There are six types of Virginia felonies. Class 1 Virginia felonies are punished by the death penalty or life imprisonment. There is only one Class 1 felony which is premeditated murder.
|Class 1 Felony||Death, life in prison, and/or a fine up to $100,000.00|
|Class 2 Felony||Imprisonment for 20 years to life, and/or a fine of up to $100,000.00|
|Class 3 Felony||Imprisonment for 5 to 20 years, and/or a fine of up to $100,000.00|
|Class 4 Felony||Imprisonment for 2 to 10 years, and/or a fine of up to $100,000.00|
|Class 5 Felony||Imprisonment for 1 to 10 years, or up to one year in jail, and/or a fine of up to $2,500.00|
|Class 6 Felony||Imprisonment of 1 to 5 years, or up to one year in jail, and/or a fine of up to $2,500.00|
Some charges are unclassified felonies, which have specific penalties given in the code.
What to expect when you’re charged with a felony
There are several “steps” to trying a Felony criminal case in Virginia. The first major step is a Preliminary Hearing in the General District Court, which is for the Court to determine Probable Cause that a Felony occurred. This is a fairly low standard for the Commonwealth to meet. But, a skilled attorney can use this hearing to learn more about the strength and weaknesses of the Commonwealth’s case against you.
After the Preliminary Hearing, your trial will be held in the Circuit Court. You may choose either a Jury Trial, or a Bench (Judge) Trial. If you a found guilty, a later Sentencing Hearing will be held.
Throughout the process, there will be opportunities for your attorney to talk with the prosecutors to learn more about your case, and discuss possible resolutions.
Virginia felony time is served at 85%. Meaning, if you get 5 years of felony time, you will only actively serve 4 years and 3 months. This is true for all felonies except those that carry mandatory minimum time. For example, if you are convicted of an assault on a law enforcement officer, you will get a mandatory minimum jail time of 6 months and will serve the full sentence.
Common Virginia Felonies and their Punishment
|Grand Larceny||Up to 20 years in prison|
|Burglary||20 years to life, up to $100,000 in fines|
|Robbery||5 years to life in prison|
|Carjacking||15 years to life in prison|
|Hit and Run||up to 10 years, $2,500 in fines|
|Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer||mandatory minimum of 6 months in jail, can be up to 5 years|
|Murder||5-40 years in prison|
|Manslaughter||1-20 years in prison|
|Rape, and other Sex Crimes||25 years-life in prison|
|Manufacture of a Controlled Substance||mandatory minimum 5 years-life|
|Possession With Intent to Distribute||5-40 years, up to $500,000 fine|
Jurisdictions We Practice In
The Law Office’s attorneys practice criminal defense regularly in the Washington, D.C., Superior Court and across Northern Virginia jurisdictions including Arlington County, Alexandria City, Prince William County, Fairfax County, the Eastern District of Virginia (EDVA), and other jurisdictions across Virginia.
Our experience in courthouses across the Northern Virginia area helps us best represent your interests in defending your criminal charges.