Undergoing a criminal investigation or facing criminal charges can be a stressful and overwhelming experience. It can leave you feeling anxious and uncertain about your future. You can isolate yourself from others and shut yourself off from the world, probably because you feel ashamed and embarrassed. Perhaps you believe that nobody understands what you are going through. We understand the trauma of facing criminal charges at the Virginia Criminal Attorney. During this time, you need the support of an experienced Haymarket criminal attorney. An attorney will help you navigate the criminal justice system and ensure you receive a fair judgment.

Types Of Criminal Offenses In Virginia

We can help you fight criminal charges for all types of criminal offenses in Virginia, including:

Robbery — VA. Code 18.2-58

Robbery is defined under VA. Code 18.2-58 as taking someone else’s property using violence or intimidation with the intent to deprive the owner of their property permanently.

If the prosecutor accuses you of robbery, he/she must prove the following elements:

  • You had the criminal intent to steal.
  • You took some property.
  • You took the property out of the owner’s presence.
  • You took the property against the owner’s will.
  • You used violence or the threat of violence.

The intent to deprive the owner of their property must be evident during the taking for you to face robbery charges. The intent can be expressed through violence, intimidation, threat, or force. A taking happens when you acquire control over property and move it in any way.

Rape — VA. Code 18.2.61

You can commit rape under VA. Code 18.2-61 if you have sexual intercourse with another person or cause someone else to have sexual intercourse with them. Adult rape is defined as having sexual intercourse with someone without their consent by use of force, threat, or intimidation. The victim's subjective viewpoint establishes force, threat, or coercion.

The prosecutor can prove the crime of rape by:

  • The victim’s testimony.
  • Witness accounts.
  • Circumstantial evidence.
  • Computer or digital communications.
  • Forensic evidence.
  • Defensive wounds.
  • Physical evidence of injury, or
  • Any other way that is admissible in court.

Penetration is a crucial element of the crime of rape. Usually, you can face rape charges, even for a slight penetration.

The prosecutor must provide evidence showing that you used enough force to overcome the victim's resistance. Threats, conversely, mean showing intent to cause bodily harm. Intimidation can occur without threats. Intimidation means putting someone else in fear of bodily injury. You can exercise this dominance and control over the victim to overcome their will, making them act against their free will. You can execute intimidation by imposing psychological pressure on a person who is vulnerable to pressure.

Burning or Destroying a Dwelling House – VA. Code 18.2-77

It is a crime under VA. Code 18.2-77 to do the following:

  • To burn or destroy a dwelling house using an explosive device.
  • To counsel, aid, or procure the destruction or burning of a dwelling house.

A dwelling house could include:

  • An occupied church or building leased or owned by a church that is immediately adjacent to the church.
  • An occupied prison or jail.
  • An occupied vessel, boat, or river craft where another person resides.
  • An occupied railroad car.
  • An occupied mental health facility.
  • An occupied hospital.
  • An occupied hotel.
  • One’s own house.
  • Another house where someone usually resides.

If the prosecutor accuses you of violating VA. Code 18.2-77, he/she must prove the following elements:

  • You started a fire.
  • You acted intentionally.
  • When you started the fire, you acted with malicious intent.


There are two types of burglary in Virginia: 

  • Burglary VA. Code 18.2-89 and
  • Statutory burglary.

Both are serious offenses that could attract severe penalties. You could be guilty of burglary under VA. Code 18.2-89 if you break into the dwelling house of someone at night with the intent to commit a felony or theft. If you face charges for violating VA. Code 18.2-89, the prosecutor should prove these elements:

  • You broke into another person’s house.
  • You did it at night.
  • You did so intending to steal property or commit a felony or theft offense.

You could face two types of felony charges under VA. Code 18.2-89. They include Class two felony and Class three felony charges. You could face Class two felony charges if you were armed with a deadly weapon during the commission of burglary.

You could commit statutory burglary in the following ways:

  • Breaking into a dwelling to commit robbery, rape, murder, or arson — This is a Class three or two felony, depending on whether you had a deadly weapon, according to VA. Code 18.2-90.
  • Breaking into a dwelling to commit arson, assault, battery, or theft, according to VA. Code 18.2-91.
  • Breaking into a dwelling to commit a misdemeanor under VA. Code 18.2.92.

