What’s My Potential Sentence? A Look at Crime Sentences For Misdemeanors & Felonies (Pt. 1)

When charged with a criminal offense, individuals always want to know what punishment can be imposed by the court.  In Virginia, crimes are classified in five misdemeanor categories and seven felony categories.

Today we will discuss crime sentences for misdemeanor offenses. Check out our next post for Part 2, crime sentences in felony cases.

Maximum Misdemeanor Crime Sentences

Fairfax County Courthouse SignMisdemeanors range from Class 4 through Class 1, with Class 1 charges carrying the highest penalties.  There are also unclassified misdemeanors, such as a first offense possession of marijuana.  Most misdemeanor offenses in Virginia are Class 1 misdemeanors:

  • Assault and battery
  • Trespassing
  • Petty larceny
  • Destruction of property
  • DUI/DWI
  • Reckless Driving

Class 1 misdemeanors carry a crime sentence range of up to 12 months in jail and/or up to a $2,500.00 fine.  Unclassified misdemeanors are also punished as if they were Class 1 misdemeanors, unless the General Assembly has fixed a special range of punishment, as in the case of first offense possession of marijuana.

Crime Sentences: What it means when jail time is imposed

If you receive a jail sentence to actually serve for a misdemeanor, you will serve 50% of the actual time imposed. For example, if the sentence is 30 days in jail to serve, you will actually serve 15 days, minus any time you already served in jail for the charge. The reduction in time to serve is applicable in almost all cases; the only instance in which this reduction and good time credit does not apply is when a mandatory minimum sentence is required by law.  If a mandatory minimum applies to a misdemeanor conviction, no good time credit will be earned, and you will be required to serve 100% of the unsuspended sentence.

Criminal Defense Attorneys in Fairfax You Can Trust

Convictions of any kind can have a considerable impact on your life.  It is important to consult with an experienced Fairfax attorney who can help give you a better idea of what kind of sentences you are facing under the particular facts and circumstances of your case.  While no attorney can predict exactly what will happen if you are convicted of an offense, an attorney can work with the Commonwealth to minimize your punishment.

Regardless of the complexity of your case, you can count on one of our skilled Fairfax criminal defense attorneys to aggressively defend your rights while helping you successfully resolve your case. Let’s discuss your situation and see how we can help. You can reach our office by calling (703) 352-0100 or by emailing us using the contact form.