Types of Cases
Criminal Division conducts
- Felony preliminary hearings
- Misdemeanor trials
A felony is any offense punishable with death or confinement in a state correctional facility. All other offenses are misdemeanors.
- Examples of felonies include murder, robbery, rape, burglary, grand larceny, forgery, credit card theft, malicious or unlawful wounding, felonious assault, possession of a controlled substance (such as cocaine, heroin, marijuana, etc.) with intent to distribute and possession of a controlled substance.
The District Court will conduct a preliminary hearing to determine if there is probable cause, sufficient evidence to justify holding the defendant for a grand jury hearing and trial in Chesterfield Circuit Court.
A misdemeanor is any county or state offense that carries a penalty of no more than one year in jail or a fine of up to $2,500, or both.
- Examples of non-traffic misdemeanors include assault, trespass, disorderly conduct, possession of marijuana, prostitution, obstruction of justice, disturbing the peace, illegal dumping, underage possession of alcohol, drinking in public, open alcohol container, animal control violations, health and housing code violations.
The four (4) classes of misdemeanors
- Class 1 - confinement in jail for not more than 12 months and/or a fine of not more than $2,500.
- Class 2 - confinement in jail for not more than 6 months and/or a fine of not more than $1,000.
- Class 3 - a fine of not more than $500.
- Class 4 - a fine of not more than $250.
NOTE: For a listing of prepayable criminal offenses such as hunting, fishing and boating violations, tobacco and alcohol violations go to www.courts.state.va.us.