The Differences Between a Misdemeanor and a Felony

The difference between a misdemeanor charge and a felony charge can have a significant impact on the sentence you would be facing. In Virginia, there are specific fines, jail time, and other punishments for both felony offenses and misdemeanor offenses. Learn the differences between felonies and misdemeanor offenses in Virginia.

Felony Charges

Felony charges are reserved for the most serious crimes. These crimes are punishable by at least 1 year in prison, but they also can merit life in prison or even the death penalty. If you are convicted of a felony, you will serve your sentence in a state correctional facility, rather than a county jail. There are six classes of felonies in Virginia. The most severe is a Class 1 felony, which is punishable by life imprisonment or death. The least severe is a Class 6 felony, which is punishable by up to 5 years in prison. Felony charges are usually applied to serious crimes where there is a considerable amount of property destruction or where there is the threat of injury or death, injury, or the death of another person.

Misdemeanor Charges

These charges are used for less serious crimes. Misdemeanors may not require any jail time to be served, but if you are sentenced, you will serve your sentence in a county jail. There are four classes of misdemeanor charges. A Class 1 misdemeanor is the most serious type of misdemeanor, and is punishable by up to 1 year in jail and $2,500 in fines. A Class 4 misdemeanor is the least severe, and is only punishable by a $250 fine. Misdemeanors apply to many crimes, including shoplifting, DUIs, and public intoxication.

If you are facing criminal charges in Virginia, you should seek experienced legal defense from our Virginia Beach criminal defense attorney. At George Holton Yates, Attorneys At Law, P.C. we are backed by more than 30 years of legal experience. Let us protect your rights today.

Contact our offices by calling (757) 785-0201 to begin your free consultation.

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