A conviction for a felony in the Commonwealth of Virginia will be met with fines, incarceration, probation, or some combination of these punishments. The most severe felonies are associated with correspondingly strict penalties, while those guilty of misdemeanors are typically subject to twelve or fewer months of jail time. If you are facing Virginia felony charges, write to us online to discuss your case; we’ll be able to help you understand your options and make the best decision moving forward.
Virginia Felony Laws
Virginia groups felonies into classes on the basis of their severity. Class 1 Felonies are the most severe, and Class 6 are the least. Lawmakers will frequently refer to particular crimes with terms related to the felony class they belong to. Different felony charges carry different penalties. For additional information on specific penalties, visit our informational page:
Class 1 Felonies
A Class 1 felony garners the strictest punishment; those who commit Class 1 felonies often face life in prison and fines up to $100,000. Class 1 felons who committed their crime when they were older than 18 may also face capital punishment, unless he or she suffers from severe mental retardation. A common example of a Class 1 felony would be murder.
Class 2 Felonies
Class 2 Felonies are usually accompanied by sentences ranging from 20 years to life in prison, and fines up to $100,000. One of the most common Class 2 felonies is aggravated malicious wounding, which is when someone intentionally causes someone permanent, significant physical impairment.
Class 3 Felonies
Class 3 Felonies usually carry sentences from 5 to 10 years in prison and fines still reaching $100,000. A common Class 3 felony is malicious wounding, which is when someone causes another person an injury intended to kill, disfigure or disable.
Class 4 Felonies
Class 4 felonies, such as prostitution and related activities, are punishable by 2 to 10 years in prison, as well as fines up to $100,000.
Class 5 Felonies
Class 5 Felonies occupy the ambiguous territory between felonies and misdemeanors. They’re often called “wobblers,” since a crime may be classified as Class 5 depending on how the charges are leveled and on how the judge and jury treat the conviction. Those convicted of a Class 5 felony can expect 1 to 10 years in prison. If charged as a misdemeanor, the same crime might be punishable by a maximum of 12 months in jail. Battery is a good example of a wobbler, since the severity and outcome of such a crime can vary considerably.
Class 6 Felonies
Under Virginia law, the least severe type of felony is a Class 6. Depending on the case, Class 6es can also be wobblers. If the crime does turn out to be considered a felony, the person charged will face between 1 and 5 years of prison time. If the crime is ruled a misdemeanor, the person charged will face a maximum of 12 months in prison, as well as a maximum fee of $2,500.
It is important to remember, that each of these felony categories includes several different criminal violations. This list provides useful examples, but it is not an extensive list. Determining your charge and penalty is best done by a licensed legal professional.
Virginia Statute of Limitations
As in all states, the state of Virginia has a limited window of time after the crime within which they can mount a prosecution. This window is called the statute of limitations. When a crime takes place, the window opens, and the statute of limitation begins. The statute of limitation depends based on the crime; serious crimes like manslaughter and murder do not carry a statute of limitation in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
We’re Prepared to Defend You!
Being convicted of a felony comes with serious consequences that can linger long after fines are paid off and sentences are served. A felony charge can take away your voting rights and can make it incredibly difficult to find work, sustain a family or home life, and maintain a social life. If you’re facing felony charges, don’t risk representing yourself, entrust your case to The Brown Firm PLLC so that we can fight on your behalf.
We offer legal consultation by phone or at our office location. Call our firm or, send us a description of your case online so that we can start assisting you today.