Custody v. Summons
An arrest in Virginia, as you probably already know, is when you are taken into custody by a police officer. You may be arrested at the scene of an alleged crime or later by a warrant based on probable cause. An arrest can feel threatening but it is important not to resist arrest even if you believe you are being wrongfully arrested. If you resist arrest this can add to your charges and put you in a worse position as your case progresses.
Instead of being arrested, you might instead be summoned to appear in court. A summons will be issued with information including a day to appear and the offense with which you are being charged. If you do not appear in accordance with the summons, then a warrant will be issued for your arrest.
Misdemeanor v. Felony
A felony is a more serious charge carrying more serious penalties. Felony charges in Virginia can include homicide, battery, and other crimes which have various punishments available to courts. Punishments for felony charges can include significant jail time, high fines, loss of civil rights (think voting and gun ownership), and even the death penalty in some cases. You can learn more about the types of penalties for the different levels of felonies here.
A misdemeanor is a less serious charge but can still result in up to twelve months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.
Any criminal conviction will also be placed on your permanent record.
If you are charged with a misdemeanor or felony, you need to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who can protect you and answer your questions. John Boneta has been practicing criminal law since 1994, after leaving the Arlington County Police Department in Virginia. John Boneta has been a Commonwealth’s prosecutor in Arlington and Loudoun. John Boneta knows how the system works from both sides. He’ll work to get you the results that you need for your career, your family, and your peace of mind. Call John Boneta now to have him on your side.