Are Virginia Laws Harsh on First-Time Offenders?

Posted By David L. Carlson, Attorney At Law || 13-Nov-2015

Many people believe that first-time offenders are given more leniency and lighter sentencing because of a clean record. Many factors influence the judicial system and the outcome of a case. From the nature of the crime to the location of the venue, Virginia laws respond to the sentence in a variety of ways.

Under the Virginia Code a first-time offender may be eligible to complete their terms of their sentence through probation, participation in drug abuse counseling and education, and paying the appropriate fines.

These are the types of crimes eligible for a first-time offender program:

  • Drug possession (§ 18.2-251)
  • Underage possession of alcohol (§ 4.1-305(F))
  • Domestic violence (§ 18.2-57.3)
  • Petit larceny (§ 18.2-96) – applies only to Fairfax County

Understanding Virginia’s Criminal Laws

The criminal justice system in our estate can be particularly harsh on those accused of a crime. What may seem to be a minor infraction can mean several penalties in our state. You have the right to retain a Richmond criminal defense attorney to remain resolute and aggressive in your defense.

The courts will try to persuade you to participate in a first-offender program, and many are led to believe that this will leave their record untouched. This is true to a certain extent. Taking part in the program can clear you from the charges and allows you to avoid much harsher penalties. However, the record of your charge will remain on your record. The program also disqualifies you from expunging the charge. The surefire way to keep your record clean is to have a Richmond criminal defense lawyer fight your charges and obtain an outright dismissal.

Why Hire an Attorney?

It is critical that you choose to fight your charges than accept a first-time offender program. While there are many benefits to choosing this route, it may not always be in your best interests. We can help you determine the right course of action As Richmond criminal defense lawyers, Carlson & Collier is committed to providing world-class legal representation and tenacious defense.

We have a winning track record of success behind us. Call us anytime—24/7—so that our Richmond criminal attorneys can begin working on your case!

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Glen Allen, VA 23060
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