Virginia Record Sealing & Expungement Blog

What to know about Virginia Class 1 Misdemeanors

Last updated: February 26, 2024

In Virginia, a class one misdemeanor is a category of criminal offenses. Virginia code section 18.2-11 authorizes punishment for a class one misdemeanor as confinement in jail for not more than twelve months and a fine not more than $2500, either or both. Class one misdemeanors are Virginia’s most serious misdemeanor offenses and carry the largest penalty for Virginia misdemeanors.

Examples of Virginia Misdemeanors:

Common examples of Virginia class one misdemeanors include:

Assault, petit larceny, reckless driving, obstruction of justice and trespass.

More about Virginia Class One Misdemeanors:

Virginia has two levels of criminal offenses: felonies and misdemeanors. Misdemeanors are the lessor offenses under Virginia law.

Under appropriate circumstances, misdemeanor offenses may be taken under advisement to be dismissed. Virginia code section 19.2-298.02 allows misdemeanor charges that would otherwise be a conviction to be taken under advisement to be dismissed. Ordinarily, the defendant is required to complete community service or some type of program as ordered by the judge to be dismissed. Virginia Code Section 19.2-298.02 also allows the charge to be expunged, after it has been dismissed, by agreement of the Commonwealth attorney. Of note, this statute is very commonly used to have charges dismissed, but as rarely used to then allow the charge to be expunged. If you are charged with an offense that can be taken under advisement, you should advocate for expungement after dismissal.

Generally, although not always, misdemeanor offense sentences are served in local jails and the offender only has to serve half of the judge’s sentence. So, for example, if an active jail sentence is one month of misdemeanor time, the offender will only serve 15 days in a local jail.

Misdemeanor sentences can generally be served in a variety of ways, depending on the jurisdiction. Many jurisdictions allow weekend time, at the discretion of the sheriff. Many jurisdictions also allow some form of community service through the local jail. Generally, the more urban jurisdictions have more options for service of sentences and rural jurisdictions have fewer options.

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