Award Winning DUI & DWI Lawyers in Fairfax, Virginia

If you or a loved one have been charged with DUI or DWI in Fairfax, Virginia, you likely have several questions about the best DUI defense lawyers in Fairfax, DUI penalties in Virginia, and thepossible outcomes for your specific DUI case. The Commonwealth of Virginia is one of the strictest areas in the country when it comes to DUI and DWI law, and retaining the best Fairfax DUI lawyer for your case can be a daunting task. It is essential that you contact an attorney who focuses in Fairfax DUI and DWI defense as soon as possible to understand your misdemeanor DUI or felony DUI charge, the consequences if you are convicted of DUI or DWI, and how to build an aggressive defense.

Contact an Experienced Fairfax DUI Lawyer Today: (703) 542-4008

How do I choose the best Fairfax DUI lawyer for my case?

The majority of our law firm’s cases are DUI and DWI related. Our Fairfax lawyers have represented both adults and juveniles facing misdemeanor DUI charges as well as felony DUI charges. Our DUI defense lawyers have strong backgrounds prosecuting a variety of criminal and traffic matters, many of which were DUI and DWI. The ability to analyze both sides of the courtroom is a massive advantage in any criminal or traffic case, but can be especially true for a DUI or DWI defense lawyer during a trial. Our Fairfax DUI attorneys have helped thousands of both adults and juveniles fight their DUI charges in Fairfax.

Before contacting a Fairfax DUI and DWI lawyer, prepare a list of questions to ask. Some of your questions may include:

How much experience does the Fairfax DUI lawyer have in DUI defense?

What is the process in court for a Fairfax DUI or DWI?

Does the Fairfax DUI lawyer keep statistics on case results? Why or why not?

Does the Fairfax DUI lawyer offer any advice for what I can be doing prior to my court date?

What are the consequences of a DUI or DWI conviction in Fairfax?

What is the likelihood of my DUI or DWI being reduced?

Is it possible to have my Fairfax DUI or DWI dismissed?

What is the possibility of having a reckless driving ticket on my record instead of a DUI in Fairfax?

Will I lose my security clearance if I’m convicted of DUI or DWI in Fairfax?

Will a Virginia DUI or DWI conviction stay on my record permanently?

 FAIRFAX COURTHOUSE INFORMATION

Fairfax County has four courthouses: Fairfax County, Fairfax City, the town of Herndon and the town of Vienna.  You may locate your courthouse information at the top of your summons.

Fairfax County

4110 Chain Bridge Road

Fairfax, Virginia 22030

Traffic Division: (703) 246-3764

Criminal Division: (703) 246-3305

Fairfax City

City Hall, Room 101

10455 Armstrong Street

Fairfax, Virginia 22030

Traffic Division: (703) 385-7866

Criminal Division: (703) 246-3305

Town of Herndon

765 Lynn Street

Herndon, Virginia 22070

Traffic Division: (703) 246-3764

Criminal Division: (703) 246-3305

Town of Vienna

127 Center Street, S.

Vienna, Virginia 22180

Traffic Division: (703) 246-3764

Criminal Division: (703) 246-3305

FAIRFAX DUI AND DWI: WHAT TO EXPECT IN COURT

ARRAIGNMENT/ATTORNEY REVIEW/INFORMATION ON DUI ATTORNEY (IAD) IN FAIRFAX

If you have retained one of our Fairfax DUI attorneys prior to any of these dates, you will likely not need to attend this hearing. The purpose of the arraignment is to inform you (defendant) of your DUI or DWI charge(s) and explain your right to hire an attorney to fight your DUI. Arraignments in Fairfax are at 8:45 am. If you have hired a DUI attorney prior to your Attorney Review or Information on Attorney date, you will not need to attend either of these hearings. Attorney Review hearings in Fairfax DUI cases are heard at 8:45 am, 9:20 am or 9:30 am.

FIRST COURT HEARING FOR YOUR FAIRFAX DUI: “First Time Up” or “Discovery Date”

Fairfax DUI and DWI cases are heard at 9:30 a.m. Monday through Fridays on the first floor of the courthouse. Cell phones are permitted inside the courthouse. Once you go through security, you will walk straight past the escalators/elevators and see a few monitors up on the wall. You will be able to locate your courtroom there. Please wait for your lawyer inside the back of your courtroom. Your first court hearing in Fairfax is what’s known as a “discovery” date. This is not a trial date, meaning your case will not be finalized. Discovery entails all documents and video/audio footage of your arrest (IF video/audio exists). Your Fairfax DUI lawyer will not know whether or not video/audio exists in your case until your first court date.

Your lawyer will enter a small room adjacent to your courtroom to obtain discovery while you wait inside your courtroom. Following discovery, when the judge calls your name, you and your lawyer will approach the bench (judge) and your case will be continued to a new date. Unless told otherwise by your attorney, you will not be required to speak. The second court date is typically scheduled 3 to 9 weeks after the first court date. The clerk of the court determines your next court date, not your attorney. If there is video, your Fairfax DUI lawyer will obtain a copy and watch it with you at a later time in his or her office. If video is not ready at your first court hearing, the prosecutor will either contact your lawyer to come pick it up at a later date or will have it ready at your second court hearing.

