Felony violations are the most serious criminal offenses in the state of Virginia. In Virginia, penalties for felony offenses are more severe than misdemeanor penalties. Penalties involve more expensive fines and expended jail and/or prison sentences. More serious felony violations are assigned different penalties depending on the “class” or sub-category of the violation. Looking past fines and other mandatory penalties, a conviction for a felony will have serious and long lasting consequences .
If you have a felony conviction, it will be apparent to anyone who conducts background checks for jobs, rental housing, or security clearance. Additionally, it can have an impact on your ability to obtain or keep custody of your children, obtain higher education, or become a permanent resident or citizen of the United States. With some felony convictions, you will be labeled as a violent offender, a label that will stick with you for the rest of your life.
General Penalties for Felonies
According to Virginia Code §18.2-10, there are certain penalty ranges for the six classes of felonies. The maximum penalties for different classes of felony are:
- Class 1 Felony – Death and/or a $100,000 fine.
- Class 2 Felony – Life in prison and/or a $100,000 fine.
- Class 3 Felony – 20 years in prison and/or a $100,000 fine.
- Class 4 Felony – 10 years in prison and/or a $100,000 fine.
- Class 5 Felony – 10 years in prison and/or a $2,500 fine.
- Class 6 Felony – 5 years in prison and a $2,500 fine.
Please note that the actual penalty assigned will be based on the specific criminal violation. It is also important to understand that the minimum penalties allow judges to treat Class 5 and 6 felonies similarly to serious misdemeanors. To read more about how different classes of felony are defined in Virginia, visit:
Felonies That Are Not Classified
There are several felonies in the state of Virginia that do not fall into any of the six classes of felonies. Instead, the punishments that come with these crimes are defined by statute. For example, rape is a felony that is not assigned to any of the six classes, and under Virginia Code §18.2-61, it is punishable by five years to life in prison. It is important to remember that this is just one example and not an exhaustive list.
We Are Ready To Represent You!
If you are dealing with a felony charge in the state of Virginia, it is in your best interest to work with a legal professional during your court proceedings. The Brown Firm PLLC has extensive experience defending individuals in court proceedings. We protect our clients’ best interests by aggressively protecting their rights while seeking to mitigate penalties. Our criminal defense lawyers are prepared to explore all legal options in order to have your charge lessened in severity or if there are legal grounds, seek to have your charge dismissed entirely. If you are facing a felony charge in Virginia – call our office or, send us a message online with a description of your case. We offer free initial consultations so that you can discuss your case and best options moving forward.