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Criminal Charges

    If you were charged with a criminal or traffic offense in: Fairfax, Prince William, Arlington, Loudoun, Fauquier or Stafford County; Alexandria Fairfax or Falls Church City; Towns of Vienna, Herndon, Dumfries Haymarket or Occoquan; or elsewhere in Northern Virginia, Garrett D. Green is an experienced criminal offense attorney who focus specifically on criminal law, so you can trust that we have the knowledge and qualifications necessary to fight for your case.

    At Nichols & Green, PLLC, we handle about 600 criminal and traffic cases each year. Our clients need experienced criminal defense lawyers on their side, which is why we have honed our skills to focus on one legal practice area– and do it really well.

    Destruction Of Property

    If you or your child has been charged with vandalism, destruction of property or injury to property, the accusation generally involves damaging, defacing, removing or destroying someone else’s property; if a school or public building was reportedly damaged, a separate charge may be filed. Conviction can mean a felony or misdemeanor criminal record, restitution or even jail time. It is important to have strong legal representation.

    At Nichols & Green PLLC, I provide strategic, aggressive defense against all types of property crimes charges and can help you fight accusations that involve:

    • Graffiti
    • Broken windows
    • Damage that occurred during a party
    • Damage to a private home
    • Damage to a school, library, church or store
    • Arson, which is prosecuted as a felony in Virginia

    We have successfully represented hundreds of adults and juveniles in misdemeanor and felony matters. We are well known for our legal knowledge, our familiarity with local courts and our intelligent and aggressive defense approach. In representing you against vandalism or property damage charges, we will thoroughly investigate the matter, review the evidence and represent you with the attention and vigor you require.

    Misdemeanor or Felony?

    Just as the seriousness of a larceny or shoplifting  charge will depend on the value of the goods allegedly stolen, a destruction of property charge will be classified as a misdemeanor or felony based on the value of the alleged property damage. In Virginia, destruction of property valued at less than $1,000 is a class 1 misdemeanor (up to 12 months in jail). If the property is worth more than $1,000 then destruction of property is a Class 6 felony (up to 5 years in prison).

    Domestic Violence and Assault

    More innocent people are arrested for domestic assault and battery than any other crime. When a person dials 911 and reports domestic violence, officers usually make an arrest. Even if a dispute is already resolved by the time police arrive, and even if the person who made the call recants, someone will generally be arrested.

    If, for example, you pushed your spouse during an argument, you may find yourself facing misdemeanor or felony charges and the possibility of a criminal record that can affect your career and other areas of your life. Even if you are not convicted, a domestic violence charge can cause serious problems for you, including:

    • Immigration problems: Implications for non-citizens can be serious. Domestic violence is considered a “crime of moral turpitude,” a potentially deportable offense for U.S. residents who are not citizens.
    • Firearm ownership problems: You can lose the right to own a firearm just by being charged.
    • Security clearance problems: Your security clearance can be impacted by domestic violence charges.
    • Protective Orders: Being arrested or convicted of domestic assault typically results in a protective order. This means that you are not allowed to talk, text, e-mail or see the “victim” of the case. Even if your spouse or partner wants to contact you, it is illegal to have any contact with him or her while the protective order is in place.
    What Qualifies As Domestic Abuse?

    Domestic abuse, also often called domestic violence, refers to the behavior used to gain power or control over an individual you have an intimate relationship with such as a spouse, partner, family member, or roommate. Physical abuse, sexual assault, as well as threats of violence are all seen as domestic abuse. 

    Drug Possession and Distribution

    If you or your child has been charged with drug possession or distribution in Virginia, it is essential that you understand your legal rights and available defense options. Whether your case concerns a small amount of marijuana or a significant amount of another drug, the consequences can include fines, probation, jail time, loss of your driver’s license and a negative impact on your education and career opportunities. (All drug possession charges have negative impact on immigration status and may result in deportation).

    If your goal is to avoid these adverse consequences, having a skilled criminal defense lawyer is crucial.

    A History of Successful Drug Defense

    At Nichols & Green PLLC, we defend hundreds of criminal cases each year. Attorney Garrett Green has been practicing law in northern Virginia since 1989 and maintains excellent working relationships with Virginia’s judges, prosecutors and police officers. As a result of his almost daily exposure to the judges and prosecutors of Fairfax County, Garrett is extremely knowledgeable about how to handle drug cases, including charges of:

    • Misdemeanor or felony possession of marijuana, cocaine, heroin, ecstasy or prescription drugs such as Vicodin and OxyContin
    • Possession with intent to distribute (PWID), which may be charged if the state can prove an intent to sell or distribute the drugs
    • Prescription drug fraud, a crime that is policed heavily in northern Virginia
    • Drug trafficking, which can result in serious federal and state prosecution.

