Fairfax Criminal Defense Lawyer
By working with an experienced and dedicated Fairfax criminal defense lawyer, you give yourself the best chance to have the criminal charges you’re accused of reduced or dropped.
When you face a criminal charge of any sort, it’s important that you take immediate action to defend yourself against the possibility of a conviction. Put simply, your entire future is at stake, and you stand to lose a great deal if you get convicted: your freedom, finances, future, and rights.
Whether you’ve been accused of a misdemeanor or a felony, this is not a time to take risks with the results. The prosecutor’s job is to prove that you’re guilty, and he or she will be relentless in pursuit of that goal. In this situation, you need a well-coordinated defense that can get you the best possible result for your circumstances.
At Priale & Racine, PLLC, we’ve made it our firm’s mission to help people in trouble with the law. We’ll go to work on your behalf, doing everything we can to get your charges reduced or dismissed. When you work with a Fairfax criminal defense lawyer from our firm, you’re getting an advocate who views you as a person in need of help—not a case number.
Make the Arrest Process as Smooth as Possible
If you currently have a warrant out for your arrest, we can help you resolve the situation with a minimum of public embarrassment and humiliation. The last thing you want is to get arrested at work, in a public venue, or after getting pulled over while driving your car.
By contacting a Fairfax criminal defense lawyer from our office, we can coordinate between you and the police so that you can surrender with a minimum of fanfare. We can even arrange your bond during this process, so that after you’ve gone through booking you can be released and we can get started on the real work of understanding your charges and building your defense.
Understanding Your Charges and What’s at Risk
The many criminal charges described in Virginia’s laws are divided up into different classifications of misdemeanors and felonies. A misdemeanor is generally thought of as a minor infraction with a light penalty, but it will still create a criminal record if you get convicted or admit guilt. A felony, on the other hand, is a serious crime and a conviction can result in incredibly harsh penalties.
It’s entirely possible to be charged with multiple offenses, all of which will result in their own penalty that you’ll have to contend with. Whether you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor DUI offense or a felony violent crime, you’ll want to work with a Fairfax criminal lawyer to prevent the charge from becoming a conviction.
We can help you understand what penalty the prosecution is likely to ask for, and what your best option is for how to plead. The list detailed below doesn’t name specific crimes, but it will give you a fair idea of what punishment you might be facing if you’re convicted:
Punishments for Misdemeanors and Felonies in Virginia
- Class 4 Misdemeanor – Up to a $250 fine
- Class 3 Misdemeanor – Up to a $500 fine
- Class 2 Misdemeanor – Up to a six-month jail sentence, up to a $1,000 fine, or both
- Class 1 Misdemeanor – Up to a twelve-month jail sentence, up to a $2,500 fine, or both
- Class 6 Felony – Between a one- and five-year prison sentence or a twelve-month jail sentence, up to a $2,500 fine, or both
- Class 5 Felony – Between a one- and ten-year prison sentence or a twelve-month jail sentence, up to a $2,500 fine, or both
- Class 4 Felony – Between a two- and ten-year prison sentence, up to a $100,000 fine, or both
- Class 3 Felony – Between a five- and twenty-year prison sentence, up to a $100,000 fine, or both
- Class 2 Felony – Between a twenty-year and lifetime prison sentence, up to a $100,000 fine, or both
- Class 1 Felony – Either a death sentence or life in prison and up to a $100,000 fine
- Someone who was under the age of eighteen at the time of the crime or mentally retarded cannot be sentenced to death
Punishments for a Criminal Conviction Don’t Stop with the Court Sentence
You have much more at stake than just the penalties listed above, which is why it’s essential to get a Fairfax criminal defense lawyer from our firm working on your case as soon as possible.
For example, even after your sentence has been served and your fine paid, you’ll still have the burden of a criminal record, which can be especially difficult to bear if you’re a convicted felon. Work becomes very difficult to find, housing opportunities dry up, and even loans can be hard to successfully apply for.
The damage to your social and family life can be equally bad. If you’re divorced or not married to your children’s mother or father, you might have a hard time winning custody and visitation rights. If you were convicted of a sex crime and are now a registered sex offender, that’s just one more complication that will have far-reaching consequences for you.
Don’t Go to Trial Without Representation
Even if you’ve read up on every legal book you can find, you don’t want to take a gamble by defending yourself in court. The prosecution will be more than willing to treat you like an experienced defense attorney rather than a layperson.
Even if the evidence to support your case isn’t as strong as you would like, you’re far more likely to get a plea bargain offered by the prosecution when you’ve got a Fairfax criminal lawyer in your corner. It may not come to that, however. We have experience identifying evidence and building cases, and we might be able to find something or use it in a way that you would overlook on your own, thereby introducing the reasonable doubt that your potential acquittal could rely on.
Fairfax Criminal Defense FAQ
We know that you’ve probably got numerous questions and concerns you want to have addressed after getting charged with a crime. That’s perfectly fine, and we understand that this is an incredibly frightening and stressful time. We’ve answered a few common questions below, and if you would like more detailed information, please contact our office to speak with a Fairfax criminal defense lawyer.
If my charge gets dismissed, can I get the record expunged?
It’s possible, but it depends on how the dismissal was obtained. There are some methods of obtaining a dismissal, such as completing a program to dismiss certain minor drug offenses, that will not be eligible.
Can I have a public defender represent me?
If you meet the income requirements, yes. However, public defenders, while generally good at their jobs, are often overworked and might not have adequate time to dedicate to your case. Working with your own defense attorney is the best way to get one-on-one personal attention, a detailed investigation, and a compelling case.
What do I do if I’ve violated my parole?
A parole violation can put you in a situation that’s almost as bad as having a warrant out for your arrest. You’ll need to contact a defense attorney as soon as possible. If it’s just a misunderstanding, we can resolve things before they escalate. If there’s a genuine issue, we can help you identify the best course of action to take.
Contact a Fairfax Criminal Lawyer
Don’t risk getting the maximum sentence for the crime you’ve been accused of. You need to consider every legal option available to get your charges reduced or dismissed, and Priale & Racine, PLLC can help you do exactly that.
To arrange a time to discuss your case with a Fairfax criminal defense lawyer during a free and confidential consultation, simply call 703-272-3922 or submit your information through the online contact form at the bottom of the page.