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  • John C. Whitbeck, Jr.


    John C. Whitbeck, Jr. practices in the following areas of law: Family Law, Divorce, Child Custody, Child Support, Visitation Rights, Adoptions, Spousal Support, Mediation, Arbitration, Relocation Cases, Domestic Violence, Criminal Law, DUI/DWI, Reckless Driving, All Felonies, All Misdemeanors, Juvenile Crimes, Mental Health Law, Civil and Business Litigation, Construction Litigation, Education Law, Election Law, Debt Collection, Consumer and Lemon Law.

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  • Ruth M. McElroy


    Ruth M. McElroy practices in the following areas of law: Family law, Divorce, Child Custody, Child Support, Visitation Rights, Adoptions, Spousal Support, Relocation Cases, Pre and Post Marital Agreements, Domestic Violence, Reckless Driving, DUI/DWI, Juvenile Crimes, Felony and Misdemeanor Crimes, Traffic Offenses, Debt Collection, Civil and Business Litigation. She serves the Virginia Court system as a Guardian ad litem.

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  • Jennifer D. Cisneros


    Jennifer D. Cisneros practices in the following areas of law: Family law, Divorce, Child Custody, Child Support, Visitation Rights, Adoptions, Spousal Support, Relocation Cases, Domestic Violence, Juvenile Crimes, Reckless Driving, DUI/DWI, Estate Planning, Wills and Probate, Trusts, Civil and Business Litigation and Debt Collection.

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Reasons to Hire a Virginia Criminal Defense Attorney for a Misdemeanor


If you or a loved one was arrested for a misdemeanor, you might assume there is no need to speak with or retain a Virginia criminal defense attorney. While misdemeanor charges are less severe than felony charges, you should always have a skilled defense attorney on your side. Even misdemeanors can be nerve racking and result in a criminal record, jail time, etc.

What is a Misdemeanor?

In Virginia, a misdemeanor is a crime that is punishable by a maximum sentence of one year in jail. There are different types of misdemeanors in Virginia as well. Class 1 misdemeanors carry the most severe penalties while Class 4 misdemeanors carry the least severe. While not as serious as a felony that will result in a prison sentence of one year or more, they are still criminal charges and show up on your criminal record. That can be serious enough to alter your life in a variety of negative ways.

Criminal misdemeanors are different than a traffic infraction like a speeding ticket. This is why you need to take a criminal misdemeanor seriously and consider retaining a good defense attorney.

A Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help Your Record

For someone facing their first criminal misdemeanor charge, there may be programs available that could help get a dismissal, rather than having a criminal record now. If you already have a criminal record, even a misdemeanor means you could be looking at more serious punishments. Hiring an attorney can help get the charges reduced and avoiding a lengthy jail sentence.

Your Attorney Can Handle Rescheduling Requests

If you miss your court date, you will be facing harsh penalties. If you have an attorney representing you, and something happens on the day you are supposed to appear, he or she can reschedule the court date and help you from being penalized even more.

You’re Innocent

If you are innocent and were falsely charged with a criminal misdemeanor, you don’t want to fight it alone. The chances of getting the charge dismissed are not going to be as high if you proceed on your own.

You Plan to Plead Guilty

You might think there is no need for an attorney if you plan to plead guilty, but having an attorney there can help ensure you are treated fairly. In addition, your attorney can help negotiate to hopefully get a lighter sentence. That could be the difference between serving time in jail and your freedom. 

Finding the Right Virginia Criminal Lawyer

Finding the right criminal defense attorney to represent you is important. You want someone who is willing to treat your misdemeanor case as seriously as a case involving a felony. Choose someone who has previous experience of handling a variety of cases and obtaining favorable results for their clients. You need someone who has ample courtroom experience and is committed to preparing the best defense possible.

If you need a criminal attorney in Virginia, contact Whitbeck Cisneros McElroy PC at 703-997-4982 to schedule a consultation today.




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Governor Northam’s Executive Order 53 provides that businesses that offer professional rather than retail services may remain open. Our firm is continuing to operate to ensure you and your family have advocates available for whatever legal issue you face. For clients who prefer, we can arrange meeting by Zoom or other video-conferencing. We are also implementing internal procedures to provide a safe environment in the office. Please contact us at 703-777-1795 or schedule an appointment today!