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Norfolk Criminal Lawyer

Criminal Defense Lawyer in Norfolk VirginiaIf you have been arrested, you probably have a lot of questions about what the future holds for you.  A lot of people want to know what the potential penalties are for the crime that they are accused of committing and what strategy they should use when it comes to fighting the charges.  If you have been charged with a crime in Norfolk, the first step you should make is calling a dedicated, local Norfolk criminal lawyer.

Norfolk is a large city with a population of around 250,000 people and, with that, comes higher crime rates than those seen in other cities and counties in the Commonwealth. There are approximately 13,000 crimes committed here per year, most of which are deemed property crimes as opposed to violent crimes. Norfolk also has the unfortunate distinction of ranking toward the bottom of national surveys on the safest cities in the U.S.  All this translates to local law enforcement and the Assistant Commonwealth Attorneys taking an aggressive stance in charging and prosecuting crimes. Given the statistics, it’s not out of the ordinary for someone to run afoul of the law or find themselves accused of a crime.

Norfolk Criminal Lawyers Can Help With Virginia Charges

Crimes are normally designated into two categories, violent and non-violent, although some driving related actions are also considered a crime rather than an infraction.  Being a violent crime as opposed to a non-violent or property crime doesn’t really affect whether or not a certain crime is a felony or a misdemeanor.

Violent Crimes in Norfolk

Property Crimes in Norfolk

  • Theft
  • Burglary
  • Trespassing

Other Charges in Norfolk

Felony vs. Misdemeanor

Whether or not a crime is designated as being a violent or property crime has little effect on whether or not it would be considered a misdemeanor or a felony.  For example, assault, which is typically classified as a violent crime, can result in a charge that is a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances surrounding the assault. Similarly the property crime of theft may result in a misdemeanor charge, referred to as petit larceny, if the amount of money or goods stolen is worth less than $200, or the individual stole less than $5 in cash or some item worth less than $5 directly from the victim. The crime, however, rises to the level of felony, referred to as grand larceny, if the goods or cash total more than $200 or if more than $5 is taken directly from the victim. A felony theft conviction can result in one to 20 years in prison or, at the discretion of the court, a reduced term of up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine up to $2,500.

Felony and Misdemeanor Defined

Misdemeanors are considered less serious crimes under Virginia law.  The maximum penalty for a misdemeanor is up to 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine.  However, the sentence can range anywhere from a few days or probation to a year in jail depending on the circumstances surrounding the alleged crime and whether there is any criminal history for the defendant.

Felonies are considered far more serious crimes and, as such, sentences can range from a few years to life in prison.  Fines can reach six-figure digits. As with misdemeanors, the length and severity of the sentence depends on a number of factors, such as one’s criminal background and the severity of the crime. Someone convicted of stealing a $1,000 bike with no criminal record would not face the same sentence bestowed on a person found guilty of armed robbery and who has a history of violent crimes.

The treatment of those who are convicted of a crime after the sentence is served is somewhat different depending on if the crime is a misdemeanor or a felony as well.  For instance, a felon would not be able to own a firearm under U.S. law and could have issues when it comes to voting rights in Virginia, where someone with a misdemeanor on their record would not have the same issue.  However, either type of crime can result in negative long term consequences, even if the crime was relatively minor, such as difficulty passing background checks for jobs and housing. You can work with your Norfolk criminal lawyer to develop a case strategy to serve your unique interests, like maintaining your security clearance.

An Aggressive Norfolk Criminal Lawyer Can Help

Criminal charges are a matter to be taken very seriously, meaning that you need to have the most skilled legal representation in Norfolk when it comes to defending your rights.  When you set up your consultation with the Norfolk criminal defense attorneys at Price Benowitz, we will give you an honest idea about what the future of your case looks like and what all of your options are. We will also fight hard for you and help you protect your rights.  If you have been arrested or are facing criminal charges, you need to get a lawyers as quickly as possible.

Client Reviews

Extremely Intelligent

Ms. Mendez represented a good friend of mine and was approachable, professional, and extremely intelligent. She was always quick to respond to questions and handled the case with the ease of someone who has been in the field for years. I would recommend her to anyone.

Rating: ★★★★★ 5 / 5 stars