If you are arrested for criminal charges in Charlottesville, Virginia, it is important to talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Criminal charges can lead to prison time, a criminal record, expensive fines, and even the loss of certain rights.
I represent clients who have been charged with crimes in Charlottesville and the surrounding area. This includes any type of criminal charge, from minor vehicle violations to serious felony offenses. Contact me today to discuss your options.
Criminal Practice Areas
I provide legal representation in all criminal and traffic matters in Virginia, including:
- Vehicle Offenses
- Theft and Larceny Crimes
- Drug Crimes
- Violent Crimes
- Domestic Violence
- Gun Crimes
- College Student Charges
Driving Under the Influence
Driving under the influence or driving while impaired (DWI) is one of the most commonly charged crimes in Virginia. A conviction for DUI results in some of the costliest consequences for a misdemeanor conviction, including expensive fines, an ignition interlock, driving restrictions, higher insurance rates, and possible jail time. Before pleading guilty to a DUI charge, it is important to talk to an experienced DUI defense lawyer about your rights and DUI defenses.
Most traffic violations or criminal offenses will result in fines. However, some traffic offenses are misdemeanors and can result in possible jail time. Serious driving offenses or multiple violations can also lead a suspended license in some instances. If you are facing increased insurance rates or the loss of your license, it is important to talk to an experienced traffic law attorney who will fight those traffic charges.
Theft or Larceny Crimes
Larceny related crimes in Virginia include minor offenses like shoplifting through more serious offenses relating to white collar crimes like fraud or embezzlement. Increasingly, individuals in Virginia are being charged with online theft or identity theft.
Drug crimes carry serious penalties and possession of large amounts of drugs or trafficking of drugs may result in felony charges. Even possession of drug paraphernalia or driving under the influence of drugs can result in serious consequences for individuals and their families.
Violent crimes are treated seriously by prosecutors in Virginia. Assault and battery, domestic violence, and homicide should be handled by an experienced defense lawyer who understands what is at risk.
Domestic violence often occurs behind closed doors. In many cases, there are no witnesses and an innocent person could face serious penalties if the jury believes the alleged victim. Domestic violence consequences include loss of child custody, jail time, as well as restrictions on communication or movement.
Criminal charges involving a firearm may be treated as an aggravated offense with higher penalties. After a conviction for a felony, individuals may be prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm and can face criminal charges if found to be in possession of a gun.
Misdemeanors in Virginia are a class of criminal charge that generally carry a maximum prison term of 12 months in jail. Misdemeanors are divided into Class 1, Class 2, Class 3, Class 4, and unclassified misdemeanors. Even if a misdemeanor offense does not result in jail time, generally, it will still leave a permanent mark on an individual's criminal record.
Felonies are more serious than misdemeanors. Felonies are divided into Class 1, Class 2, Class 3, Class 4, Class 5, and Class 6. The consequences of a felony conviction result in more than one year in prison (although some or all of that time may be suspended in some instances). More serious felonies carry a maximum term of life in prison. Collateral consequences of a felony conviction will follow an individual even after they have served their sentence.
An expungement is the legal process to have criminal records sealed from the public. Generally, only individuals who were not convicted of the specific crime the individual is trying to expunge can get an expungement. If you have any questions about sealing your criminal record or expungements in Virginia, talk to an experienced Virginia criminal defense lawyer.
College Student Charges
Charlottesville is home to thousands of college and university students. College students can face criminal charges, especially when drugs or alcohol are involved. University students may have additional concerns about how a criminal conviction can impact their education and future job or graduate prospects. If you are a UVA student or have a college student child, talk to an experienced Charlottesville defense attorney about your case.
Criminal Cases in Charlottesville, VA
Most criminal cases in Charlottesville are prosecuted by either the Charlottesville Commonwealth Attorney's Office, or the Albemarle County Commonwealth Attorney's office, including most misdemeanors, infractions, and DUI cases.
Criminal cases are generally prosecuted in the following Charlottesville courthouses:
- Charlottesville General District Court
- Charlottesville Circuit Court
- Charlottesville Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court
For cases where the offense occurred in Albemarle County, criminal cases are generally prosecuted in the following courthouses:
- Albemarle General District Court
- Albemarle Circuit Court
- Albemarle Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court
Charlottesville Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you have been charged with a crime in Charlottesville, contact me today for a free consultation. Each case is different, but depending on the specific set of facts of your case, as a Charlottesville criminal defense attorney, I may be able to help you:
- Have your charge dismissed,
- Obtain a not guilty verdict,
- Obtain a less serious charge than the original charge, or
- Obtain an agreement with the Commonwealth which will minimize the negative impact a conviction may have.