FAIRFAX LAWYER REPRESENTS DEFENDANTS ACCUSED OF VIOLENT CRIMES
Crimes of violence happen every day in Virginia. In 2018, for instance, more than 86,000 “simple” assaults were reported to law enforcement authorities in this state, along with more than 10,000 aggravated assaults, more than 5,800 sexual assaults, and 391 homicides.
Violent crimes are the most severely-punished crimes in Virginia’s justice system. A conviction for a crime of violence may be penalized with fines and jail time, and in the most serious cases, with a prolonged prison term. The death penalty may be imposed for first-degree murder.
The penalties are harsh because crimes of violence so often lead to serious injuries and fatalities for the victims and innocent bystanders.
WHICH CRIMES ARE CONSIDERED VIOLENT CRIMES?
A violent crime is a crime where violence is threatened or perpetrated, with or without a weapon, against the victim. Violent crimes in Virginia include:
- homicide (including murder, manslaughter, and vehicular manslaughter)
- kidnapping and abduction
- aggravated assault, “simple” assault, and battery
- rape and sexual assault
- robbery (both armed and unarmed)
- harassment and hate crimes
- domestic violence and criminal threats
WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES OF A VIOLENT FELONY CONVICTION?
A conviction for a violent felony triggers not only the most severe legal consequences, but it also means facing serious extra-legal consequences. Your career could be destroyed if you are convicted of a crime of violence. Your family could be devastated.
If you hold a professional license in Virginia, a violent crime conviction will trigger disciplinary action by your professional licensing board. If you are an immigrant in Virginia, a conviction for a crime of violence could put you at risk for deportation.
WHAT ARE THE LEGAL PENALTIES FOR A VIOLENT FELONY CONVICTION?
Felonies in Virginia are divided into 6 categories or classes. Class 1 felonies are the most serious. A conviction is punishable by life in prison and a fine of up to $100,000. A first-degree murder conviction for a willful, deliberate, premeditated killing may trigger the death penalty.
Class 2 felony convictions are punishable with 20 years to life in prison and a fine of up to $100,000. Aggravated malicious wounding (intentionally causing a permanent and significant physical injury) is an example of a Class 2 felony.
Class 3 felony convictions are punishable with a prison term of 5 to 20 years and a fine of up to $100,000. Class 4 felony convictions are punishable with a term of 2 to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.
Class 5 and 6 felonies are crimes that may be charged as felonies or as misdemeanors at the prosecutor’s discretion. A Class 5 felony is punishable upon conviction with a prison term of 1 to 10 years. Class 6 felonies are punishable upon conviction with a prison term of 1 to 5 years.
HOW CAN THE RIGHT DEFENSE LAWYER MAKE A DIFFERENCE?
If you’re accused of committing any violent crime in Northern Virginia, you’ll need proven and experienced legal counsel. You can’t afford to have the wrong defense lawyer, but the right defense lawyer can make the difference between freedom and prison.
For two decades, Fairfax criminal defense attorney Scott C. Nolan has represented clients who are accused of violent crimes in the Fairfax area and across Northern Virginia.
He handles the most serious criminal charges: homicide, rape, assault, battery, domestic violence, armed robbery, kidnapping, arson, and making criminal threats. Attorney Scott C. Nolan also handles driving offenses – such as hit-and-run – that are considered violent crimes.
WHAT DEFENSE STRATEGIES ARE SUCCESSFUL IN VIOLENT CRIME CASES?
The defense you offer against a violent crime charge depends on the circumstances of the crime. Misidentification and self-defense are commonly-used defenses. In some cases, a crime never actually happened, and the defendant may be the victim of a “frame” or a fabricated allegation.
Your attorney will determine if the police followed the legal rules for searches, interrogations, and arrests. If the police violate a defendant’s rights during an investigation, an interrogation, a search, or an arrest, a good defense lawyer may be able to have the case entirely dismissed.
For many violent crimes – including homicide, rape, and even burglary – there is no statute of limitations in Virginia. If you’re charged with a violent crime or named in an arrest warrant, the best strategy is to seek an attorney’s advice and deal with the matter forthrightly and promptly.
TO LEARN MORE OR SCHEDULE A CONSULTATION
If you’re charged with a crime of violence, don’t even think about trying to act as your own attorney.
The laws are complicated, and anything you say could be used against you. The right attorney will answer your questions, address your concerns, and develop an aggressive, effective defense strategy on your behalf.
Fairfax criminal defense attorney Scott C. Nolan has represented thousands of clients accused of serious crimes in Northern Virginia. Contact his law offices to learn more or to schedule a first legal consultation.