Criminal offenses occur in several forms in Virginia. These crimes include assault crimes, violent crimes, driving crimes, fraud crimes, and sex crimes. When the court charges you with any of the following general crimes, you either face a misdemeanor or a felony charge. The court considers the nature of the crime and your past criminal records to determine your penalties.
In addition to an extensive jail term, you might find it challenging to find a new job. However, you can still fight criminal charges with the help of a well-competent criminal defense attorney. The attorney can help you gather sufficient evidence and convince the court to dismiss the charges.
At Virginia Criminal Attorney, our criminal defense attorneys have deep experience handling general criminal charges in Newport News. We have helped countless people facing different criminal charges. Therefore if you seek legal help, we are ready to help you.
Fraud Crimes in Newport News
Under Virginia laws, fraud crimes are outlined under section 18.2 of the general offenses and chapter 6 of the offenses that include fraud. The number of fraud crimes keeps increasing daily, and many of the crimes fall under level one misdemeanor offenses. The law treats fraud as either a criminal or civil offense. The following are the common forms of fraud crimes in Virginia:
In Virginia, check fraud is outlined under the following codes 18.2-181,18.2-181-1, 18.2-178, 18.2-172. The law considers the crimes as level 6 felony or misdemeanor based on the check amount. You commit fraud when you:
- Write a check on a suspended or closed account.
- Write a check on a non-existing account.
- Deliver, draw or make a check when you know the account has insufficient funds.
Pretense involves lying, tricking, or misrepresenting yourself to obtain money or property. You are guilty of larceny or theft when found guilty of pretense in Virginia. The law considers the crime a felony or misdemeanor based on the worth of the property in question. When the value of the property in question is below $200, the law considers the case a petty larceny. Alternatively, when you use another person's signature to commit forgery, you face class four felony.
Under Virginia section 18.2-246.3, the law prohibits any person from conducting any transaction where they know the property under the transaction is a profit of unlawful behavior considered a felony. Also, the law prohibits you from converting or compensating money into electronic when you know the funds were illegally acquired. So, when you violate the above regulations, you face money laundering charges.
Forgery involves any crime where you falsify something to deceive another person. Forgery might include document forgery, check forgery, or signature forgery on documents like contracts. The law considers forgery as either a felony or misdemeanor offense. Examples of forgery:
- Keeping material used for forgery purposes
- Forgery of certificates, public records, or returns belonging to a public officer
- Forgery of banknotes and coins
Credit fraud is covered under codes 18.2-195 and 18.2-195.1. You face credit card fraud when you knowingly give products, money, or services to a person possessing an expired or stolen credit card with the intent of defrauding the credit card agency.
Securities fraud refers to unlawful activities concerning trade, sales of stocks and bonds, and investments, among other securities. Under these securities, the perpetrator may have used deceptive methods to sway people to take specific actions regarding the securities. In Virginia, the law is against certain activities associated with securities fraud like pyramid schemes or Ponzi, accounting fraud, and insider trading.
The Possible Punishment for Fraud Crimes
The punishment for fraud crimes varies according to the nature of the specific offense. The court punishes the crimes as either felonies or misdemeanors. The penalties vary as follows:
- Crimes like impersonating a law enforcement officer or a state officer attract a jail term of up to 12 months
- A class four felony attracts a jail term for a period between 24 months and ten years
- A class six felony attract five years jail term in addition to heavy fines
Drug Crimes in Newport News
In Virginia, a controlled substance is any substance or drug outlined under Virginia code 54.1-3401. The schedules run from schedule I to schedule VI of the Virginia drug control act. Tobacco and alcohol are excluded from this list. You want to seek legal help from your Newport News criminal defense attorney to help you understand the drug crime laws and the potential penalties in Newport News.
- Classification Chart
- The controlled substances fall under the following categories in Virginia:
The drugs under this category have a high potential for abuse and have no legal or medical use. The drugs include LSD and heroin.
The drugs under this group have severe dependence and potential for drug abuse, although they are currently accepted for medicinal use. These drugs include PCP, methadone, codeine, methamphetamine, fentanyl, and cocaine.
The drugs under this category have a moderate dependency, accepted medicinal value, and less potential for abuse than class II drugs. The drugs classified under this group include buprenorphine and steroids.
