines – up to $2,500 in fines

…however, depending upon the specific charge, there may be other consequences (for example, loss of driving privileges).  In addition, the court may impose both of the above maximum punishments for a conviction of a Class 1 Misdemeanor in Virginia.

Virginia Class 2 Misdemeanor

Examples include possession of a controlled substance classified as Schedule IV. Punishments authorized by the Virginia Code for a Class 2 Misdemeanor:

  • Jail – up to 6 months in confinement
  • Fines – up to $1,000 in fines
  • Criminal Record – for life

Virginia Class 3 Misdemeanor

Examples include: destruction of property (in some cases), possession of a controlled substance classified as Schedule V.

  • Fines – up to $500 in fines
  • Criminal Record – for life

Virginia Class 4 Misdemeanor

Examples include drunk in public charges, and possession of a Schedule VI controlled substance.

  • Fines – up to $250 in fines
  • Criminal Record – for life

Virginia Unclassified or Class U Misdemeanor

The punishment for a Virginia Unclassified Misdemeanor will vary as far as jail time and fines.  One example of a relatively common unclassified misdemeanor is the possession of marijuana, first offense (note: this also depends on amount in possession).  It is punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $500.



The Virginia Code:

See The Virginia Code, Section 18.2-9 for classes of felonies and misdemeanors;

See The Virginia Code, Section 18.2-11 for misdemeanor sentencing;

See the Virginia Code, Section 18.2-250.1 for possession of marijuana;

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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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