Fredericksburg Criminal Lawyer
Being charged with a criminal offense in Fredericksburg can be an intimidating and very stressful time, as there are penalties and collateral consequences and that can be both immediate and far-reaching.
Whenever someone is facing criminal charges, there are potentially serious, long-lasting consequences. If you find yourself in a position where you may be facing charges, it is important to have a Fredericksburg criminal lawyer to help you through the process.
This is not a situation where you want to try to go it alone without the benefit of an experienced defense attorney by your side. They can help minimize the impact of your case, assist you in understanding what to expect, and guide you through the process to ease the anxiety that comes along with being charged criminally.
Types of Offenses
A felony is a charge in Fredericksburg where a person can receive more than a year in jail, all the way up to life in some cases. Misdemeanors are charges where less than a year in jail is available.
In addition, a felony record is something that is much more serious and will have much further-reaching consequences than a misdemeanor record will. In general, felonies will have some element that is more serious than misdemeanor versions of the same charge.
For example, in a larceny charge, it may be that the amount in question is above the $200 threshold in Virginia law, it may simply be a repeat offense, or it may be some other behavior that the Virginia General Assembly has deemed to be a more serious transgression.
Depending on the kind of misdemeanor a person is charged with, there can be a number of long-term consequences, if they do not have the help of a Fredericksburg criminal lawyer along the way to mitigate penalties. They can be related to a person’s current employment or ability to get employment in the future.
A conviction can affect someone’s ability to apply for school, housing, loans, or even to continue to have driving privileges or be allowed to carry a concealed weapon.
A misdemeanor in Fredericksburg can affect a security clearance and can be something that is of concern when the background check is conducted.
The adjudicatory guidelines utilized in helping to determine whether a person can receive or maintain a security clearance list a number of offenses which will trigger a review of the person’s continued ability to hold a clearance. Certain kinds of misdemeanors can be overlooked under some circumstances. Others are going to cause serious problems.
Fredericksburg County prosecutors treat felonies remarkably differently than misdemeanors. Most felony charges, save for a jury trial, will be at the request of the prosecutor’s office. This is unique among Virginia jurisdictions.
A person can be sentenced by a jury to the maximum amount of time available on their charge, which is something that would be unlikely to happen if a judge was hearing the case. It is true even for non-violent felonies.
Prosecutors will be very aggressive when dealing with felonies in Fredericksburg, especially in terms of trying to obtain the strongest penalty they can.
Contact a Fredericksburg Criminal Attorney Today
There are two main reasons why it is important to contact a Fredericksburg criminal attorney early in your case. The first is that the early part of the case is extremely important and sensitive in time in terms of the government making efforts to collect evidence.
One of the main ways this occurs is through statements made by the accused. Involving a Fredericksburg criminal defense attorney early in the process will ensure that you do not create new evidence in your case, by making statements to the police without the benefit of talking to a lawyer.
The second reason is that in most cases there are proactive steps a Fredericksburg defense lawyer can take on your behalf or encourage you to take, which will either help to win your case at trial, or in some cases to mitigate the impact of a conviction.