The drugs classified under schedule four have less potential for drug abuse than group three drugs. They also have accepted medicinal value and limited potential for dependency. These drugs include Xanax, Valium, and other sedatives and tranquilizers.
The drugs have a low potential for abuse, accepted medicinal value, and limited potential for dependency. They include cough drugs with codeine.
The category includes substances that are not drugs in the actual sense but are abused. The substances include toluene, amyl nitrite, nitrous oxide, and butyl nitrite. The local and state governments enforce an age limit to sell products with these substances.
Virginia code 54.1-3401 defines the following acts involving controlled substances:
- “Manufacture” means the preparation, conversion, production, processing, or propagation of any controlled substance either indirectly or directly by extracting it from its natural origin or using chemical synthesis.
- “Distribute” means delivering the controlled substance from one place to another.
- “Sale” includes exchange, barter, or any other transaction made by any individual, whether as an agent, employee, servant, or proprietor.
Distributing Controlled Substances to Schools
All schools in Virginia are required to notify law enforcement officers when a student commits a specific crime, including any felonious act involving marijuana, alcohol, an anabolic steroid, or a controlled substance. You will be subject to criminal and school disciplinary actions when charged with the above crimes.
Under Virginia code 22.1-277.08(A), the law allows the school board to impose expulsion on the student determined to have purchased the marijuana, imitation controlled substance, or a controlled substance onto the school property.
Under Virginia code 18.2-265.1, drug paraphernalia involves materials, products, and equipment of any kind designed to plant, cultivate, grow, propagate, manufacture, harvest, produce, compound, prepare, analyze, convert, package, contain, process, inject, inhale, or store a controlled substance. Under Virginia laws, it is a crime to possess drug paraphernalia.
Sex Crimes in Newport News
Many people consider forcible sodomy, object sexual penetration, and rape the most severe sexual assault crimes in Virginia. However, there are other different types of sex crimes in the state that come with severe penalties and sex registration. A Newport News sex crime attorney can help you understand various sex crimes. The following are the common types of sex crimes in Virginia:
The crime is codified under Virginia code 18.2-67.4. The crime involves sexual abuse against the witness's consent using force, intimidation, or threats. The law also requires the offender to register as a sex offender. Alternatively, the offender can face charges for infected sexual battery. The crime is charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony based on the offender's intent.
Infected sexual battery occurs when a person knowingly knows they are affected with syphilis, hepatitis B, or HIV and has anal intercourse or sexual intercourse with the aim of transmitting the infection to the victim. In this case, the offender faces a felony charge.
Sexual Crimes Against a Minor
What are sex crimes against a minor? The law considers any sexual activities with a minor aged below 13 years a rape. Another form of sexual activity against minors is the carnal knowledge of minors between 13 and 15 years. The crime is outlined under Virginia code 18.2-63. The following are examples of sexual crimes against minors in Virginia:
Sexual Battery on a Minor
Sexual battery on a minor is a distinct and separate crime of sexual battery. In this case, when the victim is a child, the law requires the offender to register as a sex offender. The law in Newport News considers sexual battery against a minor, aggravated sexual battery regardless of whether the victim is aged below 13 years. The penalty is usually between a 1 and 20 years jail term. If force is applied during the commission of the crime, the law considers the act aggravated sexual battery against a minor.
Taking Indecent Liberties with a Minor
The crime is outlined under Virginia code 18.2-370. under the law, it is a crime to commit any of the following actions to a person aged below 15 years:
- Expose their genital or sexual parts.
- Propose the child to perform sexual activities outlined under Virginia code 18.2-361.
Felony and Misdemeanor Traffic Offenses in Newport News
Virginia has one of the toughest traffic laws in the country. Traffic offenses can attract felony or misdemeanor charges. When you violate traffic laws in Virginia, you risk facing the following penalties:
- The Virginia criminal court may impose court costs, jail terms and fines, and driver's license revocation or suspension.
- The Virginia department of motor vehicles may impose administrative penalties like license suspension, revocation, and demerit of points against the driver's license.
- The insurance company may increase the cost of your deductibles and premiums after the commission of criminal activity.