Grand Theft – VA. Code 18.2.95

The court can charge theft crimes as petty theft or grand theft. Grand theft is charged as a felony. Grand theft is taking items worth $1,000 or more to deprive the owner of their property permanently. It is also defined as directly taking items worth more than $5 from someone. If the prosecutor accuses you of grand theft, this statute requires that he/she prove the following elements:

  • You took property.
  • The property you took was worth more than $5 if you took it directly from the owner or $1,000 if you did not take it from the owner.
  • You took the property without the permission of the owner.
  • You intended to deprive the owner of their property permanently.

Forging Public Records – VA. Code 18.2-168

It is a crime under VA. Code 18.2-168 to forge or alter a certificate, public record, return, or attestation of an employee or a public officer. This happens in cases where a particular document can be seen as legal evidence or an official acknowledgment. However, to face charges, efforts must have been made to pass off a modified or forged version as valid.

For example, you could be pulled over for a traffic violation, and you sign a citation with someone else’s name and contact information to escape the consequences. This crime is a Class Four felony. You could face a forgery of a public document charge.

Willfully Discharging Firearms In Public Places – VA. Code 18.2-280

You could be guilty of a Class 6 felony if you willfully discharge a firearm in a public place and it results in bodily harm to someone else. You could be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor if you willfully discharge a gun in a public place without causing bodily harm to someone else.

You could be guilty of a Class 4 felony if you willfully discharge a firearm upon the grounds and buildings of a public or private school. You will face charges unless you are engaged in a curriculum or program sponsored by a public or private school.

You could also face a Class 4 felony charge if you willfully discharge a firearm upon a public property within 1,000 feet of the property line.

If the prosecutor accuses you of violating VA. Code 18.2.280, he/she must prove the following elements:

  • You discharged a firearm.
  • You did so while in public.
  • You injured another person.

Prostitution – VA. Code 18.2-346

VA. Code 18.2-346 covers two offenses: prostitution and solicitation of prostitution. You could be guilty of prostitution under VA. Code 18.2-346(a) if you offer sexual services for money. Similarly, you could face prostitution charges if you volunteer to offer sexual acts for money. This crime is a Class 1 misdemeanor.

You could be guilty of prostitution solicitation under the VA. Code 18.2-346(b) if you offer money to someone else in exchange for sexual acts. This crime is also a Class 1 misdemeanor.

On the other hand, you could be charged with a Class 6 felony if you are found guilty of soliciting prostitution from a minor under VA. Code 18.2-346(b)(i). You could be charged with a Class 5 felony if you solicit prostitution from a minor under the age of 16.

Why You Should Hire a Haymarket Criminal Attorney

If you are facing criminal charges, you should hire an attorney with experience handling criminal cases. If you hope to achieve a more favorable outcome, an experienced Haymarket criminal attorney can help you.

Some of the reasons why you should hire an attorney include:

Formulate a Sentencing Program

An attorney can assist you in securing a sentencing program that avoids a jail term. For example, he/she can negotiate with the court to have you enroll in a drug or alcohol treatment program. You could also participate in community service instead of a jail term.

Negotiate a Plea Agreement

Your attorney could enter a plea agreement if he/she feels it is in your best interests. The attorney can use the investigation results to convince the prosecutor to reduce the charges against you or propose a more lenient sentence.

Provide You With a Reality Check

An attorney could give you a realistic evaluation of the possible outcome after investigating the criminal case against you. This will assist you in determining whether to enter into a plea agreement or take your case to trial.

Challenge The Evidence

Perhaps law enforcement officers did not comply with the law and the required procedures when gathering evidence against you. Your attorney can identify these issues and file a motion to suppress the unlawfully secured evidence. The court can dismiss the charges against you if the prosecutor does not have ample evidence to prove you guilty.

Seek The Services Of Experts

You might require an expert witness to testify on your behalf in some criminal matters. You could require an expert to challenge some evidence, depending on the facts of your case. If your case requires some expert witnesses, an experienced attorney will have a network of qualified experts to choose from.

Carry Out Investigations

The prosecutor has law enforcement and other investigators who can assist them in developing a robust case against you. You should never face the prosecutor on your own. A Haymarket criminal attorney has experience investigating a crime's facts. They will evaluate the prosecutor’s evidence and interview witnesses, which are essential in creating the proper defense.

Understands the Law

Criminal law is a complex area with many statutes, constitutional rights, and court decisions that can apply to your charges. You cannot develop the defenses alone without the help of a competent attorney.

