Portsmouth Criminal Lawyer

If you are facing criminal charges, you probably have a lot of questions, especially when it comes to what specific charges you may be facing and what your legal options are. Being charged with a crime is a serious matter, which is why it’s in your best interest to contact an experienced Portsmouth criminal lawyer to advocate on your behalf.

Types of Crimes in Virginia

According to the Portsmouth Police Department, in 2013, there were around 5,750 criminal incidents.  Most of those, about 5,200, were non-violent crimes, while the rest were violent crimes.  From January until June 2014, there were around 2,500 total crimes in Portsmouth.

Crimes in Portsmouth are divided into two categories: misdemeanors and felonies.  Whether you are charged with one over the other usually has to do with the severity of the offense that you are being accused of.  There are a number of differences between the two kinds of crimes, both when it comes to how you are sentenced and when it comes to the long-term consequences of the crime. For specific information on what you are being charged with and the potential penalties you are facing contact a Portsmouth criminal lawyer.

Practice Areas

Portsmouth Misdemeanor Charges

A misdemeanor is considered the more minor of the two types of crimes. The highest misdemeanor charge you can face in Virginia would be a class 1 misdemeanor. This would carry a maximum sentence of 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine. Some examples of misdemeanors would be many DUI crimes, larceny of an amount under $200, and possession of less than half an ounce of marijuana. However despite these seemingly minor offenses,a misdemeanor is a crime that still goes on your criminal record for the rest of your life. So while not quite as severe as a felony charge, it’s still in your best interest to contact a Portsmouth criminal lawyer as a misdemeanor could cause you to have serious difficulties whenever you face a background check, such as for employment, housing, or getting security clearance.

Felony Charges in Portsmouth

Portsmouth Criminal LawyerFelony charges are the most serious crimes. These would cover crimes with a possible sentence of over 12 months, all the way up to death penalty cases.  The specific length of a felony conviction can depend on any number of factors, including whether the accused has prior felony convictions, the severity of the crime, and which class of felony that specific crime is. Some examples of felonies include murder, armed robbery, larceny of over $200, rape, and crimes related to selling drugs. Felony convictions, even those where not a lot of jail time is served, can result in significant lifetime restrictions, including not being able to own a firearm, problems getting professional licenses, and voting restrictions, in addition to whatever problems would normally arise with having any criminal record, so it is imperative that you contact a Portsmouth criminal attorney if charged with this type of crime.

One thing to keep in mind is that not all felonies are violent crimes, and not all misdemeanors are non-violent crimes.  For example, if someone commits credit card fraud amounting to thousands of dollars or steals a diamond necklace in a burglary, they could be facing felony charges, even though there was no violence involved.  On the other hand, someone involved in a simple bar fight where no one is injured may have officially been involved in an assault, but only be facing a misdemeanor charge.  The violence or non-violence of the act does not always affect whether the crime is considered a felony or not.

Hiring Legal Representation in Portsmouth, Va.

Remember, you have the right to legal counsel, and you do not have to speak to police without an attorney present. If you have been arrested, or fear that you are about to be charged with a crime, contact a Portsmouth criminal lawyer right away. A Portsmouth criminal attorney will be able to use their local knowledge to get you the best possible outcome for your case. Call today for a free consultation to discuss the charges you could be facing and your legal options.