In Virginia, a person can get jailed if they get what’s called a class 2 misdemeanor, a class 1 misdemeanor, or a felony. A class 2 misdemeanor in Virginia can give you a maximum of 6 months in jail, and as far as jail sentences go, that’s the smallest maximum one you can get.
Then comes class 1, which has a maximum of 1 year in jail, and from there, a class 6 felony also has one year and class 5 gets worse and it keeps on getting worse and worse until you find that you’ll never get out of jail. But in the case of misdemeanors, usually when you get a jail sentence of 2 days, you’ll only have to serve one, it almost always winds up that you’ll do half of what was actually imposed.
So, if they give you 6 days to do, you’ll do 3 whereas with felonies, if they give you the same amount of time, 6 days, you would do all 6, and that’s just the way they calculate misdemeanors. But the kind of cases that can get you a jail sentence would be driving — it’s called No Operator’s License, that’s a class 2 misdemeanor. Possession of marijuana is one where you could get jail. Petty larceny or other drug charges are at least class 1 misdemeanors and then felonies. Any kind of felony can get you in jail.
What are the Different Options that People Have Aside from Jail?
A court can spend a portion of a jail sentence and tell you do things like probation. You go to classes, you go to drug treatment, and just hold the condition of jail time over your head. A DWI is a good example of that. You almost always get 30 or 60 days jail sentence if you get convicted of it and yet nobody does jail for a first offense, instead you get suspended jail time and while that first year is going on, they hold that suspended portion as a condition while you do a class called “The Alcohol Safety Action Program”. If you do that, you can stay out of jail. It’s a class and they monitor you and so forth.
They control how you drive during that year, and so all of those things are what they’ll give you instead of jail. If you went into court and said, “I just don’t want any conditions, just punish me some other way,” you would certainly do jail time.
Can An Attorney Help Me to Get My Jail Time Reduced?
One of their primary jobs is to get you the absolute best possible legal result, and that involves a couple of things. One of them reducing or eliminating jail altogether.
A client often comes in with a set of wishes. They want to win the case and they will fight at all cost to win. Other times, their goal will be at all costs avoid jail and so it’s a different focus and I would be focusing on a different thing. Other times, their condition would be, “I do not want to have to take tests for drugs and alcohol,” or maybe their goal is, “I do not want to be deported, I cannot show up in jail at all,” or maybe it’s, “I can’t get this particular kind of offense.”
I’ve had clients before and their whole goal was, “Whatever you do, keep me off the sex offender list,” another one was, “Whatever you do, don’t let me get convicted of this fraud charge because I’ll get deported.” So, whatever your goal is, your attorney should be working to minimize that, and as it turns out, lawyers can be very effective at reducing or eliminating jail just like they can reduce or eliminate fines or other conditions that can harm you.
What Determines Sentencing to Either a Minimum Security or a Maximum Security Prison?
It’s almost always the jail that will decide that or the Board of Corrections for the state who’ll decide that, depending on where you’ll stay. If you’re going to be in the jail, then the share for that county will determine based upon what crime you have, what you’ve been charged with, and whether you have background in that crime.
They may look at your health so that if you are going to get other inmates sick, they would put you isolated. If you belong to a gang and that gang doesn’t get along with the gang that’s in the jail, they would separate you. So, sometimes they just keep you in your cell more often, you get less contact with other people, and that’s how they keep things secured.
It’s based upon the jailer’s decision about your particular circumstances. If you were to beat your wife and hurt her and put her in the hospital, because it’s a violent crime, you are definitely going to be considered a much bigger security risk than if you embezzled $10,000 simply because people get harmed by violent people but they don’t necessarily get harmed by you taking $10,000. That would be just one example, but it’s all based upon the particular things about your life and crime.
For more information on Crimes Resulting In Jail Time, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (703) 691- 4366 today.