Criminal Defense Attorney Sterling, VA
Being arrested can be frightening and the entire procedure from arrest to conviction or acquittal can be confusing and demoralizing. If you are convicted of a crime you can face penalties like fines, jail or prison time.
A criminal record can also jeopardize your employment and education opportunities, cause professional licensing issues and create challenges in finding housing. You may even be denied certain civil and constitutional rights.
If you were arrested in Sterling, VA, hiring a local Sterling criminal defense attorney can be invaluable. Their knowledge of local criminal procedures, the courts and their reputation can help strengthen your defense.
Whatever charges you may be facing, Scrofano Law PC’s Virginia criminal defense team is here to help. With over 25 years of experience, Gretchen Taylor Pousson and her team are committed to providing aggressive representation for their clients.
How Does Criminal Defense Law Work in Sterling, Virginia?
If you were charged with a crime in Sterling, VA, you could be facing misdemeanor or felony charges. Under Va. Code Section 18.2-9, misdemeanors and felonies are categorized into classes that indicate the seriousness of the crime and their penalties.
Penalties for Misdemeanors
A misdemeanor offense is typically less severe than a felony. This can include crimes like reckless driving, public intoxication or simple assault. The most serious misdemeanors are classified as Class 1 misdemeanors and the least serious are Class 4 misdemeanors.
If you are convicted of a misdemeanor you can expect the following penalties:
Class 1 – Punishable by up to 12 months of jail time, a fine of up to $2,500, or both.
Class 2 – Punishable by up to 6 months in jail, a fine up to $1,000, or both.
Class 3 – Punishable by a fine not exceeding $500.
Class 4 – Punishable by a fine not exceeding $250.
Penalties for Felonies
Felonies are serious offenses punishable by heavy fines and imprisonment. This includes crimes like murder, burglary and human trafficking. The most serious felonies are Class 1. Class 5 and Class 6 felonies are the least serious felony crimes and, depending on the circumstances of the crime, are sometimes prosecuted as misdemeanors.
If you are convicted of a felony you can expect the following:
Class 1 – Life in prison and fines of up to $100,000.
Class 2 – At least 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.
Class 3 – Imprisonment for 5 to 20 years and a fine of up to $100,000.
Class 4 – Imprisonment for 2 to 10 years and a fine of up to $100,000.
Class 5 – Imprisonment for 1 to 10 years; or, if treated as a misdemeanor, up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.
Class 6 – Imprisonment 1 to 5 years; or, if treated as a misdemeanor, up to 12 months in jail and paying a fine of up to $2,500.
Sterling is located in Loudoun County, Virginia, and anyone arrested in Sterling will have their case heard in the courts of Loudoun County. This includes the Loudoun County General District Court, Loudoun Circuit Court and the Loudoun County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court.
The court where you will appear and go to trial depends on the crime you have been charged with and the circumstances of your arrest. For example, if someone is arrested on a warrant and charged with an initial offense, their case will most likely originate in the Loudoun County General District Court. Cases of domestic violence or involving juveniles fall within the purview of family court, and the Loudoun County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court may hear that case. If the crime in question is a felony set for trial, or the defendant was arrested on a direct indictment that originated before a grand jury, it will be heard by the Loudoun Circuit Court.
No matter what court hears your case, you may be in danger of being pushed through the criminal justice system in a manner convenient for prosecutors and law enforcement. Criminal defense attorneys are here to protect your rights.
The seasoned attorneys at Scrofano Law PC are well-versed in criminal law and will use their resources and knowledge to help build your defense.
What Should You Do if You Get Arrested in Sterling, Virginia?
If you get arrested in Loudoun County, there are certain steps you can take to protect yourself and your rights. Bear in mind that although you were arrested and facing criminal charges, you are not guilty until your guilt is proven in court.
If you are arrested remember the 3 S’s: stay calm, remain silent, and speak with an attorney.
If you are under arrest, it is natural to feel angry or scared. It is important to stay calm and not resist. Staying calm can be the most beneficial reaction for your defense and the rest of your case. Moreover, being aggressive during an arrest can result in injury and additional criminal charges.
If you are asked to identify yourself, you can provide your name to the police officer. If you are pulled over while driving, you must share additional information like vehicle registration, your driver’s license and proof of insurance. However, you have the right to politely decline to answer any additional questions. Anything you say to an arresting officer can be used against you. It is in your best interest to consult with a Virginia criminal defense lawyer before talking to the police, a prosecutor or judge.
Speak to a Criminal Lawyer
After you are arrested and taken into custody, you can call someone and let them know what happened. Although you may want to call your loved ones, contacting a criminal lawyer may be a better option. Your lawyer will be able to tell you what to do, provide valuable legal advice and represent your interests when communicating with law enforcement. Furthermore, your lawyer can call your loved ones on your behalf and reassure them your rights are protected.
With Gretchen Taylor Pousson and her team on your side, you can rest assured your future lies in good hands.
Why Do You Need an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney?
Facing criminal charges can be overwhelming. It can also be difficult to understand court procedures and how to defend yourself. Under the United States Constitution, every defendant has a right to counsel. Asserting that right can help you secure the best possible outcome.
The criminal defense lawyers at Scrofano Law PC can help you:
Make sure your rights are protected.
Offer their knowledge of the criminal justice system.
Analyze your case and gather necessary evidence.
Negotiate a plea deal with the prosecution.
Provide aggressive legal representation in court.
Build a strong defense.
Scrofano Law PC’s Virginia criminal practice group provides criminal defense services in the Sterling area and across northern Virginia. We represent clients facing a wide range of charges including drug offenses, DUI, hit-and-run, reckless driving, theft and assault.
Facing Criminal Charges in Sterling, VA? Scrofano Law PC Can Help
If you are facing a criminal charge in Sterling, VA, don’t fight alone. The attorneys at Scrofano Law PC have successfully handled many criminal cases, bench and jury trials, as well as plea bargains.
Whether you need a state criminal defense attorney or a federal criminal lawyer, our knowledge of criminal defense law can help you with your criminal case. We will use our experience to fight for you and achieve the best possible outcome.
Being arrested and charged is not the end of the road, you have a right to a defense and are innocent until proven guilty. Don’t hesitate, let the compassionate criminal defense attorneys at Scrofano Law PC help you.
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