Virginia Criminal Defense FAQs

The attorneys at Randall Page, P.C. regularly field various questions from those facing an array of charges throughout Virginia. This includes traffic citations, misdemeanors, and even felonies. We are here to help you through all of this. Here, we want to answer some of the most common questions that we receive. Feel free to reach out to our Virginia criminal defense attorneys for a consultation on your case anytime.

The first thing we want to tell you is not to plead innocent or guilty to a traffic ticket without first speaking to a Virginia traffic ticket lawyer. We do want to help you take your traffic citation to court because you will have a chance of getting the judge to reduce your fine or even beating the ticket altogether. This can help avoid unnecessary financial difficulties as well as points against your license. Please let one of our Virginia traffic ticket attorneys analyze your situation and help you move forward to get your case dismissed.

There are various reasons why a person could lose their driving privileges in Virginia. We also know that a suspended license can have a detrimental effect on a person’s life. Not all DUI convictions allow a person to receive a restricted driver’s license (hardship license). In Virginia, a person will only be able to receive a restricted driver’s license at the time of their conviction for a first-offense DUI charge. Additionally, a person will also be eligible for this type of license if they receive a conviction of illegal possession of alcohol or illegal consumption of alcohol in their vehicle.

Any person wishing to receive a restricted license must ask the same court that suspended or revoked the driver’s license, and drivers will typically ask for a hardship license right after a judge has suspended or revoked their privilege to drive. Most courts will require that a person prove that they actually need the restricted license, and the permissible uses for a restricted license can be found at the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles website.

When people talk about tickets staying on their record, they are usually concerned about the demerit points that the citation has placed against their license. Demerit points for a speeding ticket fall off of a driving record after two years. However, speeding tickets, regardless of how fast that person was cited for going, will stay on a person’s record for five years.

Penalties for the possession of drugs in Virginia vary widely, particularly depending on the type of narcotic. Marijuana is still illegal for medical or recreational use in Virginia, and the law still says that it is unlawful for any person to knowingly or intentionally possess marijuana. The possession of marijuana is generally a Class 1 misdemeanor offense that could be punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a fine of $500.

Penalties for the possession of other drugs in Virginia will vary depending on the specific type of substance, the amount, and the criminal record of the person facing charges. Drug possession can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony in Virginia.

  • Possession of a Schedule I or Schedule II drug: Class 5 felony.
    • The penalties can include up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $2,500.
  • Possession of a Schedule III drug: Class 1 misdemeanor.
    • The penalties can include up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.
  • Possession of a Schedule IV drug: Class 2 misdemeanor.
    • The penalties can include up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
  • Possession of a Schedule V drug: Class 3 misdemeanor.
    • The penalties can include a fine of up to $500.
  • Possession of a Schedule VI drug: Class 4 misdemeanor.
    • The penalties can include a fine of up to $250.

The answer to this question is simple – you need to speak to a skilled Virginia criminal defense attorney as soon as you realize you are under investigation for a crime or as soon as you are arrested for a crime. You should not speak to law enforcement personnel or prosecutors before speaking to your attorney. Doing so could result in you saying something that could jeopardize your freedom.

There are often times when a person faces accusations of committing a crime or is actively being investigated, but they have not yet been arrested. Sometimes, police will continue to harass somebody with questions while they attempt to build a case. In these situations, you need to call an attorney as soon as you get your first phone call or knock at the door from the police. Do not worry about whether or not refusing to speak to police officers seems like an admission of guilt – it is not. You have the right not to incriminate yourself.

Criminal charges in Virginia will either be classified as misdemeanors or felonies. In general, misdemeanors are less serious than felony convictions and carry lighter penalties. Many people convicted of misdemeanor offenses do not even spend time in jail, but those that do will typically face less than one year in county jail. Felony charges, on the other hand, carry stiff penalties upon conviction. In general, a person convicted of a felony may face serious time in state prison, sometimes decades or even a life sentence. Regardless of what type of charge you are facing, you need to work with a skilled Virginia felony charges defense attorney as soon as possible.

If you are facing any type of criminal charge in Virginia, you most certainly have the right to a trial by jury. However, the vast majority of cases do not go to trial. Your attorney and the prosecutor will typically engage in negotiations behind the scenes in an effort to reach an agreement that both sides see as fair. In some cases, this will include a plea deal so that a person will face a lesser charge and less harsh penalties. Sometimes, a criminal defense attorney is even able to get a person’s charges dropped altogether. However, there are times when the defendant will need to take their case to trial in order to ensure that they are treated fairly throughout the process.

At Randall Page, P.C., our attorneys have extensive experience handling these cases, and we will be able to help you determine whether or not your case will ultimately need to go to trial.

The court system is not going to notify your employer if you have been charged with or convicted of a crime. However, there are several scenarios in which your employer may find out anyway. All arrests and convictions become part of the public record, and in some cases, an arrest will even make it to the news. Your employer could very well find out about any conviction you receive on their own. Additionally, if you are given probation in lieu of a jail sentence, it is very likely that you will be required to maintain a job as part of your probation conditions in Virginia. In these cases, your probation officer may visit you at work, which in turn will be a dead giveaway that you have been convicted of an offense.

You absolutely have the right to appeal a misdemeanor conviction in Virginia. However, you need to act quickly because the appeal window is fairly short. Under Virginia law, you have the right to appeal, but an appeal must be filed within 10 days from the date of the conviction. The law dictates that a misdemeanor appeal will be filed to the local Circuit Court, and the case is tried “de novo,” which means that you get a new trial. If the conviction is not reversed on appeal, you will have 30 days after the denial to file a claim to the Virginia Court of Appeals to try again.

Call a Virginia criminal defense lawyer today

If you or somebody you care about is facing a criminal charge, whether a misdemeanor or felony, you need to seek assistance from the attorney as soon as possible. At Randall Page, P.C., we are standing by to help when you need a Virginia criminal defense attorney by your side. You can contact us for a free consultation of your case by clicking here or by calling 757-517-8956.

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