Virginia Criminal Lawyer defending since 1991

Fairfax Felony & Misdemeanor Lawyer

Fairfax Criminal Lawyer/ Virginia DWI Attorney pursuing your best defense in Fairfax, Arlington, Prince William, Loudoun & Beyond



Since 1991, Jon Katz has defended thousands of clients charged with felonies and misdemeanors. He defends both, because one’s liberty is at stake whether the charge is a felony or misdemeanor, and the collateral consequences of any conviction can harm one’s livelihood, reputation, and immigration status for those who are not citizens.

Felony charges bring with them higher stakes than misdemeanors. In Virginia state court, felonies by default are tried before a jury in Circuit Court unless all parties waive a jury. Virginia misdemeanors ordinarily commence in General District Court, with the right to appeal a misdemeanor conviction to the Circuit Court for a trial by jury for jailable charges, unless both sides waive a jury.

The jury trial option often is wonderful for enhancing a criminal defendant’s chances at an acquittal, when considering the unanimity required from a jury, and the fresh eye and collective decisionmaking of a jury versus having a singular judge decide innocence or guilt. From a practical standpoint, though, the particulars of a case determine whether a judge or jury trial are likely going to be more favorable for a criminal defendant for the innocence-guilt phase of trial. In Virginia state court, if a jury convicts a defendant, a sentencing trial is then held before the jury, which recommends to the judge an incarceration term and/or a fine. The judge may either keep the jury’s recommended sentence in place, suspend a portion of the recommended sentence, or reduce a portion of the sentence.

In the final analysis, persuasion is key for Jon at all phases of criminal defense, starting from the day he is hired, to trial preparation, settlement negotiations, trial presentation, and post-trial defense.


Virginia’s felony classes and sentencing maximums: Va. Code § 18.2-10

Virginia’s misdemeanor classes and sentencing maximums: Va. Code § 18.2-11



Miranda’s limited powers: Blurts, twilight zones, searches, pre-custody, civilian questioning, delays, and cross-exam

Our police state must be dismantled, one step at a time- How do we reverse this oppressive police state of affairs? As I have blogged for over a decade, we start by shrinking the overgrown criminal justice system,

Virginia criminal defense – Three hour delay to arrest does not amount to stale probable cause

Negotiating With A Poker Face And Battling With Equanimity Going forth with a poker face and equanimity against prosecutors is about reaching powerfully harmonious balance to focus on the battle,

When a security clearance/public trust holder is hit with a criminal or DWI charge. Those people having or wanting security clearances or public trusts are best advised to live squeaky clean lives in the first place, so that they are less likely to need a criminal defense lawyer.


Beware dealing with probation agents. Being convicted of a crime is no picnic. When a probation agent is involved, the picnic can seem to gather even more red ants.

Virginia criminal defense– Some key procedural statutes and cases for trials and appeals. The following statutes and caselaw is important for all Virginia criminal defense practitioners to have handy.

A Defense Objection Bars Amending a Virginia Charging Document to Change the Character of the Alleged Offense