In Virginia, felonies are classified into six categories.
Virginia Class 1 Felony
Class 1 felonies are punishable by life in prison, death, or a fine of no more than $100,000.
Virginia Class 2 Felony
Class 2 felonies are punishable by imprisonment for life or no less than twenty years, or a fine of up to $100,000.
Virginia Class 3 Felony
Class 3 felonies can result in a state prison sentence of no less than five years and no more than twenty years. There is also the possibility of a fine of up to $100,000.
Virginia Class 4 Felony
Class 4 felonies can result in a prison term of no less than two years and no more than ten years in a state facility, as well as a fine of no more than $100,000.
Virginia Class 5 Felony
Class 5 felonies are punishable by imprisonment for no less than one year and no more than ten years. In addition, confinement in a county jail for no more than twelve months with a fine of no more than twenty-five hundred dollars is possible at the discretion of the court or jury. A person can be sentenced to either of these punishments.
Virginia Class 6 Felony
Class 6 felonies are punishable by prison terms of no less than one year and no more than five years, or by confinement in a county jail facility for no more than twelve months, at the discretion of the court and jury. A $2500 fine is also an option. It is likely that one or both of these punishments will be imposed.
Except in the case of specified subdivisions and Class 1 felonies with a death sentence, the court has the discretion to impose dual punishments. This means that a person can be sentenced to two punishments for the same crime. A fifteen-year prison sentence, as well as a $50,000 fine, could be imposed.
Any felony committed on or after January 1, 1995, may be subject to an additional term of no less than six months and no more than three years. This can be suspended conditionally if a post-release supervision period and term compliance as ordered by the court are completed successfully. Only if the sentence includes active incarceration in a correctional facility may an additional term be imposed.
Most cases are not eligible for expungement, and certain conditions must be met. If a person is charged with a crime, he or she must be acquitted, have a nolle prosequi taken, have all charges dismissed, or be granted an absolute pardon for the commission of a crime for which he or she has been wrongfully convicted.
Expungement is possible through a court petition. Even if an expungement petition is filed, the court is not required by law to grant the petition. The court always has the right to deny an expungement, especially if it is not in the court’s best interests to do so. Because felony charges are so serious, most felonies in Virginia cannot be expunged.