Misdemeanor Crimes in Loudoun County
Law enforcement officers in Loudon County, by the very nature of their work, concentrate on the more serious offenses, such as violent crimes. That includes any offenses that are potentially harmful to the public, especially vulnerable members of the public, such as children, influenceable minors, and the elderly.
However, the most common criminal offenses committed in Loudoun County are misdemeanors. The most common minor crimes are possession of marijuana, petty larceny, reckless driving, DUIs, assault, and driving on a suspended license.
Read below to learn more about misdemeanor crimes in Loudoun County. And if you are facing charges, contact an experienced criminal lawyer today.
Marijuana is a common drug that is used by a large contingent of the population. Marijuana use cuts across social demographics, race demographics, and age demographics, so it is not uncommon for young people, middle-aged people or even older people to experiment with and use marijuana on a regular basis. It is also easily obtainable, inexpensive, and possible to obtain legally nearby.
While Loudoun County and the Commonwealth of Virginia still make marijuana illegal for simple possession and possession with intent to distribute and distribution, it is not illegal under some circumstances in the nearby District of Columbia. And, in some circumstances, it is not deemed a criminal charge in the state of Maryland.
Law enforcement considers marijuana charges in Loudoun County as low-hanging fruit. They are trained in drug detection and drug awareness, and their training often includes information that marijuana use, marijuana possession and/or marijuana distribution may be indicative of other drug offenses and other drug use. Many times, officers investigate marijuana cases with the idea that they might be able to move further up the marijuana distribution chain or find other more serious and more harmful drugs through the process of their marijuana investigation.
Despite the casual attitude that many individuals have towards marijuana, charges of possession are still very serious. First-offense possession of marijuana in Virginia is an unclassified misdemeanor that is still punishable by up to 30 days in jail. A second or subsequent simple possession case can be punishable by up to 12 months in jail.
Distribution charges are more serious, as are distribution and transportation charges. People can go to jail or even prison in Loudoun County for possession of marijuana. Therefore, a defendant needs an accomplished attorney on their side to understand what defenses they may have against those serious charges.
Petty Larceny Offenses
Petty larceny is another one of the common misdemeanor crimes committed in Loudoun County. Petty theft is a crime of opportunity, and while there may be individuals who are serial thieves and commit petty larceny on a regular basis, it is quite often a crime of instinct and poor decision. Loudoun County has several retail locations in which individuals may find themselves attempting to commit petty larceny. On a regular basis, individuals are charged with petty larceny at major big-box retailers as well as local shopping malls and outlet centers where temptation and even greed overpower their better judgment.
The Loudon County sheriff’s office and other local entities coordinate with retail establishment loss-prevention officers or other theft-prevention employees to try to crack down on theft and loss in their stores. The sheriff’s office and other local entities also participate in the prosecution of alleged shoplifters and thieves.
If someone is facing theft charges, they would never want to defend against them alone, not only because they are serious charges even for a first offense, but repeat offenses could have an extremely negative impact on their life and their future. It is crucial for defendants to obtain a dedicated lawyer who is experienced with theft cases.
Misdemeanor Traffic Charges
Loudoun County is often considered a vendor community, meaning many people who live in the county drive to other places for work. They may drive from Loudoun County to Reston, Fairfax, Arlington or the District of Columbia.
That means most people in the county drive because there is no infrastructure system of metro rail. There is a bus system, but it has expanded only recently to provide decent coverage. When people are on the road, they can make poor decisions, and that includes drinking and driving.
Law enforcement officers are on the roads of Loudoun County on a daily basis, day and night, watching out for drunk driving, which is a very visible issue in that they cause accidents that hurt someone. It is also preventable, and the same with reckless drivers or drivers who drive on a suspended license. Those are all viewed as potential dangers to the public that Loudoun County is trying to stop through enforcement.
Benefits of Working with an Experienced Attorney
When an individual faces a misdemeanor offense, even one they may deem as not serious and for which a jail sentence is unlikely, they should consider working with an experienced attorney who knows exactly what they should expect. The attorney will know what defenses they may have and how they may work together to mitigate the circumstances. For more information about misdemeanor crimes in Loudoun County, call today.