One moment of bad judgment can land you serious legal trouble. Facing misdemeanor or felony charges for crimes such as DUI, fraud, burglary, assault, and drug possession can be a difficult experience with life with life-altering repercussions. From the moment you face an arrest to interrogations and trial, your rights and reputation are in jeopardy. You may end up behind bars for even the slightest offense. Additionally, your conviction enters your record, which is accessible to the public.

If you face an arrest in Virginia, you will benefit from expert legal guidance. Finding a skilled criminal lawyer is critical in avoiding the negative consequences of a conviction.

At Virginia Criminal Attorney, we understand the devastation caused by the legal and collateral consequences of a criminal conviction. We serve clients seeking legal guidance and representation to battle criminal charges in Annandale, CA. Our criminal attorneys will fight to have your charges reduced, dismissed, or secure the best possible outcome in your case.

Driving While Intoxicated

Virginia DWI laws make it a crime to drive a vehicle:

  • While under drug or alcohol influence. A driver is considered to be under alcohol influence if they have consumed a substantial amount of alcohol that impairs judgment and conduct.
  • With a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or more. Even when your conduct is sober, and you make the right decisions on the road, you can face an arrest and charges for DUI if your blood alcohol content exceeds the 0,08% legal limit.
  • With a high concentration of cocaine, meth, and other controlled substances in your system. If a traffic officer suspects you are under the influence of a controlled substance, they can arrest you and charge you with DUID.

Before you face a conviction for DUI in Virginia, the commonwealth’s attorney must prove these elements:

  • You Operated a Motor Vehicle

You cannot be convicted of drunk driving unless clear evidence shows that you were operating a vehicle. Driving means that you are in physical control. Being in a vehicle while intoxicated may attract other charges but not DUI.

  • You Were Under the Influence

Being under the influence of alcohol means that your conduct was impaired or your BAC exceeded the legal limit. The evidence of your intoxication could include your conduct and physical appearance during your DUI stop. Common signs of intoxication may include:

  • Running a red light.
  • Swerving and weaving from none lane to another.
  • Driving erratically.
  • Bloodshot eyes.
  • Strong alcohol odor.
  • Slurred speech.
  • Presence of alcohol containers or drug paraphernalia inside your vehicle.

Further, the arresting officer will testify to your performance in the sobriety tests. Your BAC is a critical piece of evidence in your DUI case. Often, the blood alcohol content is measured using a breathalyzer or blood sample. A DUI charge based on high BAC results may be challenging to shake off.

Driving under the influence is a severe offense, and the penalties accompanying your conviction will vary depending on the number of repeat offenses in your record. You will face misdemeanor charges for first and second DUI offenses in Virginia. A third and fourth offense within ten years attracts felony charges. A first conviction is punishable by

  • Possible jail time.
  • A one-year driver’s license suspension.
  • A $250 fine.
  • A six-month ignition interlock device requirement.
  • Increase in insurance premiums.

With the following aggravating circumstances, you could face harsher penalties:

  • A BAC of 0.15% or more.
  • DUI with a minor in the vehicle.

Many DUI cases in Virginia do not go to trial. You can enter a plea bargain where you plead guilty to a lesser offense like wet reckless. Unlike DWI, wet reckless’ attracts a more favorable sentence. If you or your loved one faces DUI charges in Annandale, VA, you will require expert legal guidance.

Theft/Larceny Crimes

Larceny crimes involve taking property that belongs to another person without their consent and with an intent to deprive the owner of the property use. Theft crimes are divided into petit and grand larceny; Grand larceny involves money or property worth more than $1000. Petit larceny charges are brought on individuals who unlawfully take property worth less than $1,000.

Grand larceny is a felony punishable by a maximum prison sentence of twenty years. If you face charges for petit larceny, you risk spending up to one year in jail. Different offenses fall under larceny crimes, including the following:

Unauthorized Vehicles in Use

Under Virginia Code 18.2-102, it is a crime to use another person’s car without their consent. Prosecutors take unauthorized vehicle use seriously, even when you claim that you were borrowing a friend's vehicle. The prosecution must prove the following factors before you are found guilty of violating VA Code 18.2-102:

  • You took, drove,, or used another person’s vehicle, aircraft, vessel, or animal.
  • You did not have consent to use the item.
  • You intended to deprive the owner of its use temporarily.
  • You did not intend to steal the property. Unauthorized use of a vehicle is not the same as stealing the vehicle. Therefore, evidence of your intent to steal the item should not be present in your case.

