In the state of Virginia, crimes fall into one of two categories: felonies and misdemeanors. Felonies are considered serious crimes that may warrant imprisonment or death. On the other hand, misdemeanors are typically punishable by one year or less spent in jail.
Class 1 Misdemeanors
Virginia uses Class 1 to describe the state’s most severe misdemeanor offenses, which may lead to up to 12 months spent in a local jail. Additionally, offenders may be charged up to $2,500 in fines. Any broken law that is unclassified or associated with a specific punishment is considered a Class 1 misdemeanor.
Class 2 Misdemeanors
A Class 2 misdemeanor is considered less severe than a Class 1 offense, but it is still punishable by six months in local jail. This offense is also accompanied with a fine of up to $1,000. One example of a Class 2 misdemeanor is possession of drug paraphernalia. This could be the result of possessing an instrument used to smoke marijuana, for instance.
Class 3 and Class 4 Misdemeanors
These two classes of misdemeanors are not necessarily considered serious. They do not accompany jail time, but they may be punishable by fines. The Class 3 offense is eligible for a $500 fine, and a Class 4 offense is eligible for just $250. Virginia’s intoxication laws are thorough but are not considered very serious in terms of type of offense.
Statutes of Limitations
Every crime has a time period in which the state must act to press charges against a defendant. This period of time is known as the statute of limitations. Each state has different laws; however, misdemeanors in Virginia accompany a statue of limitations of exactly one year.
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Don’t let the lack of severity in punishment fool you. Even criminal convictions for misdemeanors can be serious or expensive. We are ready to defend you in court and will do everything possible to help you avoid a conviction or receive a lesser charge.
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.