Felony Offenses in Fauquier County
Compared to a misdemeanor, a felony typically involves a more serious crime. If it’s a crime that also has a potential misdemeanor component, then it is likely that the felony is the more damaging version of that crime. An example would be if there is a misdemeanor offense of petit larceny which includes an unlawful procuring, shoplifting, or otherwise taking of goods and services that you’re not entitled to for a value under $500. That’s basic petit larceny.
If the same items are valued at over $500 then it becomes grand larceny which is a felony offense. So, in that instance the value of the property taken distinguishes between misdemeanor and felony. For other offenses, there may be legislation solely based upon the amount of damage done. For example, somebody may be charged with simple assault, Virginia Code Section 18.2-57 , for a fist fight. Somebody starts a fight which may be considered as committing the offense of assault and battery. However, if that same assault and battery charge involves a weapon or serious injury is done to another person, then that may raise it to something called unlawful wounding or malicious wounding and each of those are a felony offense.
Non-Violent Felony Offenses
There are several examples of nonviolent felonies. There are two kinds of categories that are the most common for nonviolent felonies.
The first are status offenses which are when a person has been disqualified, prevented from doing a certain activity, or from being in a certain place, or possessing a certain item and they do so anyway. These status offenses may include applying, enquiring, or attempting to purchase a firearm by a person who’s been disqualified from actually possessing a firearm because of a past felony conviction. It is an additional felony offense.
Failing to appear in court for a prior violent trial for a felony offense is in itself another separate felony offense.
Being in possession of things which you’re not allowed to possess in the Commonwealth of Virginia such as a schedule 1 or 2 controlled substance is a felony.
The other type of nonviolent felony offenses are your more sophisticated crimes like white collar crimes. Examples include embezzlement, forgery, writing bad checks, all sorts of things that don’t necessarily involve violence but do involve serious harm to an individual and the community.
Felonies are classified similar to misdemeanors. It sets the felony to six classes, class 1-6, class 1 being the most severe and class 6 being the least severe.
Investigation of Felony Offenses
The investigation depends largely on the type of offense. If someone is conducting criminal activities, then they should know that at some point of their life they’ll be under investigation for criminal offenses. However, the real world is not like TV where all the bad guys notice the cop checking them, tailing them or following them home from work. A lot of the investigative techniques are done outside of the view of the person that may be under investigation.
For example, local detectives may be talking to associates, requesting or subpoenaing bank records or form records, and doing a lot of other activities to investigate a potential felony offense that happens outside of the purview of the public. Typically, if someone thinks they may be under investigation for a potential felony offense, then it’s safe to assume they probably are and that it is time to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to know what their rights are and help them deal with the potential exposure they have.
Penalties for Felonies in Fauquier County
Class 1 felonies are of the more serious types of offenses and are punishable by up to life in prison and up to a $100,000 fine.
Class 2 felonies are not less than 20 years to life. Class 3 is 5-20 years in jail, and a Class 4 felony is not less than 2 but not more than 10 years in jail.
Class 5 and class 6 felonies however, have very interesting dichotomy for their punishments. For class 5, it is 1-10 years in prison or in the discretion of a judge or a jury up to 12 months in jail and/or the same of $2500 fine. It’s a flexible combined sentence on the prison time or the jail time. It’s the same for class 6 felonies except the prison time is 1-5 years or the discretion of the judge or jury up to 12 months in jail and again up to a $2500 fine or a combination of jail and a fine.