    Contact a Prince William County Drug Distribution Charges Attorney

    If you or your child has been charged with drug possession or distribution in Virginia, it is essential that you understand your legal rights and available defense options. Whether your case concerns a small amount of marijuana or a significant amount of another drug, the consequences can include fines, probation, jail time, loss of your driver’s license and a negative impact on your education and career opportunities. (All drug possession charges have negative impact on immigration status and may result in deportation).

    If your goal is to avoid these adverse consequences, having a skilled criminal defense lawyer is crucial.

    A History of Successful Drug Defense

    At Nichols & Green PLLC, we defend hundreds of criminal cases each year. Attorney Garrett Green has been practicing law in northern Virginia since 1989 and maintains excellent working relationships with Virginia’s judges, prosecutors and police officers. As a result of his almost daily exposure to the judges and prosecutors of Fairfax County, Garrett is extremely knowledgeable about how to handle drug cases, including charges of:

    • Misdemeanor or felony possession of marijuana, cocaine, heroin, ecstasy or prescription drugs such as Vicodin and OxyContin
    • Possession with intent to distribute (PWID), which may be charged if the state can prove an intent to sell or distribute the drugs
    • Prescription drug fraud, a crime that is policed heavily in northern Virginia
    • Drug trafficking, which can result in serious federal and state prosecution.

    Contact a Prince William County Drug Distribution Charges Attorney

    If you or your child has been charged with drug possession or distribution in Virginia, it is essential that you understand your legal rights and available defense options. Whether your case concerns a small amount of marijuana or a significant amount of another drug, the consequences can include fines, probation, jail time, loss of your driver’s license and a negative impact on your education and career opportunities. (All drug possession charges have negative impact on immigration status and may result in deportation).

    If your goal is to avoid these adverse consequences, having a skilled criminal defense lawyer is crucial.

    A History of Successful Drug Defense

    At Nichols & Green PLLC, we defend hundreds of criminal cases each year. Attorney Garrett Green has been practicing law in northern Virginia since 1989 and maintains excellent working relationships with Virginia’s judges, prosecutors and police officers. As a result of his almost daily exposure to the judges and prosecutors of Fairfax County, Garrett is extremely knowledgeable about how to handle drug cases, including charges of:

    • Misdemeanor or felony possession of marijuana, cocaine, heroin, ecstasy or prescription drugs such as Vicodin and OxyContin
    • Possession with intent to distribute (PWID), which may be charged if the state can prove an intent to sell or distribute the drugs
    • Prescription drug fraud, a crime that is policed heavily in northern Virginia
    • Drug trafficking, which can result in serious federal and state prosecution.

    Contact a Prince William County Drug Distribution Charges Attorney

    The Fairfax drug possession defense attorney of Nichols & Green PLLC can answer your questions and explain your rights and options during a free initial consultation. Contact us to learn more.

    Felony Drug Possession and Distribution

    FELONY DRUG POSSESSION & DISTRIBUTION LAWYERS IN FAIRFAX 30+ Years of Legal Experience to Lend to Your Case

    Virginia law takes drug crimes very seriously, especially as it pertains to possession and distribution charges. Under the right circumstances, the possession or distribution of certain drugs might result in felony charges, which can have life-altering penalties. Felony drug crimes might result in a lengthy prison sentence, costly fines, and a damaging criminal record, all of which can put a significant strain on your personal relationships, employability, and other aspects of your day-to-day life. If you find yourself facing felony drug charges, make sure you act fast to secure experienced, dedicated legal representation you can count on. 

    Why Choose Us?

    At Nichols & Green PLLC, we know what types of consequences you’re facing, and we know the legal strategies to implement in order to protect your rights and advocate for your freedom. We have more than 30 years of collective experience, and we have been representing individuals, like yourself, facing criminal charges in Virginia since 2011. Our Fairfax felony drug possession and distribution lawyers know what it takes to craft a strategic, aggressive legal defense, and we can use our understanding of the Virginia justice system to protect your rights and your future. 

    How Does Virginia Categorize Felony Drug Crimes?

