Virginia Beach Criminal Defense Lawyer
Our Empathetic Former Public Defender Will Advocate for You
Criminal procedures are some of the most unfriendly legal proceedings that occur, and our firm understands this on a personal level. At Top Tier Law Group, our local criminal defense lawyer is deeply passionate about criminal defense.
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.
Our Criminal Defense Lawyer Uses a Personalized Approach
When you work with us on your criminal defense, you will not face the pretense or pomp of a stiff and rigid law firm. We will take a personal approach to your case and strategize an effective defense based on our hundreds of past trial cases and on our experience as a former public defender.
Our firm defends clients against:
When facing these types of charges, you need a criminal defense lawyer with experience in successful defense. Let us put our experience and professional relationships to use as we fight for reduced or dismissed charges on your behalf.
Traffic & DUI Offenses
Driving-related offenses are some of the most common, especially in a place like Virginia Beach and the Eastern Shore with many speed traps. Contact our local criminal defense lawyer if you are facing traffic or DUI charges.
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.
An offender might also face up to 6 months of license suspension and point penalties on the driver’s license. Other offenses of speeding will likely result in 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.
It is unlawful to drive or operate a motor vehicle while:
- Under the influence of drugs or alcohol to the extent that it impairs the ability to operate or drive a vehicle safely.
- With a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or more (or 0.02% or more for those under 21 years old).
- With a blood concentration of 0.1 milligrams per liter or more of methamphetamine.
- With a blood concentration of 0.02 milligrams per liter or more of cocaine.
- With a blood concentration of 0.02 milligrams per liter or more of phencyclidine (PCP).
Potential DWI/DUI Penalties
The penalties for DWI offenses vary based on the severity of the situation and on 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. The Top Tier Law Group’s criminal defense lawyer will fight hard to protect you from the harshest of these penalties.
Local Marijuana Laws
Our criminal defense lawyer 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 legal in the state, from a legal standpoint it is one of the least dangerous drugs with lesser penalties.
Possession of marijuana is punishable 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 carries a more severe potential punishment. The sentence depends 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 near a school or school bus stop.
Domestic Violence Offenses
Another serious crime in Virginia is domestic violence, which is:
- Committing any act against a family or household member (e.g., spouses, parents, children, in-laws, dating partners) that involves violence, force or threats.
- Causing physical injury or placing the family or household member in fear of harm during commission of the act.
Domestic Violence Penalties
Generally, domestic assault is 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, a Class 6 felony charge punishable by 1-5 years in prison and up to $2,500 in fines is possible. Our criminal defense lawyer can help with all of these situations.
Note that it is also a crime of domestic violence to violate a protective order that the alleged victim has against the defendant. Such a violation is a Class 1 misdemeanor, but a third or subsequent conviction is a Class 6 felony.
Schedule a Free Initial Consultation With Us Today
For honest, nonjudgmental, and laid-back legal counsel from an experienced criminal defense lawyer, reach out to Top Tier Law Group. We will start with a free consultation, so you are under no obligation. Call us today at (757) 945-0207 or fill out the online form. We promise a prompt response.