The charges of reckless driving are based more on speeding. When you surpass the posted speed limit, you can face charges for reckless driving. Note speeding is one of many crimes that count as reckless driving. In Virginia, reckless driving is a class 1 misdemeanor. A conviction for reckless driving attracts a jail term for at least 12 months, a six months driver's license suspension, and placement of six demerit points on your driving records.
Hit and Run Offense
In Virginia, a hit and run offense can either be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony offense. A felony charge occurs when a driver causes property damages and injuries and flees the accident scene. A felony hit-and-run offense attracts a jail term of up to ten years. The driver faces a misdemeanor charge if no one suffers injuries or property damages during the hit-and-run crime. The court is more likely to suspend the driver's license and impose restitution fees.
Driving on a Suspended License
Driving with a suspended or revoked license is a class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia. The crime is punishable with up to 12 months jail term. Note, a first-time offender driving on a revoked or suspended license does not attract a jail sentence. A felony charge in Newport News requires the offender to appear in criminal court.
However, the court can allow your criminal defense attorney to obtain a “waiver of appearance under a misdemeanor case. ``The waiver allows the court to proceed with your case with the appearance of your attorney. Failure to appear at the criminal court is a grave mistake, although your attorney can defend your rights. It is good you understand how Virginia criminal law works and the potential penalties for any criminal offense.
Violent Crimes in Newport News
Facing charges for violent Crimes is serious because the crimes attract severe penalties. Because of the seriousness of the crimes, you need the assistance of a criminal defense attorney. Violent crimes fall under the following main categories:
Assault and Battery
Assault and Battery are two different crimes. Battery is the infliction of injury on another person in a rude, insulting, or angry manner. For example, you commit battery when you kick someone's face breaking their nose. At times assault and Battery cases can be minor, especially in cases where there is no touching or injury. Again, the cases can be severe when the victim sustains serious injuries.
Domestic Assault and Battery
Domestic assault cases occur when spouses fight. Virginia courts treat domestic assault cases seriously. Any person facing conviction for assault and Battery against a family member is guilty of a class one misdemeanor.
When couples fight and one calls the police out of anger, the police may not leave the compound without arresting someone. There is a first-offender program for those defendants facing charges of domestic assault. The program requires you to complete an anger management course and commit no new offense for two years. When you complete the program, your charges will be dismissed.
Felony Assaults may result in prison or jail sentences. When you face charges for felony Assaults, you will have a permanent felony conviction that cannot be expunged. Felony Assaults include the following:
Assault on a Peace Officer
Assault is a severe offense in Virginia. When you commit assault against a peace officer while on duty, the crime is a felony. To face conviction for the crime, the prosecutor must prove that you knew the victim was a police officer and that the officer was on their official duties when you committed the crime.
Simple actions like using your finger to emulate a pistol pointing at the peace officer are sufficient for you to face charges for APO. Again, spitting on the officer attracts charges of battery and assault.
Conference for the crime includes a six-month jail term which cannot be suspended. Additional penalties depend on the nature of your case.
Malicious wounding is a felony crime in Virginia. You commit the crime when you break the skin of another or cause injury. You do so to maim, disable, disfigure or kill the victim.
Aggravated Malicious Wounding
Aggravated Malicious wounding is a felony crime in Virginia. You commit the offense when you maliciously wound the victim resulting in permanent impairment. For example, The involuntary termination of a woman's pregnancy is treated as a severe injury and a permanent impairment.
The general Virginia assembly created strangulation as a new offense in 2011. You commit strangulation when you apply pressure to another person's neck, obstructing blood circulation or airway resulting in an injury. Strangulation is often confused with choking, although they are different. Strangulation is an escalation of domestic violence. It is treated as one of the lethal forms of domestic violence. Virginia laws treat strangulation with an intimate partner as a grave offense.
Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney Near Me
When you face a criminal charge in Newport News, you need help from a criminal defense attorney. Remember, the charges can attract extensive jail terms and heavy fines. Besides your chances of obtaining a new job or your reputation being wounded, you might need help to return to your everyday lifestyle.
We at Virginia Criminal Attorney will try to have the court dismiss your criminal charges. Our attorney can negotiate an acceptable plea agreement if the court cannot acquit or dismiss your charges. We are ready to work with you if you seek legal help in Virginia. Contact us today at 703-718-5533 and speak with one of our experienced attorneys.