Criminal Defense

Misdemeanor & Felony Criminal Defense

The stress of being charged with a misdemeanor, or particularly a felony, criminal charge is a profound experience when the consequences present a real possibility of being incarcerated and the effects that has on providing for your family and having an on-going criminal record. Every step of a criminal process has the potential to work against you without your realizing it. If at all possible, you should have a criminal defense attorney present as soon as you find yourself under investigation for a criminal charge. From being questioned, being arrested and appearing in court, What you say and how you conduct yourself throughout the process is critical as you become to realize that your rights and reputation are in serious jeopardy. An experienced criminal trial attorney is your best defense to guide you through the process with sound guidance on what to do to increase your chances of having your charges dropped or reduced.

Misdemeanor Criminal Charges

Although considered less serious than felony charges, misdemeanors can still involve heavy fines, limited jail time and a criminal record in the State of Virginia. Having a criminal record alone can have long-term effects on employment opportunities and your finances. These types of crimes are classified in relation to the severity of the crime with typical penalties consisting of up to one year on jail and up to $2500.00 in fines. Examples of misdemeanor charges would be low-value shoplifting, drunk in public, disorderly conduct, petty larceny, minor threatening behavior or stalking and more.

Felony Criminal Charges

There is no question that an individual charged with a felony criminal charge understands the seriousness of the penalties associated with it. Multi-year to life prison terms and even death are the penalties for felony criminal charges. These charges involve robbery, enterprise drug charges, rape, capital- first- and second-degree murder, serious injury assault, conspiracy, perjury, money -laundering and more. Because of the seriousness of the consequences, with us you will have a dedicated team on your side that can greatly improve your chances for success in fighting the charges and avoiding severe penalties.

The criminal defense attorneys of the Denbigh Law Center are well versed on defending the following charges:

  • Assault and Battery
  • Domestic Violence & Abuse
  • Drug Charges
  • Shoplifting
  • Theft & Larceny
  • Robbery
  • Burglary
  • Fraud & Embezzlement
  • Weapons Charges
  • Prostitution & Solicitation
  • Sex Crimes
  • Child Pornography
  • Federal Crimes

Theft Charges

Shoplifting – Larceny – Burglary – Robbery

Theft charges have varying classifications that range from larceny, robbery and burglary and involve both misdemeanor and felony applications of law. Even these are broken down into classifications in relation to the method of the theft and the severity of the crime. For instance, petty larceny as opposed to grand larceny involving the difference in the value of the theft item(s). These can also be broken down to conspiring to commit and intent to sell the item(s), as well. Robbery is classified as the use of force or violence being committed in the course of the crime and have their own severity of penalties associated with it. Burglary often involves the act of theft along with breaking-and-entering with its own level of severity’s involved depending on the case.

Theft conviction penalties range from up to a year in jail and $2,500.00 in fines or more with restitution to decade-long or life in prison for grand larceny and robbery depending on the severity and violent nature of the crime.

White Collar Crimes

Fraud – Embezzlement – Forgery – Money Laundering

There are a wide range of defined “white collar crimes” that are typically non-violent in nature and involve the workplace or the abuse of documentation for illegal gains. Charges include obtaining money by false pretenses; forging public records, falsifying a transcript or certification, money-laundering, credit card theft and/or forgery, and writing bad checks. These charges also fall under a range of misdemeanor and felony classes depending on the severity of the charge.

Defense of white collar crimes involve proving the prosecutor lacks the evidence for a solid conviction. Issues concerning the legality of the evidence presented against you or establishing reasonable doubt. We highly recommend having an attorney by your side to develop the best strategy on proving reasonable doubt towards the best outcome for your case.

Assault

Simple Assault – Assault & Battery – Maiming – Domestic Assault – Sexual Assault

Assault charges in Virginia can be brought from something as simple as “touching” another individual who perceives that the “touching” was conducted in a threatening or offensive nature to a violent full-on assault and battery resulting in serious injury. Because there is such a wide range of definitions for assault in this State, they can be viewed as either criminal or civil tort cases – or both. Penalties can be classified under misdemeanor consisting of up to one year in jail and $2500.00 in fines to multi-year prison terms for more serious convictions.

Because of its prevalence and volatility, domestic assault cases are handled more seriously. These cases are looked at in this manner due to the emotional nature of the victim being a family member or roommate and connected to the perpetrator in a more intimate setting. In many cases, the crime is on-going and the potential for more serious injury or death is a real factor due to its inherent volatile nature. In these cases, an experienced trial attorney is critical to your defense as the penalties for domestic assault are more serious than a typical assault charge.

