Fairfax Criminal Attorney

Given the potential penalties, anyone who is suspected of committing a crime in Northern Virginia should contact a Fairfax criminal lawyer for sound legal counsel. Most criminal matters in Fairfax are aggressively prosecuted, which is why it’s important to seek legal advice even if you believe that your charges are fairly minor.

There are many benefits that come along with hiring a private Fairfax criminal attorney, not the least of which is having the full resources of a criminal defense law firm to support the investigation and litigation of your case.

Why Choose a Fairfax Criminal Lawyer?

The attorneys at our firm are dedicated legal advocates who maintain a day-to-day presence in the Fairfax County court system.  Having this sort of local knowledge and presence on your side as you work to resolve your charges can be a major help when defending yourself in court or working with a prosecutor to negotiate a plea bargain that meets your needs.

It’s easy to generalize about the benefits of hiring an aggressive Fairfax criminal lawyer, but to find out how our legal team can help you specifically, please give us a call.  Your initial consultation is completely free of charge.

Criminal Charges in Fairfax

The following outline covers many of the most commonly filed criminal charges in Fairfax, Virginia. For answers to your specific questions, you should speak with an experienced Fairfax criminal lawyer.

Assault in Fairfax County

Assault and battery are generally classified as crimes against persons and can be filed as a felony or misdemeanor, depending on the circumstances of the incident. Battery refers to the physical act of striking or attacking someone. Assault is generally defined as anything from inflicting physical harm to threats of harm. Even aggressive threats or gestures may result in an assault charge in Virginia.  If you find yourself facing assault charges, call a Fairfax criminal lawyer.

Simple Assault

The charge of simple assault is a misdemeanor and a first offense is punishable by up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine that can be as high as $2,500. It’s important to remember that someone charged with simple assault who has no previous criminal history may be able to receive a reduced sentence, at the judge’s discretion.

There are several classifications of assault that are deemed more serious and, depending on the extent of the harm the victim suffered and whether a weapon was involved, can result in felony charges and harsher sentencing terms, ranging from a few years in prison to a potential life term. These types of charges include:

  • Aggravated assault – an attack upon a victim with a weapon or displaying the weapon in a threatening manner.
  • Malicious wounding – cutting, stabbing, beating, or shooting with malice and with the intent to cause disfigurement, disability, or death.
  • Unlawful Wounding—cutting, stabbing, beating or shooting without malice, but the intent to cause disfigurement, disability or death.
  • Aggravated malicious wounding – causing permanent and significant physical impairment.

Theft-Related Charges in Fairfax

Though these offenses primarily deal with crimes involving property, and may not be prosecuted or punished quite as seriously as crimes against persons, they can involve underlying offenses that include a “crimes against persons” component. This means that many theft charges have sentences that allow prosecutors to seek more serious penalties than what might normally be associated to a theft crime, had the victim not been directly involved in the theft.  Legal distinctions like this are complex and vary depending on the circumstances, so contact a Fairfax criminal defense attorney to learn about which rules may apply to your charges.

Compared to other states, Virginia’s dividing line that separates misdemeanor from felony theft is quite low. Petit larceny – the lesser of the two offenses – means the suspect stole less than $200 worth of property. Grand larceny is charged for every theft involving items valued at $200 or more.

Robbery

Robbery is a felony and is charged when the suspect takes or attempts to take anything of value from the victim through physical confrontation. This can be through direct force, the threat of force, or any perceived violent act. Conviction can result in five years to life in prison, depending on the circumstances of the case.

Burglary

Burglary, or breaking and entering, involves the theft of items without direct confrontation or force. An example would be breaking into a closed office late at night. It is also charged as a felony and penalties can range from five to 20 years in prison. If, however, this property crime involves a victim, or the suspect is carrying a firearm or weapon when committing the burglary, enhanced charges of gun possession and possibly assault could be levied. Conviction of additional charges and enhancements can result in more time in prison.

Other crimes pertaining to theft may include:

  • Carjacking and auto theft
  • Fraud
  • Credit card fraud
  • Identity theft

Drug Offenses in Fairfax, Va.

Drug charges can range from simple possession of marijuana, which is a misdemeanor charge, to possession of a controlled substance, which is a felony. Allegations of possession with the intent to distribute can result in a felony charge. Some drug offenses may rise to the level of a federal offense. Determining the severity of the charge depends on a number of factors, including the type and quantity of drug involved. Quantity is often used to argue the suspect’s intent to sell or distribute drugs, but an experienced Fairfax criminal lawyer may be able to defend against arguments like this effectively, since “intent” and “possession” are fairly subjective terms.

Simple possession of small amounts of marijuana and less-threatening drugs are usually charged as either a misdemeanor. They involve fines of up to $2,500 and/or up to a year in jail upon conviction, though the terms are discretionary and can be reduced by the judge or jury in certain circumstances.

Other offenses, such as forging prescriptions, can lead to enhanced charges and additional penalties.  Speak to a Fairfax Criminal lawyer with our firm to learn more.

Gun-Related Crimes

Most Virginia gun violations involve either unlawful carrying of a concealed firearm without the proper permit, or unlawful discharge of a firearm. This second offense was recently updated in January 2014, when the Commonwealth made it illegal to fire guns into the air in a celebratory manner. Each round that is fired can result in an individual count, which increases your potential exposure if you are found guilty on some or all of the counts.

Even though Virginia has a number of laws that are designed to balance the right to own or carry a firearm and the interests and safety of the public as a whole, there are some restrictions that can result in serious charges if they are violated. Convicted felons are prohibited from carrying firearms in any instance and guns are prohibited in a number of areas in the Commonwealth, including schools, city halls, airport terminals, and courthouses.

Call a Fairfax criminal defense attorney to learn how you can mount an effective defense to whichever gun charges you may be facing.

Sex Crimes

Sex crimes are among some of the most potentially damaging charges an individual can face. Sex crimes are generally covered under Title 18.2, Chapter 4, in Sections 18.2-61 through 18.2-67.10.The charges can also be technical and may hinge on unsubstantiated allegations by the victim rather than the presence of mere physical evidence. The term sex crimes also covers a myriad of offenses. These include, but are not necessarily limited to:

  • Rape, attempted rape, date rape, statutory rape, and spousal rape
  • Indecent Exposure
  • Sexual battery, aggravated sexual battery, and malicious sexual battery
  • Child Molestation and any unlawful sex act involving a minor
  • Possession of child pornography; which can also include production and manufacturing of child pornography
  • Prostitution and solicitation
  • Human trafficking for the purposes of prostitution

Start Planning Your Defense Today

When you’re facing serious criminal charges in Fairfax County, you can have confidence that the attorneys at our law firm are here for you.  Call our firm today to speak with a Fairfax criminal lawyer who can work with you, helping to build a brighter future.