Punishment for Conviction of Felony in Virginia
In Virginia, there are six classes of felonies ranging from Class 1, which is the most serious, to Class 6, the least serious. Each classification has its own range of sentences. Some crimes can fall under more than one class. If you are charged with a crime in the Commonwealth of Virginia, you will either be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony crime. Misdemeanors are less serious offenses, and the sentence will not be as severe, with less or no jail time and lower fines. Felony crimes are much more serious crimes with harsher sentences that can include long prison terms and heavy fines. Both a misdemeanor and felony conviction will also result in you having a permanent criminal record.
When charged with a felony, you need to understand how felonies are classified and sentenced in Virginia, so that you know the possible sentences you could face. You should also contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you build your defense. Even if you believe that you are guilty of the crime you are charged with committing, you could have many procedural, constitutional, and other defenses that could result in the charges being dismissed or reduced to a less serious offense—maybe even a misdemeanor.
Punishment for Conviction of Felony in Virginia – What does the Law say?
Except as specifically authorized in subdivision (e) or (f), or in Class 1 felonies for which a sentence of death is imposed, the court shall impose either a sentence of imprisonment together with a fine, or imprisonment only. However, if the defendant is not a natural person, the court shall impose only a fine.
For any felony offense committed (i) on or after January 1, 1995, the court may, and (ii) on or after July 1, 2000, shall, except in cases in which the court orders a suspended term of confinement of at least six months, impose an additional term of not less than six months nor more than three years, which shall be suspended conditioned upon successful completion of a period of post-release supervision pursuant to § 19.2-295.2 and compliance with such other terms as the sentencing court may require. However, such additional term may only be imposed when the sentence includes an active term of incarceration in a correctional facility.
For a felony offense prohibiting proximity to children as described in subsection A of § 18.2-370.2, the sentencing court is authorized to impose the punishment set forth in that section in addition to any other penalty provided by law.
“The Code of Virginia – § 18.2-10. Punishment for conviction of felony; penalty.”