Depending on how familiar you are with criminal procedures and arrests, being charged with a crime may not seem like a big deal. If you’re innocent, you’ll be set free. After all, justice always prevails, right?

Unfortunately, no. The criminal justice system is far from perfect. Sometimes the wrong person is arrested (and even convicted). Sometimes the police and prosecutors misinterpret the evidence, collect evidence improperly, or overlook the extenuating circumstances. As a result, even minor accusations involving criminal offenses can cause the most innocent suspect to be concerned. Considering the consequences of any conviction, that concern is completely understandable.

However, with a reliable defense attorney, worrying about possible convictions may be premature. No matter what the offense—misdemeanor or felony—Attorney Van Hardenbergh will fight to make sure you don’t suffer unjust consequences.

Penalties for Conviction of a Misdemeanor Vs. a Felony

Unfortunately, many people don’t realize the importance of having a dependable attorney when worrying about their defense. Some people feel that if they’re innocent, there’s no need to hire an attorney. Others think that misdemeanor charges aren’t severe enough to warrant representation, and people charged with felonies may feel that they can’t afford a good defense.

Well, we’re here to tell you that you can’t afford NOT to have an attorney. Criminal convictions, whether a misdemeanor or a felony, can produce dire consequences that can ruin the rest of your life.

Misdemeanors are lesser crimes that still exhibit an intent to break the law. Many states (including Virginia) separate misdemeanors into different degree classes based on the severity of the crime. Each class has a range of punishments. These penalties can include:

  • Fines up to $2,500
  • Up to 12 months in jail
  • Permanent criminal record

A felony is a more serious crime that not only exhibits intent to break the law, but also involves intent to cause physical, emotional, or financial harm. Depending on the severity of the crime, felonies can also be subcategorized to determine punishment standards. Felony sentencing can include:

  • Death
  • Fines up to $100,000
  • Imprisonment from one year to life
  • Permanent criminal record

The Defense You Deserve, No Matter the Charge

When you’re accused, arrested, or charged with a criminal offense, no matter if it’s a misdemeanor or felony, you shouldn’t be left out in the cold. Whether you’re innocent or guilty, you deserve an experienced defense attorney who will help plead your case. Without one, you could wind up suffering more punishment than you should, or worse, paying for a crime you didn’t commit. Don’t let this happen to you.

Schedule an appointment today by filling out our contact form or calling us directly at (804) 835-5127. See how we can help secure your future.

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