In the Commonwealth of Virginia, those who commit felonies are punished with prison incarceration, fines, probation/parole or a combination of all these penalties. More serious felonies carry more severe penalties. Those who commit misdemeanors are generally given up to twelve months of incarceration in jail. To learn more about misdemeanors in Virginia, visit our section:
In Virginia, felonies are classified in a number of “classes.” A felony can range anywhere from a Class 1 to a Class 6. In some cases, lawmakers will refer to certain crimes with particular terms. If you have been charged with a felony in Virginia, contact us online and tell us about your case. We can help you understand your options.
Class 1 Felonies
The Class 1 Felony is the most serious type, and it those who commit these types of felonies are often punished with life in prison, as well as fines that can reach $100,000. Defendants who were at least 18 years of age when he/she committed the crime in question are also considered for capital punishment. A person charged with a Class 1 Felony is not considered for capital punishment if he/she is mentally retarded. Murder is a common example of a Class 1 Felony.
Class 2 Felonies
A person who commits a Class 2 Felony can be sentenced to 20 years – life in prison, as well as a fine that can reach $100,000. A common example of a Class 2 Felony is aggravated malicious wounding.
Class 3 Felonies
When a person is convicted for a Class 3 Felony, they can be sentenced to 5-10 years in prison, as well as a fine that can reach $100,000. Malicious wounding is a common example of a Class 3 Felony.
Class 4 Felonies
Class 4 Felonies are punished with 2-10 years of prison time, as well as a fine that can reach $100,000. A common example of a Class 4 Felony is for activities related to prostitution.
Class 5 Felonies
Commonly referred to as “wobblers,” Class 5 Felonies are used to describe either felonies or misdemeanors. The type of crime heavily depends on how it is charge, as well as how the conviction is treated by the jury or judge. A Class 5 Felony is punished with 1-10 years of prison time if the crime is determined to be a felony. If the crime is determined to be a misdemeanor, it is punished with a maximum of 12 months of incarceration in jail. A common example of a wobbler or Class 5 Felony is battery.
Class 6 Felonies
The Class 6 Felony is the least serious type by Virginia law. The Class 6 Felony is also a wobbler depending on the particular case. If the crime is determined to be a felony, it is punished with 1-5 years of prison time. If the crime is determined to be a misdemeanor, it is punished with a maximum of 12 months of incarceration in jail as well as a maximum fine of $2,500.
Statutes of Limitations
When a crime has been committed, the state of Virginia has a limited window of time in which they begin a prosecution. This window of time is referred to as the statute of limitation. As soon as the crime takes place, the statute of limitations begins. Serious crimes (such as manslaughter and murder) are not subject to statutes of limitations in Virginia.
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A felony conviction carries significant consequences, and the effects of one can persist long after fines have been paid and the sentence has been served. A felony charge can make every aspect of a person’s life incredibly difficult, including career life, home life, and social life. Don’t risk a serious conviction and expensive fines – work with a legal professional.
Have You Been Accused Of A Crime In Virginia Or Maryland?
If you have been accused of a crime you need to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Vienna, Virginia office directly at 703.991.7978 or our Rockville, Maryland office at 301.637.5392 to schedule your case consultation.