Taking another person’s vehicle without their permission is a class six felony. A conviction under this statute will attract a five-year prison sentence and up to $2500 in fines. However, with an experienced Annandale criminal attorney, you can negotiate with the prosecution for a lower charge.


In Virginia, burglary is a common property theft offense. Under Virginia Code 18.2-89, you commit the crime of burglary by breaking into another person’s dwelling with the intent to commit theft or a felony offense. Sometimes, you could be charged and convicted of burglary even when the residence you entered was not locked. Therefore, the element of breaking locks is not necessary.

Burglary has different categories depending on your intention of entering another person’s dwelling. Common law burglary involves entry to a statutory burglary and is further divided into three main categories:

  • Burglary with an intent to commit murder, arson, rape, or robbery.
  • Statutory burglary with an intent to commit battery, larceny, or assault.
  • Statutory burglary with an intent to commit a violent misdemeanor.

Before you face a conviction for any burglary offenses, the prosecution must prove these elements:

  • You Forcefully broke into another person’s dwelling.
  • The incident occurred during the night under the common law burglary.
  • You entered the dwelling intending to commit crimes such as arson, rape, robbery or murder.

Common law burglary is a class six felony, and a conviction attracts a prison sentence of five to twenty years. Additionally, the court could impose up to $100,000 in fines. Statutory burglary, On the other hand, is a class two or class three felony punishable by a maximum of twenty years in prison. A burglary conviction in Annandale, VA, will have life-changing consequences on your life. Therefore, seeking legal guidance to battle the charge is key.


Under Virginia Code 18.2-111, embezzlement involves the wrongful and fraudulent use of property, a check, or a bill entrusted to you as part of your employment. When embezzlement involves money or property worth less than $1,000, you will be charged with petit larceny. Embezzlement that causes a loss of $1,000 or more attracts grand larceny charges.

Petit larceny is a class one misdemeanor and is punishable by a year in jail after a conviction. Grand larceny, on the other hand, is a felony that attracts a prison sentence of not more than twenty years.

An arrest and prosecution for embezzlement in Virginia involve extensive investigations and forensic accounting audits. However, an arrest for suspected embezzlement does not equal a conviction. With the guidance of a skilled Annandale criminal attorney, you can present the following defenses:

  • Lack of intent to conceal or use the money. If you can show that you made an honest mistake with no criminal intent, you can avoid the harsh consequences of an embezzlement conviction.
  • False allegations or mistaken identification
  • You had a good faith belief that you were making the right decision.

Violent Crimes

In Virginia, a sudden event of violence or a long history of mistreatment significantly impacts a victim. Common violent crimes with which you could be charged include the following:


Under Virginia law, murder is the unlawful killing of another person with malice. Under Virginia Code 18.2-32, murder is divided into the following categories:

     1. First-Degree Murder

A First-degree murder is one of the most severe crimes in Virginia, and t involves any of these elements:

  • Imprisonment of a victim before the actual killing
  • Victim starvation
  • Lying in wait
  • Poisoning a victim.

The prosecution can also file first-degree murder charges if you kill another person in the process of committing serious crimes like rape, arson, robbery or burglary. First-degree murder differs from capital murder in that you can only be convicted of capital murder when the prosecution proves that your actions were deliberate and premeditated. First-degree murder is a class 2 felony punishable by a minimum of twenty years in prison and fines that do not exceed $100,000.

     2. Second-Degree Murder

All other forms of killing which do not fall under first-degree murder attract charges for second-degree murder. Often these killings involve reckless behavior and disregard for the safety of others. However, the element of premeditation is not necessary to secure a conviction. A conviction for second-degree murder attracts a prison sentence of five to forty years.

In addition to lengthy incarceration, a murder charge can taint your record, affecting other aspects of your life long after you are released from prison. Therefore, seeking legal guidance is critical from a competent Annandale criminal lawyer is key.

Voluntary Manslaughter

Manslaughter is the killing of another person without malice. In most cases, voluntary manslaughter charges arise when you kill someone in the heat of passion. Malice and premeditation is the key element that sets aside voluntary manslaughter from murder. Voluntary manslaughter is a class five felony which attracts a prison sentence of one to ten years and up to $2500 in fines.

