Each award winning criminal defense lawyer at DSK Law has decades of experience representing clients charged with criminal offenses in Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. We handle a range of matters including investigations, trials, appeals, and expungements. In addition to possible incarceration, a conviction could result in immigration consequences, loss of a security clearance, or termination from employment. Our highly rated criminal defense lawyers, support staff, and investigators provide our clients with the resources necessary to effectively resolve their case and address each client’s unique concerns.
Call DSK|Law and speak with a highly qualified and award winning criminal defense attorney. We develop a defense strategy tailored to our client’s needs. Our goal is to get the best possible result for our clients through trial or plea agreement negotiations.
Criminal Defense Lawyer for Misdemeanors
Misdemeanor offenses in Virginia are punishable by up to 12 months in jail and up to a $2,500 fine. They are resolved in General District Court through a guilty plea or a trial without a jury. The first hearing for a misdemeanor is an arraignment. During the arraignment the judge will read the charge and ask if you inderstand the charge. The judge also sets the next court date which is for trial. It is important to hire an attorney as soon as possible so there is time to prepare for the case. Some examples of common misdemeanors include DUI DWI, Reckless Driving, Petit Larceny, Trespassing, Assault and Battery, Destruction of Property, Drunk in Public, and Possession of Marijuana.
Criminal Defense Lawyer for Felonies
Felony offenses in Virginia are punishable by over a year in jail and or a fine. However, in addition to the possibility of jail, if convicted you will lose your right to vote and possess a firearm. Generally, felonies are resolved with a guilty plea or a trial in Circuit Court. A trial may be with a jury or without. As with misdemeanors, the first hearing for a felony charge is an arraignment. At the arraignment the judge will schedule a preliminary hearing.
The preliminary hearing also occurs in the General District Court. During this hearing the prosecutor must prove that there is probable cause to support the charge. This is a much lower evidentiary bar compared to beyond a reasonable doubt. In other words, the prosecutor must prove that it is more likely than not that a crime occurred and that the accused committed the crime. After the preliminary hearing, the case is sent to the Circuit Court.
In Circuit Court the case is presented to a grand jury that will confirm that there is probable cause to support the charge. The first court date in Circuit Court happens after the grand jury hears the case. This hearing is for scheduling a trial or a date to plead guilty. Following a trial or guilty plea, the judge will set a sentencing date.
Some examples of common felonies include Grand Larceny, Forgery, Possession of Drugs, Embezzlement, and Malicious Wounding.