    In the state of Virginia, drug crimes are penalized according to the Schedule, or category, of the drug, as well as the related crime. Drugs, or controlled substances, are defined in the Code of Virginia § 54.1-3401 according to a list of categories that include Schedules I through VI, with Schedule 1 being the most serious. These classifications under Virginia’s Drug Control Act draw from the federal Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 and include everything from cough medicines to cocaine. 

    Call (703) 383-9222 today to schedule a free consultation with our firm. We’re here to help you.

    Drug Classifications According to Virginia’s Drug Control Act:

    • Schedule VI: Unconventional “drugs” that can be used recreationally, including toluene or nitrous oxide commonly found in household objects.
    • Schedule V: Medicinal drugs with minimal risk of abuse or dependency, like cough medicine.
    • Schedule IV: Medicinal drugs with less potential for abuse or dependency than Schedule III drugs, such as Valium, Xanax, and other sedatives.
    • Schedule III: Medicinal drugs with less potential for abuse or dependency than Schedule II drugs, including steroids and codeine. 
    • Schedule II: Drugs with a high potential for abuse and dependence but also have an accepted medical use. Examples include cocaine, methadone, PCP, and methamphetamine. 
    • Schedule I: Drugs with the highest potential for abuse and no accepted medical use, such as LSD and heroin.

    What is Felony Drug Possession?

    Only the most serious drug possession crimes are classified as felonies. According to the Code of Virginia § 18.2-250, drug possession applies to the possession of any controlled substance without a valid prescription. If someone is charged with possession of a Schedule I or II substance without a valid prescription, the resulting penalties may include imprisonment for up to 10 years, confinement in jail for up to 12 months, and fines of up to $2,500. 

    What is Felony Drug Distribution?

    When an individual is suspected of selling, providing, delivering, or giving away a controlled substance, they can be charged with a drug distribution crime. According to Virginia law, distribution crimes may be categorized as a felony even if there was only an intent to distribute. 

    The Code of Virginia § 18.2-248 states that an individual may be charged with a felony distribution charge if they are in possession of a Schedule I or II substance with the intent to sell or distribute. The penalties for such a crime can result in between 5 and 40 years imprisonment and up to $500,000 in fines. 

    If an individual is found in possession of between 0.5 ounces and 5 lbs of marijuana with the intent to sell or distribute, they can also face a felony conviction, which may result in up to 10 years imprisonment, confinement in jail for up to 1 year, and fines of up to $2,500.

    Grand Larceny and Petit Larceny or Petty Larceny

    Grand Larceny and Petit Larceny (or Petty Theft) Lawyer in Fairfax

    In Virginia, larceny refers to “the unlawful taking or carrying away of someone else’s personal property with the intent to deprive the owner of it permanently.” Larceny, whether in the form of theft, shoplifting or another crime against property, is an offense that can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the value of the money or goods in question and whether the property was taken off a person.

    Many people are concerned about the impact of a larceny conviction on their future or their child’s future. All adult larceny convictions in Virginia will remain on a person’s permanent criminal record forever. Any larceny conviction can affect immigration status and may cause deportation or denial or status. Larceny crimes also carry severe social stigma and have a very negative effect on education and job applications in addition to the possibility of serious jail time.

    Aggressive, Strategic Defense Representation

    If you or your child has been charged with larceny, the skilled defense lawyers of Nichols & Green PLLC can represent you aggressively and strategically in court. We have helped many clients charged with property crimes, including countless situations in which charges have been dropped, reduced or dismissed after completing diversionary programs.

    Equipped with strong legal knowledge, excellent trial skills and ample Fairfax County and northern Virginia experience, our lawyers can defend you against charges of:

    • Petty larceny or petit larceny: (from petit, French for “small”), which involves money or goods worth less than $5 taken from a person, or money or goods worth less than $1,000 not taken from a person
    • Grand larceny: which involves money or goods worth $5 or more if taken from a person or $1,000 or more if not taken from a person
    • Shoplifting: which can be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or felony
    • Juvenile property crimes
    • Motor vehicle theft, robbery or burglary

    Examples of Petty Theft in VA

    In Virginia, petty or petit theft is defined as taking another person’s property with the intent to steal. As we mentioned earlier, the monetary threshold for a theft crime to be considered petty larceny is less than $1,000.

    The following are a few examples of petty theft in VA:

    • Shoplifting
    • Stealing an item from someone’s home
    • Stealing money from a person’s wallet
    • Dining at a restaurant and leaving without paying the bill

    Petty larceny is a Class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia. A conviction is punishable by a maximum jail term of 12 months and/or a fine of up to $2,500. 

