In Virginia, there are six classes of felony charges. A conviction of a Class 1 felony charge is the most serious; a conviction of a Class 6 felony charge is the least serious. Felony charges carry a potential for a sentence of greater than one year in jail. This varies from a misdemeanor charge because a misdemeanor charge carries a maximum penalty for up to one year in jail.
The maximum fine for a felony conviction varies depending on the class of the felony charge. A Class 5 felony and a Class 6 felony carry a maximum fine of up to $2,500. Class 1 through Class 4 felonies carry charges of up to $100,000.
A Class 5 felony carries a maximum jail sentence of up to 10 years. The judge and/or jury will sentence the defendant to a term in between one and 10 years.
The sentence is up to the discretion of the court. The court can sentence the defendant to a jail term, a fine or both. If the defendant chose to have a jury trial, the jury will sentence the defendant. If the defendant elects to have a bench trial or no trial, the judge will sentence the defendant.
Class 5 Felonies
There are many Class 5 felonies listed in the Virginia Code under various subheadings. Examples of class 5 felonies include drug charges, assault and aggravated assault, domestic violence, hit-and-run charges, possession, maiming or killing animals or fowl, computer fraud, bribery, willful neglect, bribery and larceny. For information on specific crimes, consult the Code of Virginia (see Resources).
The criminal sentencing guidelines are found in the Code of Virginia § 18.2. The sentencing guidelines for felony convictions are found in § 18.2-10. Class 5 felony guidelines are found in § 18.2-10(e).