When facing criminal charges, one of the main questions is often about what the result in your criminal case will be. Unfortunately, even an experienced criminal attorney cannot guarantee a result no matter what his experience level. However, he should be able to give you an idea of possible consequences you face once he investigates your case. You can also get a better sense of what could happen by educating yourself about the possible outcomes in criminal cases in Virginia.
Potential Types of Outcomes in Criminal Cases in Virginia
Criminal cases in Virginia are concluded in a number of different ways. Once your case goes to court, it could be resolved or decided in one of the following ways:
- Dismissal. While not too common, the prosecutor could decide that his case against you is too weak to proceed and agree to dismiss the criminal charges against you. In addition, the court may rule that there is insufficient evidence against you to proceed and dismiss the case—usually after your attorney files a motion requesting this.
- Deferred prosecution. In Virginia, the judge is permitted to delay deciding a case to allow you time to fulfill certain agreed upon conditions, such as paying fines, participating in community service, or obtaining mental health counseling. Once you complete these conditions, the criminal case against you may be dismissed or the charges reduced.
- Plea bargain. Your case could be resolved through a plea agreement with the prosecutor where you agree to plead guilty to a lesser offense. The plea bargain could include an agreement on your sentence too. Many criminal cases are resolved through this type of agreement.
- Verdict. If your case goes to trial, the judge or jury will issue a verdict that you are guilty or not guilty of the crimes that you are charged with committing at the end of your trial.
- Sentence. If you plead guilty or are found guilty of committing a crime, the judge will impose a sentence, which can include jail or prison time, fines and costs, a suspended sentence, and probation.
If you are facing criminal charges, call our office today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. Our experienced criminal defense attorneys will discuss your situation with you and how to achieve the best possible outcome.