    Search and Seizure

    Police officers and other law enforcement personnel are required to follow the law. With regard to DUI cases and drug charges, the U.S. Constitution and state laws govern how and when an officer or trooper can stop a vehicle, search a person’s belongings or home, arrest a person or take measures that may yield evidence against a defendant. These laws are rooted in the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution — the amendment in the Bill of Rights that forbids the government from performing “unreasonable searches and seizures.”

    In Virginia, your rights include the following:

    • You are not required to take a field sobriety test, even if a police officer or state trooper asks you forcefully.
    • You cannot be pulled over without a reason. A law enforcement officer must have reasonable suspicion that something illegal has occurred in order to pull over a vehicle.
    • You cannot be arrested or held in custody without probable cause.
    • You cannot be searched for drugs or weapons or be detained without probable cause or one of several specific exceptions to this rule.

    Aggressive, Strategic Defense Representation

    If the police use an illegal search, stop, arrest or seizure to find evidence against you, you may have a powerful defense available. An unconstitutional search, seizure, stop or arrest will often result in the case being dismissed. If you were subject to unreasonable search and seizure, having an experienced criminal defense attorney is absolutely essential.

    At Nichols & Green PLLC, our experienced lawyers offer aggressive, intelligent representation in a range of Virginia misdemeanor and felony matters. If we represent you, we will make sure you understand your constitutional rights clearly, and we will prepare the strongest possible defense, leaving no stone unturned with regard to possible search and seizure issues. It is critical to have someone fighting for you who can leverage all potential defenses you may have.

    Shoplifting

    In Virginia, shoplifting can mean different things — stealing something and leaving a store, altering a price tag, not paying the full purchase price, concealing an item while in a store, transferring goods from one container to another, or assisting someone else in doing one of these actions. Like with other larceny and theft matters, the severity of a shoplifting charge will depend on the value assigned to the items in question. In Virginia, petit larceny is charged when allegedly stolen goods are worth less than $200, and grand larceny is charged when the value is higher than $200.

    If you or your child has been charged with shoplifting, you are probably worried about the potential consequences. Though the allegedly stolen item may have little monetary value, any shoplifting conviction can result in a criminal record that may impact job prospects, cause deportation, and affect college applications and other important future endeavors.

    This may be your first such experience with the law, and you may have been given confusing, conflicting or incorrect information about what will happen next. Store security personnel, police, friends and family are not appropriate sources for legal advice. If you are unsure about how to resolve the situation with as little damage as possible, you should consult an experienced criminal defense lawyer who knows the law and who knows exactly how northern Virginia courts work.

    Strong, Intelligent Defense Against Shoplifting, Employee Theft and Juvenile Crimes

    At Nichols & Green PLLC, our defense attorney have defended hundreds of criminal cases. We can represent you aggressively and strategically in fighting shoplifting charges. We have helped many clients reach favorable outcomes in property crimes matters, including countless situations in which charges have been dismissed, reduced or channeled through diversionary programs that help participants avoid a criminal record.

    Every situation is different. Our approach to your case will depend on the circumstances surrounding the accusation, your previous record and other factors. You may have multiple options for defending yourself and reducing or eliminating negative consequences.

    Underage Possession of Alcohol

    Don’t Let Your Child Be Saddled With a Criminal Conviction

    While underage drinking is common in Virginia, hundreds of college and high school students are charged with underage possession of alcohol each year at parties, in vehicles and at concerts and other events. In some cases, a young person may be charged because of his or her association with a group, even without proof that he or she was drinking.

    If you or your child has been charged with underage possession of alcohol, you are probably concerned about how the charges may impact the future. An underage drinking conviction will stay on your criminal record, and it comes with a mandatory minimum fine of $500 (or 50 hours community service) and a mandatory six-month loss of license.

    Extensive Experience With Underage Drinking Matters

    At Nichols & Green PLLC, we have extensive experience defending clients against charges of underage possession and other student offenses. We can assist you in keeping your child’s record clean by:

    • Effective criminal defense and trial techniques
    • Negotiating with the prosecution to achieve a fair outcome and explore alternative sentencing options
    • Utilizing community service and treatment options when they will prevent a criminal record
    • Addressing underage DUI charges using forensic and technical knowledge

    Contact a Prince William County Minor in Possession Defense Attorney

    If you or your child is being charged with underage possession of alcohol in Prince William, Fairfax or northern Virginia, attorney at Nichols & Green PLLC can advise you regarding your rights and options. Contact us for a free consultation with a lawyer.