Virginia Beach Criminal Lawyer
If you have been charged with a crime in Virginia Beach, or suspect that you are under investigation and about to be charged with one, the first step that you should take is to contact a Virginia Beach criminal lawyer. Though it may seem like the best thing to do is to simply cooperate with police and answer all their questions, there are many instances in which this is ill-advised.
Importance of Hiring Legal Representation
While no reputable law firm or attorney would ever guarantee results, it is a given that those who retain qualified legal counsel have a better chance of protecting their rights and reputation when facing criminal prosecution. That is why those who are arrested in this area should speak with a dedicated Virginia beach criminal lawyer who is familiar with the local courts. That attorney can be present at any and all interrogations and questioning. This is important because it protects people from accidentally divulging information that could leave them vulnerable to prosecution. It is not unusual for people to be questioned by authorities on one matter, and then face a completely different charge based on information they accidentally or unintentionally divulged. Though those under arrest and being detained should always be polite, they should also be firm and insist that they will not speak to authorities until they are allowed to contact a Virginia Beach criminal attorney.
Criminal Offenses in Virginia Beach
Most crimes are divided into categories based on the type of crime and the severity of the offense. Some crimes, such as assault, property offense, and certain sex crimes, may be considered a misdemeanor or a felony. Crimes are also typically distinguished or defined as violent or non-violent. These two types of categories are not mutually exclusive. For example, someone may have committed a non-violent act and yet still face a felony charge. On the other hand, someone can commit a crime considered violent, such as simple assault, and be charged with a misdemeanor.
- Common Criminal Charges
- Biggest Mistakes to Avoid
- What to Expect From the Arrest Process
- What to Expect From the Criminal Process
- Constitutional Issues
- Importance of Experience
- Frequently Asked Questions During the Intake Process
Virginia Beach Areas of Defense
A charge for a crime that is considered less severe than a felony. It is generally defined as a charge that results in a maximum jail sentence of 12 months and/or a maximum fine of $2,500. Misdemeanors may result in lesser consequences than a felony when it comes to treatment after the penalty is handed down, though a misdemeanor offense will likely still show up a background check for employment, housing, and certain financial transactions. Some examples of misdemeanors are reckless driving, simple assault, larceny involving less than $200, certain DUI charges, possession of marijuana, and trespassing. However, a Virginia Beach criminal lawyer can help you avoid a criminal record, including preserving your security clearance, which many people need for work.
Felony charges are for more serious crimes and involve any crime where the sentence has the potential of a year or more in prison. Felonies can result in multiple years in behind bars, and include the possibility of life in prison and fines up to $100,000. Besides your sentence, having a felony conviction on your record, regardless of what it is for, will likely result in challenges throughout your lifetime, including problems with establishing employment or housing, being forbidden to own a firearm, and being barred from voting or holding public office in Virginia. Examples of felony charges include murder, possession or distribution of Schedule I/II controlled substances, a third DWI conviction, larceny of over $200, and rape. The consequences of a felony conviction can be life-altering, and a Virginia Beach criminal attorney can help work with you to determine a strategy that is in your best interest.
Violent Crimes – The FBI defines violent crimes as those that use force or the threat of force. These would include such crimes as murder, assault, robbery, and rape.
Non-Violent Crimes – These would be crimes that do not involve the use of force or threat of force, such as vandalism or larceny.
Other Practice Areas in Virginia Beach
- Reckless Driving
- Speeding Tickets
- Sex Crimes
- Disorderly Conduct
- Domestic Violence
- Fake ID’s
Virginia Beach Crime Statistics
According to the Virginia State Police Department and the FBI, crime rates for the Virginia Beach area have steadily declined over the last ten years, but that doesn’t mean that law enforcement, and the Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorneys, are not focusing on the issue. In 2013, there was just under 12,000 crimes reported in the city. This is a quite a difference compared to the number of reported crimes in 2004, which were estimated at about 14,700. The majority of the crimes are considered non-violent crimes, such as larceny or burglary. There were also cases as severe as murder, rape, and assault. Of these reported crimes, 75 percent of the violent crimes and 28 percent of non-violent crimes resulted in ended with someone being charged. You can read more about the Virginia Beach crime statistics here (pdf report).
Virginia Beach Defense Group Future Resources Scholarship
The Virginia Beach Defense Group Future Resources Scholarship is a great opportunity for students interested in the protection of natural resources. Eligibility and applications requirements for the 2017 scholarship will be announced soon.