No case is too hard for an experienced Haymarket criminal attorney. We have reputable attorneys who understand criminal law and local courts. We will work hard to ensure the charges against you are reduced or dismissed.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Haymarket Criminal Attorney

Having a skilled and competent defense attorney by your side is essential when facing criminal charges. The choice of an attorney could significantly influence the outcome of your case. Choosing the most suitable attorney can be hard, with so many attorneys available.

Some of the factors you should consider when choosing a criminal attorney include:

Fee Structure and Affordability

Considering an attorney’s fee structure and affordability is important, even if quality representation comes at a cost. Discuss the fee arrangement with the attorney before accepting their services. The discussion will help you know how the attorney bills for their services. Some attorneys offer flat fees, while others charge an hourly rate or work on a contingency basis. You should also ask about additional expenses like investigative, expert witness, and court fees.

Affordability is a factor you should consider, but it should not be the only determining factor. A skilled and experienced attorney could be well worth the investment and will potentially secure a favorable outcome for your case. Do not hesitate to discuss payment plans if financial constraints are a concern. You could also inquire if you are eligible for public defense or pro-bono representation.

Resources and Support Staff

When choosing a criminal defense attorney, sufficient resources and a strong team of support staff are essential factors. Complicated cases usually require expert witnesses, extensive investigation, and the ability to gather and analyze evidence effectively. An attorney accessing a wide range of resources can significantly strengthen your defense strategy.

Investigate the attorney’s firm resources and the support staff available to help them. A proficient legal representative can assist in case research, preparation, and administrative duties. This will enable your attorney to focus on building a solid defense. Support staff availability will also ensure you receive quick responses to your questions and concerns throughout the legal process.

Clear Communication And Personal Compatibility

Effective communication is essential during the legal process. A reasonable attorney should be attentive and responsive. The attorney should also thoroughly explain legal concepts and strategies to you. Pay attention during initial consultations to see how well the attorney addresses your questions and listens to your concerns. A successful attorney-client relationship is established by communicating clearly and establishing a rapport.

Criminal cases can be long and emotionally draining. Personal compatibility is, therefore, essential. You should choose an attorney you are comfortable working with. Your criminal defense attorney should be understanding, empathetic, and able to offer you support during hard times. During your initial interactions, assess their professionalism, demeanor, and whether they genuinely show interest in your case.

Reputation and Record of Accomplishment

The attorney’s professional abilities and ethical standards are demonstrated by their reputation and record of accomplishment. Client testimonials, reviews, and referrals from trusted sources can help you gauge an attorney's reputation. Conduct thorough research by exploring local bar associations, legal directories, and online platforms to gather information concerning an attorney's reputation.

Additionally, consider the attorney’s record of accomplishment in handling criminal cases. A strong record of achievement can provide you with confidence and peace of mind, even if no attorney can guarantee a specific outcome. Research previous cases similar to yours and evaluate how the attorney handled them. Confirm whether the attorney secured acquittals, reduced charges, or dismissals. A proven record of accomplishment suggests that your attorney has the tenacity and skills you need to defend your interests effectively.

Experience and Expertise

Experience and expertise are vital when choosing a criminal defense attorney. Criminal law is a specialized and complicated field. It requires deep knowledge of the legal system, trial strategies, and investigative techniques. An attorney with experience will have a track record of handling cases similar to yours and will be familiar with relevant laws and regulations.

Consider the years an attorney has practiced criminal defense law when evaluating their experience. You should also consider their success rate in handling cases. Check their specialization within criminal law because some attorneys focus on particular areas, like DUI charges, white-collar crimes, or drug offenses. An attorney who has handled similar cases will have the essential skills and insights to navigate the complexities of your charges.

Additionally, you should assess the attorney’s trial experience. Most cases are settled through plea bargains or negotiations. Therefore, it is invaluable to have a defense attorney with trial experience. The attorney should be adept at cross-examining witnesses, developing persuasive claims, and tabling evidence in court. If a Haymarket criminal attorney meets all the requirements, hiring them will guarantee you the best outcome for your case.

Find a Reputable Haymarket Criminal Attorney Near Me

Are you facing criminal charges and need a reliable Haymarket criminal attorney?

Our experienced attorneys at Virginia Criminal Attorney can help. For decades, we have helped clients fight criminal charges for different offenses with outstanding results. We can do the same for you. Contact us at 703-718-5533 to speak to one of our attorneys.