There are six types of felonies in Virginia. Class 1 felonies are punished by the death penalty or life imprisonment. There is only one Class 1 felony which is premeditated murder.

Virginia Felony classes and their punishments:

Class 1 FelonyDeath, life in prison, and/or a fine up to $100,000.00
Class 2 FelonyImprisonment for 20 years to life, and/or a fine of up to $100,000.00
Class 3 FelonyImprisonment for 5 to 20 years, and/or a fine of up to $100,000.00
Class 4 FelonyImprisonment for 2 to 10 years, and/or a fine of up to $100,000.00
Class 5 FelonyImprisonment for 1 to 10 years, or up to one year in jail, and/or a fine of up to $2,500.00
Class 6 FelonyImprisonment of 1 to 5 years, or up to one year in jail, and/or a fine of up to $2,500.00

Some charges are unclassified felonies, which have specific penalties given in the code.

What to expect when you’re charged with a felony

There are several “steps” to trying a Felony criminal case in Virginia. The first major step is a Preliminary Hearing in the General District Court, which is for the Court to determine Probable Cause that a Felony occurred. This is a fairly low standard for the Commonwealth to meet. But, a skilled attorney can use this hearing to learn more about the strength and weaknesses of the Commonwealth’s case against you.

After the Preliminary Hearing, your trial will be held in the Circuit Court. You may choose either a Jury Trial, or a Bench (Judge) Trial. If you a found guilty, a later Sentencing Hearing will be held.

Throughout the process, there will be opportunities for your attorney to talk with the prosecutors to learn more about your case, and discuss possible resolutions.

Virginia felony time is served at 85%. Meaning, if you get 5 years of felony time, you will only actively serve 4 years and 3 months. This is true for all felonies except those that carry mandatory minimum time. For example, if you are convicted of an assault on a law enforcement officer, you will get a mandatory minimum jail time of 6 months and will serve the full sentence.

Common Felonies and their Punishments

Grand LarcenyUp to 20 years in prison
Burglary20 years to life, up to $100,000 in fines
Robbery5 years to life in prison
Carjacking15 years to life in prison
Hit and Runup to 10 years, $2,500 in fines
Assault on a Law Enforcement Officermandatory minimum of 6 months in jail, can be up to 5 years
Murder5-40 years in prison
Manslaughter1-20 years in prison
Rape, and other Sex Crimes25 years-life in prison
Manufacture of a Controlled Substancemandatory minimum 5 years-life
Possession With Intent to Distribute5-40 years, up to $500,000 fine

Jurisdictions We Practice In

Our Virginia criminal defense attorney can help those accused of a felony throughout Northern Virginia including Alexandria, Arlington, & Fairfax.

Our experience in courthouses across the Northern Virginia area helps us best represent your interests in defending your criminal charges.