The Importance of Virginia Criminal Lawyers

Russell M. Angelo

Few things are more unsettling than being charged with a criminal offense. It pulls you out of the world that you know and puts you in an alien environment where everyone seems to be in control.

Having the right Virginia criminal defense attorney by your side is essential. Criminal convictions can have life-altering consequences that include jail time, fines and changes to marital and child custody agreements.

Felony Charges

When you are notified that you are the subject of a criminal investigation or arrested on felony charges, your world is thrown into chaos. Felonies include serious physical harm offenses as well as white-collar crimes and can have life-altering consequences, such as lengthy prison sentences, loss of employment, changes in marital and custody arrangements and fines.

The first court date for a felony or misdemeanor case is a brief hearing called an arraignment. During this hearing, the judge will inform the defendant of the charges and set a trial date (for misdemeanor cases) or preliminary hearing date for felony cases.

If you have been charged with a crime in Virginia, you should contact an experienced Virginia criminal attorney as soon as possible to begin building your defense. Your lawyer will help you understand the process and protect your rights from beginning to end. A top Virginia criminal attorney can also help you avoid severe penalties, including jail time and heavy fines.

Misdemeanor Charges

The state of Virginia divides crimes into two categories: felonies and misdemeanors. Felonies typically carry more severe punishments, including possible jail time. Felonies are also more serious in nature than misdemeanors, and a felony conviction can have long-term repercussions on your life and career.

If you are arrested for a misdemeanor offense in Virginia, it is important to retain a criminal lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney can help you avoid the negative impact that a misdemeanor conviction could have on your personal and professional life, as well as the loss of your driver’s license.

The penalties imposed for a misdemeanor can vary significantly from case to case. A local Virginia Criminal Lawyers with experience in your jurisdiction will know the judge that will be presiding over your case and what sort of arguments she or he may be open to hearing. This local knowledge makes a huge difference in your case’s outcome. A good Virginia criminal defense lawyer will work hard to get your charges dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense.

DUI Charges

Few things are as upsetting as having the police show up at your home or business with a warrant for your arrest. Having a Virginia criminal lawyer by your side can make all the difference when it comes to defending against DUI charges.

State law defines DUI as driving while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs. Typically, if your BAC level is 0.08% or higher, you will be arrested for DUI. Your attorney can help you fight against these serious charges that carry stiff penalties including fines, jail time, and a mandatory DUI class.

A conviction can negatively impact your professional and personal life as well as your driver’s license. In addition, a DUI conviction can increase your insurance rates, impact your eligibility for certain loans and affect custody disputes and security clearances. Often, a DUI charge is coupled with reckless operation of a vehicle under VA Code SS46.2-852. This is a separate criminal offense and can also be challenging to defend against.

Drug Charges

A skilled Virginia criminal defense lawyer will build a strong and effective defense for you against misdemeanor and felony charges. From questioning and investigation through arrest, courtroom appearances and trial, your attorney can protect your rights while offering the best legal advice gained from years of dedicated practice in the courtroom.

The Commonwealth prosecutes drug offenses aggressively, and a conviction can result in jail time and fines, as well as impacting employment, educational opportunities and security clearances. Possession of marijuana, a Schedule I controlled substance, is generally considered a misdemeanor, but possession with intent to distribute or manufacture can be a felony punishable by decades in prison.

Similarly, DUI convictions can have a major negative impact on employment and personal life. A qualified criminal defense attorney can fight for you in defending against charges of drunk driving by challenging faulty Breathalyzer results, field sobriety tests and evidence of symptoms such as exhaustion or illness that were misinterpreted by police officers.

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