Virginia Beach Criminal Defense Lawyer

An Empathetic Former Public Defender to Advocate for Your Eastern Shore Defense

Criminal procedures are some of the most unfriendly, and our firm understands this on a personal level. Our attorney is deeply passionate about criminal defense, and he will listen to your side of the story with empathetic and nonjudgmental attention. He is a down-to-earth trial lawyer who will foster a laid-back office environment so you can feel comfortable communicating honestly with him. When you work with Top Tier Law Group on your criminal defense, you will not be faced with the pretense or pomp of a stiff and rigid big lawyer. We will take a personal approach to your case and strategize an effective defense based on our hundreds of trial cases and former public defender experience.

  • Not Guilty After Trial
    Assault and Battery and Destruction of Property Misdemeanors
    Cases were appealed to the Portsmouth Circuit Court. At trial client testified that he had been hired by “victims” to do work on their smart car. They believed he was taking too long so 3 of them (all over 350 lbs a piece) came up to his shop and attempted to remove the ...
  • Charges Dismissed
    Burglary Bench Trial
    Client was accused of breaking into the home of his deceased sister and removing items from the home and selling them. Client was granted half of the property in the house pursuant to the deceased sisters will. Court held, you can not steal your own property, as half of the ...
  • Dismissed
    DWI 4th
    Dismissed due to technical evidentiary objections which prevented the Commonwealth Attorney from being able to establish an element of the offense. This case was a prime example of using a technicality to beat a case, a “loophole” if you will.

Our Firm Defends Clients Against:


Let us put our experience and professional relationships to use as we fight for reduced or dismissed charges on your behalf. 

Traffic and DUI Offenses

Driving-related offenses are some of the most common, especially in a place like Virginia Beach and the eastern shore riddled with speed traps. Violations of Virginia’s basic speeding law or exceeding a posted speed limit by 20 mph or more is a crime of reckless driving, a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months in jail and/or up to $1,000 in fines. Offenders might also face up to 6 months of license suspension and points on their driver’s license. Other offenses of speeding will likely result in some amount of fines and further demerit points.

Driving while intoxicated (DWI), or driving under the influence (DUI), is also an important driving violation at the criminal level. Recall that it is unlawful to drive or operate a motor vehicle while:

  • under the influence of drugs or alcohol to the extent that it impairs their ability to operate or drive a vehicle safely;
  • with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more (0.02% or more for those under 21 years old);
  • with a blood concentration of .1 milligrams per liter or more of methamphetamine;
  • with a blood concentration of .02 milligrams per liter or more of cocaine; or
  • with a blood concentration of .02 milligrams per liter or more of phencyclidine (PCP).

The penalties for DWI offenses vary based on the severity of the situation and whether the defendant has prior convictions:

  • 1st offense – up to 12 months in jail; $250-$2,500 in fines; 1 year of license suspension; at least 6 months of ignition interlock device (IID) use if requesting a restricted license
  • 2nd offense – 10 days to 12 months in jail; $500-$2,500 in fines; 3 years of license suspension; at least 6 months of IID use
  • 3rd offense – 90 days to 5 years in jail; $1,000-$2,500 in fines; indefinite license suspension; at least 6 months of IID use

Lawfully arrested drivers may face additional license suspension periods if they refuse to submit to a blood or breath test as required under Virginia’s implied consent laws. 

Marijuana Laws

Our firm also defends clients against drug-related charges, from possession to distribution. Virginia criminalizes drug crimes based on the type of drug. While marijuana is not legalized in the state, it is considered one of the less dangerous drugs with lesser penalties. More specifically, possession of marijuana is punished based on the following amounts allegedly in possession:

  • Less than 0.5 ounces (first offense) – misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $500
  • Less than 0.5 ounces (second offense) – Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500
  • More than 0.5 ounces – Class 5 felony punishable by 2-10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $2,500

Distribution of marijuana is punished more severely, and the sentence is also based on how much the defendant distributed or possessed with intent to distribute: 

  • 1 ounce to 5 pounds – Class 5 felony punishable by 1-10 years in jail
  • 5 pounds to 100kg – felony punishable by 5-30 years in prison
  • More than 100kg – punishable by 20 years to life in prison, with 20 years being the mandatory minimum sentence.

The penalties may increase if the defendant distributed or sold marijuana to a minor under 18 years old or within a drug-free zone, such as a school or school bus stop.

For honest, nonjudgmental, and laid-back legal counsel from an extensively experienced trial attorney, reach out to Top Tier Law Group today. Call (757) 500-0035 or contact our firm online to get started in a free consultation.

  • 10 Best DWI/DUI Attorneys in Virginia
  • Top 40 under 40 Criminal Defense
  • Top 40 under 40 Family Law
  • VA Bar Association

Domestic Violence

Another serious crime in Virginia is domestic violence, which is defined as:

  • committing any act against a family or household member (e.g., spouses, parents, children, in-laws, dating partners) that involves violence, force, or threats; and
  • that results in physical injury or places the family or household member in fear or harm.

Generally, domestic assault is charged as a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in jail and up to $2,500 in fines. If the defendant has two or more prior convictions, they will be charged with a Class 6 felony punishable by 1-5 years in prison and up to $2,500 in fines.

Note that it is also a crime of domestic violence to violate a protective order that the alleged victim has filed against the defendant. Such a violation is a Class 1 misdemeanor, but a third or subsequent conviction is a Class 6 felony. 

If you have been charged with a crime, whether for DUI, marijuana possession, or domestic violence, Top Tier Law Group has the professional experience to defend you. Our attorney brings former public defender experience, and he is still in close contact with many public defenders. He also personally understands the turmoil and significance of a criminal charge and will do his best to fight for a favorable outcome for you. 

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He treats you as family and will go above and beyond for you to make sure you get the best outcome in each situation.
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