While a less serious offense than a felony, negative implications can still come from being charged with a misdemeanor. Like all other crimes, a misdemeanor conviction can impact the rest of your life. It will likely show up on background checks which can make it difficult to get certain jobs, qualify for loans, and even get access to housing. To give you a better idea of misdemeanors and how they can affect your life, here are four things to know about a misdemeanor offense in Virginia.
The Various Types of Misdemeanors
As mentioned, misdemeanors are less serious than a felony. They are, however, still a criminal charge that is punishable with fines and jail time. Types of misdemeanors include vandalism, trespassing, or public intoxication, and are actions that can land you in legal trouble in the state of Virginia. Misdemeanors can be broken down into four different classes:
- Class 1 Misdemeanors. Class one misdemeanors are the most serious of the three classes. A class one misdemeanor is punishable by up to 12 months of jail time, up to $2,500 in fines, or both. Examples of these crimes include DUIs, petit larceny, and assault and battery.
- Class 2 Misdemeanors. Class two misdemeanors are punishable by up to six months behind bars, fines up to $1,000, or both. Examples of class two misdemeanors include driving without a license, possession of Schedule IV substances — such as Xanax® or Valium® — or displaying a fake or falsified vehicle permit.
- Class 3 & 4 Misdemeanors. Three and four class misdemeanors are the least serious and are punishable with fines, but not with time in jail. Class three misdemeanors are punishable by fines up to $500. Class four misdemeanors have fines that are half the amount of class three at $250. Examples of offenses that would be categorized into these classes include willful misconduct, violating custody terms, and public intoxication.
Keep in mind that the offenses listed above, along with their potential sentenced jail time, and fines, serve only as examples. The penalty for any type of misdemeanor depends solely on the judge’s ruling.
Be Aware of the Potential Bail Amounts
When a crime requires jail time, there is a chance to get released on bail. The amount of bail that is posted for your arrest often depends on age, previous charges, criminal history, and any recent history of previous criminal charges but showing up to the set court date. Even with these factors, the bail amount for misdemeanors is more often than not less than the bail amount for a felony would be.
Understand What Happens When Bail Is Posted
Part of the arrest process involves posting a bail amount that is set by the judge. If someone behind bars wants to get out of jail fast, they or someone they know on their behalf can pay the posted amount. If the bail is too high and not affordable, you can always get the money through a reputable bail bondsman. When the bail amount is paid, you get to get out of jail, and can try to carry on with life until the set court date. While the best bail bond companies will ultimately hold you responsible, ultimately, your responsibility is to make sure you show up to your court hearing. By appearing in court, you are more likely to get a reduced sentence, and your bail could get reduced as well. Missing court can result in a warrant for your arrest.
Know Which Bail Bond Company to Contact
When misdemeanors require jail time, it is important to work with the best bail bond company, especially for those that want to get out of jail fast. When choosing a bail bondsman to work with, you should look for someone that is experienced, licensed, and available 24/7. If you need help finding the best bail bondsmen in your area, check out these helpful tips.
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