In Virginia, there are over 80 different crimes you can commit that will earn you a mandatory minimum sentence.  Almost three-quarters of these different offenses for which you’ll get a mandatory minimum sentence are classified as felonies, and the rest are misdemeanors.


A mandatory minimum sentence is the minimum sentence a judge must hand out for a particular crime.  Mandatory minimums are very controversial, as you’ll be punished in a pre-determined way regardless of the circumstances in your case.


Mandatory minimum sentencing was enacted in 1968 and involve the following types of crimes:

  • 19 involve drug crimes
  • 15 involve drunken driving offenses
  • 13 involve sexual crimres
  • 10 involve non-DUI driving offenses
  • 10 involve other offenses like vandalism, trespassing, etc.
  • 9 involve firearm crimes
  • 8 involve assault offenses


The laws that permit mandatory minimum sentences may be changing, however.  In the National Defense Authorization Act signed by President Obama last year, a provision was inserted requiring a review of mandatory minimum sentences by a panel that advises judges on prison terms.


In the meantime, you could still face a mandatory minimum sentence if you are convicted of a misdemeanor or felony in Virginia.  For this reason, you must take steps to protect your rights: hire a skilled criminal defense attorney like one from Tavss Fletcher as soon as possible.

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