In Virginia, there are two main classes of crimes: felonies and misdemeanors. Misdemeanor offenses are divided into four different classes (1, 2, 3, and 4), depending on the severity of the offense and the crime. The final result in any specific case relies on all of the individual facts of the case, the offender’s criminal record, and any settlements that the offender enters into with the district lawyer’s office.
Unlike Class 1 punishments, Class 2 Misdemeanors have less harsh penalties or charges.
- Maximum 6 months in jail
- $1,000 maximum fine
- Can be charged with both
What crimes fall under class 2 misdemeanors? Reckless driving is the most common issue which happens in Virginia, falls into the category of Misdemeanors. Another crime is to carry drug Paraphernalia, falls under the same category.
You’ve been charged with Misdemeanor Offense – What’s next?
If you have been convicted with a misdemeanor offense, your case will be heard in the district court. You may have a number of choices in your case. Like, you may be able to plead guilty or negotiate a plea agreement, or you may plead not guilty and request for a trial. It depends entirely on your criminal record, you may be allowed to participate in a substance-abuse counseling program or community-service that will result in removal of your case in the court.
If you request for a trial, the State must need to prove that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The district court trials take place before a single judge or a magistrate who hears proofs and governs whether the State has proven your guilt or not. If the judge or magistrate finds you not guilty, the case ends right there and you may go free and gets declaration of being innocent. If the judge or magistrate finds you guilty, the judge or magistrate will impose a penalty in your case starting from a small fine, to probation period, to an active prison sentence as well. If you are charged with a misdemeanor offense in the district court, you can appeal your conviction to the superior court. Once your case begins in the superior court, you’re eligible to a new trial before a jury of 12 randomly selected members of the community.
Misdemeanor offense charges require skilled and experienced legal representation throughout the state or even the country. Since misdemeanors and felonies are the biggest crime charges, you are always going to need an attorney to fight your case. If the State doesn’t have sufficient data to prove that you have committed a criminal offense, you may be permitted to a dismissal or a reduction in your criminal charge. Likewise, if the State dishonored your civil rights during the inquiry or prosecution of your case, a judge may suppress certain proof in your case, meaning that the State cannot use the evidence against you at trial, and which may also result in dismissal of your charges.