Fairfax Criminal Attorney

Being charged with a crime can be stressful.

A criminal conviction may have significant consequences. Persons charged with crimes have certain rights that are guaranteed by the United States Constitution, including a presumption of innocence. If you are facing criminal charges, including felony or misdemeanor charges, then contact our criminal defense lawyer in Fairfax VA at Rudolphi Law.

Common Criminal Offenses

Virginia law outlines various categories of criminal offenses. These include:

Assault, Abduction, Robbery & Stalking

These violent crimes carry severe penalties, especially when they involve the use of weapons or result in serious injuries. They can be broadly divided into simple and aggravated offenses based on the severity and circumstances involved.

Sexual Assaults

Sexual assault charges range from sexual battery to rape, and they carry some of the strictest penalties under Virginia law.

Burglary, Theft, Trespass, and Damage to Property

Property crimes such as these can result in both misdemeanor and felony charges, depending on the value of the property involved and the nature of the crime.

Fraud & Forgery Offenses

These offenses typically involve deceptive acts for personal or financial gain. They can range from credit card fraud to embezzlement.

Drugs or Alcohol

Virginia has strict laws against drug possession, distribution, and manufacture. Similarly, alcohol-related offenses, such as DUI, are taken very seriously.

Understanding the gravity of common criminal offenses in Virginia is paramount in effectively navigating the legal landscape. With the legal guidance of a seasoned Fairfax criminal attorney, you can confidently face these charges and seek a favorable outcome.

Penalties for Criminal Offenses

Understanding the potential penalties for criminal offenses in Virginia is critical to grasp the gravity of a criminal charge. Virginia law classifies offenses as either misdemeanors or felonies, each with different degrees of severity.


Misdemeanors in Virginia are lesser offenses than felonies but still carry significant penalties. They are divided into four classes:

  • Class 4 misdemeanor: This is the least serious misdemeanor category in Virginia, where the maximum fine can be up to $250.
  • Class 3 misdemeanor: Class 3 misdemeanors do not carry any jail time. However, convictions can result in fines of up to $500.
  • Class 2 misdemeanor: Penalties for Class 2 misdemeanors can include a fine of up to $1,000 and/or a jail sentence of up to six months.
  • Class 1 misdemeanor: The most serious of the misdemeanors, Class 1 offenses can result in a fine of up to $2,500 and/or a jail sentence of up to 12 months (Code of Virginia § 18.2-11).

The penalties for misdemeanors in Virginia, while less severe than felonies, can still have a significant impact on your life, reinforcing the need for a competent Fairfax criminal attorney.


Felony offenses are more severe and carry substantial penalties, including substantial fines and imprisonment. The Commonwealth of Virginia classifies felonies into six classes:

  • Class 6 Felony: Class 6 felonies carry a punishment of 1 to 5 years in prison, or up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500, or both, it carries penalties of up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.
  • Class 5 Felony: Class 5 felony carry 1 to 10 years of imprisonment, or up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500, either or both.
  • Class 4 Felony: Class 4 felonies carry penalties of 2 to 10 years of imprisonment and fines up to $100,000.
  • Class 3 Felony: Penalties for Class 3 felonies include a prison term between 5 to 20 years and fines up to $100,000.
  • Class 2 Felony: Class 2 felonies are punishable by imprisonment for 20 years to life and can also carry fines up to $100,000.
  • Class 1 Felony: Class 1 felonies are the most serious crimes in Virginia, punishable by life imprisonment and fines up to $100,000 (Code of Virginia § 18.2-10).

These penalties underscore the necessity of a competent criminal defense lawyer in Fairfax, VA, to help navigate the complexities of Virginia’s criminal justice system.

What Rights Do You Have in a Criminal Case?

When you are facing criminal charges, you have a variety of rights. These include:

  • The right to a trial
  • The right to confront and cross-examine witnesses
  • The right to remain silent
  • The right to be represented by an attorney
  • Due process rights
  • The right to review the evidence in your case

These rights cannot be denied, and it is important to understand what these rights include. If your rights are violated during the case, or if rights were violated during your arrest and investigation of the case, then there may be defenses available.

What Are Some Defenses That May Be Raised?

For many criminal cases, there may be defenses available. Whether a defense is available in your case depends upon the particular facts involved. Some examples of defenses may include:

  • Unreasonable searches or seizures: The Fourth Amendment provides protection against unreasonable searches and seizures. If law enforcement infringes upon this right, any evidence procured through such violation can be suppressed, potentially undermining the prosecution’s case.
  • Lack of probable cause: For an arrest or a search to be deemed lawful, law enforcement must possess ‘probable cause.’ This means a reasonable belief, based on facts and circumstances, that a crime has been committed. If this prerequisite is absent, any evidence derived from such an arrest or search could be deemed inadmissible.
  • Tainted evidence: Evidence must be collected, preserved, and handled in a manner consistent with legal and ethical standards. Tainted evidence, tainted through faulty procedures or bias, can be challenged, diminishing its impact on your case.
  • Lack of the required mental state: Many crimes necessitate a particular mental state, or “mens rea,” for conviction. If it can be demonstrated that you did not possess the requisite mental state, this may serve as a valid defense.
  • Miranda violations: Law enforcement must issue Miranda warnings during a custodial interrogation. Failure to do so could result in any statements made during such interrogation being excluded from evidence.
  • Warrantless searches and arrests: Certain situations allow for warrantless searches and arrests. However, outside of these exceptions, a warrant is typically required. Violations of this can result in the exclusion of any evidence obtained. 
  • Mitigating factors: Mitigating factors, which don’t deny guilt but may reduce culpability, can play a crucial role in sentencing. These can include mental health issues, lack of a prior criminal record, and the absence of violence in the crime committed.

An attorney can review a case to determine whether there are any defenses that may be raised. A critical evaluation of facts, an intimate understanding of the law, and a keen eye for procedural lapses can make all the difference.

Why Should You Contact an Attorney?

Our Fairfax criminal attorney can help you understand your rights. We can provide advice to help you determine the best course of action to take in your case. We can provide representation and will advocate for a fair result.

Contact Rudolphi Law today if you are facing criminal charges and need the assistance of an experienced attorney.