Sexual assault carries varying classifications and penalties, as well. Mot are considered a serious offense and fall under a felony classification associated with a sex crime defense. Call us to discuss your case to determine what areas of defense it falls under.

Sex Crime Charges

Prostitution – Soliciting – Sexual Assault – Rape – Child Pornography

A sex crime can be defined as any sex act committed on a person not giving consent, is incapable of giving consent – such as a child or disabled individual – or conducting the act as a course of transaction. Sex crime charges can be difficult to defend against depending on the circumstances of your charge. The State of Virginia looks at sex crimes as particularly heinous with long prison sentences handed out even when the evidence is marginal. Even without a severe prison penalty on conviction, many require being registered as a sex offender with the State creating potential employment and residency issues for the convicted offender.

Prostitution and soliciting charges are vigorously prosecuted in Virginia and typically classified as a misdemeanor with penalties up to a year in jail and $2,500.00 in fines. In some cases, there is also a risk of being listed on the sexual offender registry. Most other sex crimes are classified as felonies with the potential of severe penalties if convicted.

Drug Charges

Possession – Manufacturing – Distribution of Illegal Drugs

We are all familiar with the scourge that illegal drugs bring upon all levels of society from dependency issues to the serious associated crimes involved with the illegal drug trade. Thus, charges cover all aspects of the illegal drug process with varying penalties associated with the possession, manufacture and distribution of the illegal drug(s). Virginia classifies illegal drugs under varying “schedules” with “Schedule 6” classified drugs being less severe in nature as opposed to “Schedule 1” drugs such as heroin, PCP, GMB and Ectasy that contain high risk and life threatening addictive consequences for their use.

Penalties for Illegal Drug Possession

Possession of a Schedule I Substance
Considered the most dangerous with no legitimate medical usage
Examples: heroin, LSD, ecstasy, and GHB.
Penalty: Class 5 felonies carrying a potential 10 years in prison and fines to $2,500

Possession of a Schedule II Substance
Highly addictive and dangerous with some use in the medical field.
Examples: cocaine, methamphetamine, morphine, PCP, methadone
Penalty: Class 5 felonies carrying a potential 10 years in prison and fines to $2,500

Possession of Schedule III Substances
highly addictive medical prescriptions
Examples: Ketamine, Hydrocodone, Vicodin, Steroids, and more
Penalty: Class 1 misdemeanor with up to 12 months in jail and fines reaching $2,500

Possession of Schedule IV Substances
prescription drugs with an inherent risk of addiction
Examples: Valium, Xanax, and Rohypnol and many more
Penalty: Class 2 misdemeanor penalties and up to 6 months in jail with $1,000 in fines

Possession of Schedule V Substances
Largely cold medications that include codeine
Penalty: Class 3 misdemeanor carrying a fine of $500

Possession of Schedule VI Substances
Those that have the least risk of addiction, if any at all.
Penalty: Class 4 misdemeanor charge and carrying a fine of up to $250

Virginia has designated Marijuana under a separate classification. Small-scale possession of marijuana carries misdemeanor penalties for first and second-offense possession charges. Manufacture and distribution of marijuana carry more severe penalties that can fall under a felony for convicted enterprise operations.

Virginia takes drug charges very seriously with severe conviction penalties for manufacturing and distributing scheduled drugs that prove to cause the most damage to society from their dependence and associated potential for violent crimes.  Arrests for the manufacture and distribution of illegal drugs also typically carry several associated weapons and/or racketeering charges along with them.  Only an experienced attorney will be able to negotiate a reduction of overall charges towards a more favorable outcome. It is critical in these cases to have an experienced trial attorney to save yourself from a long prison term and criminal record.

Weapons Charges

Concealed Weapons – Possession by Convicted Felon – Use in Commission of a Felony

In this day and age, gun control has been front and center in the media with numerous massacres and incidents throughout the country threatening our basic right to own guns – something most of us believe is an important inherent right as a citizen fo the United States. However, Virginia’s laws on possessing and carrying a weapon are meant to be common sense deterrents in attempting to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. Guns are a still a touchy issue and sometimes merely being in the vicinity of a gun in some situations can cause a charge to be brought against you.

Most charges include carrying a concealed weapon without a permit, possession by a convicted felon and the use of during the course of a felony, brandishing a weapon in public, possession in prohibited areas (schools, courts and libraries) or discharging a gun in a public place. Penalties can range from a misdemeanor to a felony depending on the charge. If you have been arrested for a gun violation in the State of Virginia, the Denbigh Law Center is here to assist you in avoiding Virginia’s tough gun law penalties. Call today!