Have you been charged with a misdemeanor offense in Virginia? Contact a misdemeanor lawyer Arlington VA immediately. Depending on the class of misdemeanor you were charged with, you may be facing up to a $2,500 fine or a 12-month jail sentence. Virginia takes criminal offenses very seriously, even misdemeanors! Don’t procrastinate. A skilled misdemeanor lawyer Arlington VA will help you defend your rights and freedom.
In Virginia, a misdemeanor is an offense punishable by fine not exceeding $2,500, or a term not exceeding 12 months in jail, or a combination of jail and fine within these limits. Upon conviction, a criminal record follows. In Virginia, misdemeanors are classified as Class 1, 2, 3, or 4. A misdemeanor lawyer Arlington VA understands the best way to navigate these kinds of charges and will help you in a difficult situation.
A misdemeanor lawyer Arlington VA knows that a Class 1 misdemeanor is the most serious misdemeanor in Virginia. It is punishable by up to 12 months in jail, a fine up to $2,500, or both. Both traffic and criminal offenses can be a Class 1 misdemeanor. Examples are assault & battery, domestic violence, petit larceny, reckless driving, and DWI. If you were charged with any of these crimes, call a misdemeanor lawyer Arlington VA now for a free consultation.
A Class 2 misdemeanor is less serious than Class 1, but it is still very serious. A misdemeanor lawyer Arlington VA will explain to you that a Class 2 misdemeanor is punishable by up to 6 months in jail, a fine up to $1,000, or both. Examples are possession of a schedule IV controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, and aggressive driving. A misdemeanor lawyer Arlington VA will defend you against these charges and fight for the best possible outcome.
Class 3 misdemeanors, while still serious, do not involve jail time. For example, a Class 3 misdemeanor is punishable by a fine up to $500, but no jail time. Possession of a schedule V controlled substance is a Class 3 misdemeanor in Virginia. Similarly, Class 4 misdemeanors also do not involve jail time. A Class 4 misdemeanor is punishable by a fine up to $250, but no jail time. Examples include public intoxication and possession of a schedule VI controlled substance.
Even if you are only charged with a Class 3 or 4 misdemeanor, however, you should still contact a misdemeanor lawyer Arlington VA as soon as possible. Why? Because even though a conviction might involve only a fine, a misdemeanor lawyer Arlington VA understands that this conviction will stay on your criminal record indefinitely. You may have to disclose it to potential employers, on security clearance applications, or to other individuals. It is always better to keep any misdemeanor conviction off your record if at all possible, and an experienced misdemeanor lawyer Arlington VA will put you in the best possible position to defend against such charges and seek an acquittal.
Or, if acquittal is not likely, a skilled misdemeanor lawyer Arlington VA may be able to negotiate a resolution of your case that would not involve a criminal conviction—for example, perhaps negotiating some kind of community service or other court disposition that will not impact your permanent criminal record. Every case is different, so there are no guarantees—but a good misdemeanor lawyer Arlington VA may be the best chance you have for a good result.
If you were charged with a misdemeanor, you should take it very seriously! A criminal conviction could have lifelong consequences. Contact our experienced misdemeanor lawyer Arlington VA at May Law, LLP. Our misdemeanor lawyer Arlington VA will meet with you for free with no further obligations. Call us now at (703) 312-0410 for a free consultation.
Self-Defense as a Defense
Depending on the crime you are charged with, your Arlington VA misdemeanor lawyer may determine that you were defending yourself. The definition of self-defense is the right to stop someone from harming you by applying an adequate amount of counter-force. Sounds pretty basic; however, when applied to specific situations the meaning can become a bit cloudy.
For example, if you are defending yourself from being physically harmed, what amount of force is considered appropriate and legal? What if you were the one to initiate the attack? At what point should you retreat from the attack if you can? What if there is a perceived threat and you respond even if you were never attacked?
The rules may differ depending upon the jurisdiction. Contact a Arlington VA misdemeanor lawyer for specific regulations in Virginia. When defending a self-defense claim when you are being tried for a criminal offense the court will address the following questions:
Was the Threat Imminent?
If you are defending yourself by using force because you are currently being threatened, even it the threat is verbal, the self-defense claim could be justified. This is also true if you are verbally threatened with physical harm. However, if someone just uses words that offend you and do not threaten you with physical harm, it does not give you the right to harm them and then claim you were acting in self-defense.
There is a difference between self-defense and retaliation. If you are assaulted and then your assaulter leaves and the threat is no longer valid, it is not considered self-defense if you then go after your assaulter and harm them.
Was Your Fear of Being Harmed Valid?
The court uses the concept of a ‘reasonable person’ when determining whether or not the fear of being harm was justified. Would a ‘reasonable person’ react in the same manner in the same situation. It’s not a perfect analogy and is subjective based on the particular situation, but it is a good yardstick for the court to use when judging how the ‘average’ person perceives an imminent threat and their reaction to that threat.
Imperfect self-defense is when someone perceives a threat that was not really a threat and harms the person they feel is a danger to them. If you were to start an altercation and the other person fights back, you then fear for your life and unintentionally kill the other person in an attempt to protect yourself, you may be able to claim self-defense. This will not get you off for killing the other party; however, you may get less of a sentence because of the circumstances.
Contact a Arlington VA Misdemeanor Lawyer
There are certain circumstances where self-defense becomes a valid response to what you perceive to be an imminent threat to your life. Each situation is unique and how much force you may or may not be entitled to use can complicate the case. Enlisting the help of an experienced misdemeanor lawyer Arlington VA clients recommend from May Law LLP is necessary to make sure your rights are protected. Your misdemeanor lawyer will work for you, defending your self-defense case, enlisting the assistance of expert witnesses, conducting investigations into the incident, and ensuring every aspect of the case is properly portrayed in court.