If you are charged with a misdemeanor, there are many considerations you
must mull over before you decide if a guilty plea is the right decision.
In Virginia, misdemeanors are divided into four classes based on the maximum
The classes and punishments associated include:
Class 1: Up to 12 months in jail, a fine worth up to $2500, or both
Class 2: Up to six months in jail, a fine worth up to $1000, or both
Class 3: A fine worth up to $500
- Examples: Illegal gambling, possession of a schedule V drug
Class 4: A fine worth up to $250
- Examples: Public intoxication, public profanity
All misdemeanor trials are held in Virginia district courts, meaning that
a judge alone decides whether you are guilty or not, based on reports
and evidence gathered by the police upon your arrest. It’s important
to know that if you decide to plead guilty, the misdemeanor will remain
on your permanent record for life. You have a constitutional right to
have an attorney for any crime that has the possibility of a jail sentence.
Since Class 3 and Class 4 misdemeanors only carry a fine, no option for
a court appointed attorney is presented.
Hiring an attorney is imperative in order to receive the proper guidance
and legal representation you deserve. Having a criminal defense lawyer
who can evaluate the police protocols and determine if your rights were
violated can create a tremendous advantage. If any part of your arrest
process was handled improperly, evidence against you can possibly be kept
out of court, penalties may be reduced, or the charges may be dropped
If you have been charged with a misdemeanor and need a
Richmond criminal defense attorney to represent you, our team at Carlson & Collier has the skill and
knowledge to provide a personal defense strategy to help you seek justice.
Call (804) 227-4774 for a
complimentary phone consultation.