What Is the Difference Between a Felony and a Misdemeanor in Virginia?

If you were charged with a felony or misdemeanor in Virginia, you can expect to face serious consequences. Reach out to our firm today to learn more about how we can help. Our skilled Richmond criminal defense attorney will ensure that you and your future are protected.

What is a felony in Virginia?

In the state of Virginia, like most states, felony convictions are charged for the most severe crimes. A felony charge is punishable by at least one year in prison and can include the death penalty and life imprisonment. If sentenced to a felony, the penalty will be carried out in a state correctional facility, as opposed to a Virginia county jail. There are six classes of felonies in Virginia. The most serious is a Class 1 felony; the punishment for this crime is imprisonment for life or the death penalty. A Class 6 felony is punishable by up to five years in prison.

What is a misdemeanor?

Note that there are four categories of misdemeanors in Virginia. Any jail sentences associated with a misdemeanor crime are brought out in a county or city jail rather than a state correctional facility. There are four classes of misdemeanor crimes in Virginia, Class 1 being the most serious and Class 4 being the least. While a Class 1 misdemeanor is punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of $2,500, a Class 4 is punishable by a fine of up to $250.

How can a criminal record affect you?

If you were charged with a crime in the state of Virginia, you will want to recognize that you will face consequences beyond your fines and sentencing. You will also need to worry about your future. This is because a criminal conviction will result in a criminal record. Unfortunately, a criminal record is something that can follow an individual for the rest of his or her life. Just some of the ways that obtaining a criminal record can impact you include the following:

  • You will have to answer “yes” when asked if you’ve ever been convicted of a crime when applying for jobs. This can limit your ability to obtain employment opportunities.
  • It can prevent you from renting certain apartments or living in certain areas.
  • It can prevent you from securing certain loans.
  • If you are an immigrant, it may affect your immigration status here in the United States.
  • It can make the consequences of subsequent crimes even harsher.

Note that these are just some of the long-term repercussions of a criminal record, which is why if you’ve been charged with a crime, you will need to act fast. Reach out to our firm today to speak with one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys.

Contact Our Firm

If you live in Virginia and have been charged with a crime, the time to speak with an experienced Richmond criminal defense attorney is now. Led by Attorney James A. Bullard Jr., our firm has fought on behalf of clients facing serious legal penalties for decades. We handle various criminal and traffic cases, including reckless driving tickets, DUIs, violent crimes, drug crimes, and so much more. Contact James A. Bullard Jr. P.C. today so we can begin formulating a comprehensive defense on your behalf.

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