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Criminal Defense Lawyers — Misdemeanor and Felony Charges

The trial lawyers with Thomas & Thomas Law, PLLC provide quality representation for defendants facing misdemeanor or felony criminal charges in the Roanoke - Bedford, Virginia region.

"No better instrument has been devised for arriving at truth than to give a person in jeopardy of serious loss notice of the case against him and opportunity to meet it. Nor has a better way been found for generating the feeling, so important to a popular government, that justice has been done."    ~ U.S. Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter

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If you are interested in discussing your felony or misdemeanor case with this firm, please begin by filling out a Criminal Charge Information Form.

You will be contacted by a representative within 24 business hours.

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Criminal Law: An Overview

A crime is any behavior punishable by incarceration and/or fine. At some point in life, almost everyone will find themselves affected in some way by the criminal justice system. This contact ranges from simple traffic tickets to offenses with the risk of incarceration. No act is a crime unless established as such either by statute or common law prior to the act committed.

A state's legislature usually determines which acts are considered criminal offenses and categorizes these acts into two separate classes - misdemeanors and felonies.

There are also crimes prosecuted at the Federal level on issues that pertain to serious crimes such as kidnapping and drug convictions. In recent years the list of Federal crimes has grown.

The lawyers with Thomas & Thomas Law aggressively litigate cases in which clients are innocent and work hard to diminish the exposure of these clients to incarceration and other adverse effects.

How Can I Be Defended In A Criminal Case?

This firm can effectively defend your case in the following areas:

  • By showing the defendant could not have been at the scene or the crime, or could not have committed such a crime.
  • By showing the evidence does not prove all elements of the crime charged.
  • By showing the primary evidence against the defendant was collected unlawfully by the police or prosecutors  and thus cannot be used at the trial.
  • By showing the primary evidence against the defendant is unreliable and thus cannot be used to convict the defendant.
  • By showing the defendant has a positive defense to the crime charged.

Two Major Categories of Criminal
Defense:  Misdemeanor and Felony

What Is A Misdemeanor?

Misdemeanors are offenses with penalties that can include up to one year in jail. The less serious offenses, such as most traffic offenses, are considered infractions for which the penalty is generally under $100.00 fines. These offenses are generally quick and simple to define and resolve.

Most misdemeanor charges are handled by the issuing of a citation from an arresting officer or a complaint filed by a prosecutor. The citation or complaint includes a short statement of the offense with which you are charged, and states whether the offense is an infraction, a misdemeanor, or a felony.

Misdemeanors are divided into four classes (I, II, III, and IV). Class I misdemeanors are most prevalent and most serious of all. Class I misdemeanors include possession of marijuana, petty larceny (shoplifting) assault and battery, and misdemeanor bad check. Also, several serious traffic offenses (DUI, driving on suspended, reckless driving, etc.) are listed as Class I misdemeanors.

What Is A Felony?

Felonies are defined as criminal offenses with maximum penalties greater than one year in prison. Felony charges include murder, malicious wounding, and armed robbery, as well as grand larceny, possession of cocaine or heroin and other serious charges.

The classification of crime as a felony is based upon the maximum sentence provided by law - not by what a court actually imposes.

Individual states and the federal government each have their own criminal codes.  The elements of particular crimes can vary, as can the sentencing classification.

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