A misdemeanor in Virginia is defined as a criminal offense which is punishable with a jail sentence of up to twelve months. There are four classes of misdemeanors in Virginia. The most serious class of misdemeanor is the Class 1 misdemeanor. The least serious class of misdemeanor is the Class 4 misdemeanor.
Types of Misdemeanors in Virginia
Below are the classes of each misdemeanor and the punishment range that may be imposed (from Virginia Code §18.2-11):
- For Class 1 misdemeanors, confinement in jail for not more than twelve
Months and a fine of not more than $2,500, either or both.
(Examples of this type of charge are Trespass, Reckless Driving, Disorderly Conduct and Underage Possession of Alcohol)
- For Class 2 misdemeanors, confinement in jail for not more than six months and a fine of not more than $1,000, either or both.
(Examples of this type of charge include No Valid Operators License, 1st Offense, Pointing Laser at Law Enforcement Officer)
- For Class 3 misdemeanors, a fine of not more than $500.
(Examples include Posting No Trespass Signs on the Land of Another, Trespass by Spotlight, Trespass by Hunters)
- For Class 4 misdemeanors, a fine of not more than $250.
(Examples include Public Swearing or Intoxication, Pulling Down Fences or Leaving Open Gates of Another)
Reducing Misdemeanor Penalties
Misdemeanor statutes which have no specified punishment are presumed to be Class 1 misdemeanors under §18.2-12 of the Virginia Code. All misdemeanors are criminal charges. When a person is convicted and their appeal period ends, misdemeanors cannot be expunged from the permanent criminal record.
It is important for someone who is charged to retain an experienced defense attorney as soon as possible. The charge may be dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense with competent representation.
Contact a Fairfax Criminal Defense Lawyer Today.
For assistance with misdemeanor criminal charges, please contact Attorney Wilfred Yeargan for a free initial consultation. He will discuss the facts of your case and any potential defense to the charges. A viable defense strategy will be developed and explained in detail to the client.
Call The Law Office of Wilfred W. Yeargan directly or send an online message to discuss your case and legal defense options today.