Suppose you face voluntary manslaughter criminal charges in Annandale, VA. In that case, you can present the following defenses:

  • Self-defense or defense of another
  • Insanity
  • Accidental killing
  • Involuntary intoxication
  • Actual innocence


You commit a crime of kidnapping when you use force, deception or deception to detain or transport another person to deprive them of their liberty. Kidnapping or abduction is charged under Virginia Code 18.2-47, and it does not apply to law enforcement officers as they perform their official duties. Although abduction is a class five felony, your offense could be treated as a class three felony if you act in contempt of the court. If a parent or legal guardian commits the crime, it attracts class six felony charges. A conviction for abduction in Virginia attracts severe penalties depending on your intent when detaining the victim.

Sex Crimes

Many people consider rape and sodomy as the most serious sex offenses. However, many sex crimes in Virginia attract serious and life-changing consequences. The following are common sex crimes with which you can be charged and convicted:


Virginia Code 18.2-61 defines rape as unconsented sexual intercourse with another adult. Often, rape involving minors is charged differently and punished harshly. Often, the prosecutor proves your guilt for the crime by showing that you used threats, force, or violence to engage in the actions. Rape is a felony punishable by life imprisonment.

Sexual Battery

Sexual battery is the use of force or intimidation to abuse another person sexually. You can face an arrest and charges under Virginia Code 18.2-67.4 for the slightest acts like touching another person’s intimate parts. Sexual battery is a misdemeanor punishable by a year in jail and up to $2500 in fines. If the victim of your actions is an individual committed in a facility, you could face felony charges.

Infected sexual Battery

You can face an arrest and criminal for engaging in sexual intercourse or anal intercourse with the intent to infect the other person with HIV or other sexually transmitted infections. Infected sexual battery is a class one misdemeanor.

In addition to prison time and hefty fines, a conviction for most sex crimes in Annandale, VA, will result in sex offender registration. Being in the sex offender registry can ruin your reputation and professional life.

Drug Crimes

Virginia drug laws are straightforward and very stringent. The severity of your criminal charges and potential punishment often varies depending on the type and quantity of the drug involved. You can be arrested for possessing, using, and distributing controlled substances. A controlled substance is any drug whose use is restricted by the government. Common drug charges include the following:

Transportation of a Controlled Substance.

Under Virginia Code 18.2-248.01, it is a crime to transport at least one ounce of cocaine or five ounces of marijuana to sell. Transportation of a controlled substance is a Felony punishable by a mandatory minimum prison sentence of three years and a $1,000,000 fine. You will serve a ten-year mandatory sentence if you have a prior drug-related conviction. Under some circumstances, you could spend up to forty years behind bars.

Possession of a Controlled Substance

It is illegal to knowingly possess a controlled substance or purchase it without a valid prescription. Possession of a drug can be classified as actual possession, where the substance is on you, or constructive possession, where you exercise control over the substance. The schedule of drugs you possess dictates the severity of the punishment you will face after a conviction:

The penalties for possession of drugs under VA Code 18.2-250 Include the following:

  • Schedule I and II drug passion is a class five felony punishable by a prison sentence of up to ten years and a $2500 fine.
  • Possession of schedule III is a class one misdemeanor that attracts a one-year jail sentence.
  • Possession of a Class IV misdemeanor is a class two misdemeanor that attracts a jail sentence of up to six months and a $1,000 fine.
  • The court imposes a $500 as a punishment for class V drug possession.

Sometimes, you could escape jail time through a probation sentence for drug possession in Virginia. However, probation is not for all defendants, and you may need a skilled Annandale criminal lawyer to negotiate the sentence with the prosecution.

Possession of Marijuana

You can face an arrest and criminal charges for possessing marijuana or obtaining the substance illegally. Possession of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by up to thirty days in jail and $500 in fines. However, if you are a repeat offender. You risk spending a year in jail.

Find a Competent Annandale Criminal Defense Attorney Near Me

When you face an arrest for violating the law in Virginia, the prosecutor can file felony or misdemeanor charges. Common crimes for which you can be arrested include theft crimes, sex crimes, driving under the influence, and violent crimes. The consequences of a criminal conviction in Virginia are serious and life-changing. In addition to spending time in jail and paying heavy fines, you will have a permanent criminal record.

A conviction, especially for a felony, on your record will affect your ability to join college, secure a job or find a place to stay. Fortunately, not all arrests will result in a conviction. With a strong defense, it is possible to fight and beat your charges. Virginia criminal laws are complicated. Therefore, hiring and retaining a skilled criminal defense attorney is critical in fighting the charges. We at Virginia Criminal Attorney will work hard to protect your rights and help you build a solid defense against your charges. You will need our legal expertise if you or your loved one faces criminal charges. Contact our Annandale Criminal Attorneys today at 703-718-5533.