SUBSEQUENT COURT HEARINGS IN A FAIRFAX DUI CASE

If discovery was obtained between your first and second court hearing, your case MAY be finalized at your second hearing. If your Fairfax DUI lawyer obtained discovery at your first court date, your lawyer’s law firm should contact you to schedule a time for you to come into the law office to review it with your lawyer. Depending on discovery, your attorney will either advise for or against taking your case to trial. If your attorney believes you would lose at trial, he or she will discuss all possible plea bargains with the prosecutor. If you are unsatisfied with the prosecutor’s offer and your attorney believes a different prosecutor may offer a better offer, your attorney will advise you to continue the case for a third hearing. This way, your case may have a new prosecutor and new plea offers.

CONTINUING OR RESCHEDULING YOUR COURT DATE IN A FAIRFAX DUI CASE

There are a number of reasons why your DUI court date may need to be rescheduled or “continued.” The defendant (you) may be out of town, have last minute work obligations or a serious illness. If you need to change your court date, you must let your lawyer know right away. It is usually very difficult for attorneys to have continuance requests granted two or three days before the scheduled court date.

On the other hand, many DUI and criminal defense attorneys need to request continuances from judges on their own. Your lawyer reserves the right to continue your case for scheduling purposes (i.e. a Fairfax court hearing at 9:30 a.m. would be difficult for an attorney to make if he or she is also scheduled in Prince William at 9:00 a.m.). Every court’s hearing dates are scheduled according to police officers’ assigned court dates. Typically, each officer has anywhere from 1 to 3 assigned court dates each month in Fairfax. For example, your arresting officer is Officer Smith and your current court date is set for June 3. You or your DUI attorney cannot make that date, so your case is continued. Your new court date is set for Officer Smith’s next assigned court date, which is July 16. Your attorney does not have the power to request specific dates. It is up to your DUI defense lawyer or law firm to keep you informed of

There is always a possibility that your DUI attorney will need to reschedule your current court date. Your attorney will notify you of this need as soon as possible, although many times lawyers must request continuances the week of the scheduled court date. DUI lawyers in Fairfax have scheduling conflicts that require them to frequently rearrange court dates. However, if your lawyer postpones your court date, this will not have any effect on the outcome of your case. Both judges and prosecutors are extremely used to continuance requests, as these requests are made and granted daily. If your DUI case is continued to a new date, this does not reflect poorly on you.

WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES OF A FAIRFAX DUI OR DWI CONVICTION?

A Fairfax DUI or DWI first offense is a class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a $2500 fine. Alcohol classes, ignition interlock and drug testing are also possible requirements. It is essential that you speak with an experienced Fairfax DUI lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your specific case to have a better understanding of what your consequences may be. Many people who are facing a DUI in Virginia feel as though they are automatically guilty and do not need a lawyer to represent them in court. This is a common misconception about DUI and DWI defense. Please read more about the penalties of a DUI and DWI conviction in Fairfax here.

WHAT IS AN ELEVATED BLOOD ALCOHOL LEVEL IN A VIRGINIA DWI?

If your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was a .08% or higher, you are considered to be driving while intoxicated in Virginia. There are two categories of “elevated” blood alcohol concentration: BAC between .15% and .19% and BAC of .20% or greater. The penalties for a DWI with an elevated BAC between .15% and .19% are greater than a DWI of .14% or lower. Likewise, if your BAC was .20% or higher, your penalties are even greater. For specific information on elevated BAC in Virginia, click here.

IS AN UNDERAGE DUI DIFFERENT FROM A STANDARD DUI?

If you are under the age of 21 and charged with DUI or DWI in Fairfax, you are facing the same consequences as a standard Fairfax DUI. The Commonwealth of Virginia has a zero-tolerance policy for drunk driving and Fairfax follows this rule.  It is in your best interest to speak with a Fairfax DUI lawyer immediately. Read more about underage DUI here. Our DUI lawyers have reached fantastic resolutions for our underage DUI cases in Fairfax – schedule your free consultation today by calling (703) 542-4008

FAIRFAX DUI LAWYER EXPLAINS A REFUSAL CHARGE: IMPLIED CONSENT

If you were charged with Refusal in addition to DUI in Fairfax, this means you are facing a secondary, civil charge. You refused to submit to the chemical testing of both your breath (at the police station) and blood (taken at the nearest hospital). Because having a driver’s license in Virginia is a privilege as opposed to a “right,” licensed drivers automatically consent to this testing each time they operate a motor vehicle. Read more about the consequences of Refusal in Fairfax here.

VIRGINIA’S JUDICIAL SYSTEM – FAIRFAX DUI AND DWI CASE INFORMATION

The Commonwealth of Virginia provides an online “case system,” which may be helpful to both attorneys and their clients. You may use this site to look up individual court information, such as phone numbers, addresses, and policies as well as information on your specific case.* Please note that if your case is being handled in the Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court, you will not be able to access your case information online.You may check the status of your DUI case in Fairfax at www.courts.state.va.us any time. Locate the tab on the left-hand side of the home page, and then click the following:

Online Services

Case Status and Information

General District Court (you will be asked to enter the reCAPTCHA)

Under the “Court” tab, select Fairfax County or Fairfax City

Under Traffic/Criminal, click Name Search 

The ability to check your case status online may be helpful for a number of reasons:

  1. You forgot your court date or time
  2. You want to check in advance which courtroom you’ll be in (some are not posted until the morning of the scheduled hearing)
  3. You want to check your previous charges
  4. You want to confirm that your attorney is on record
  5. You want to know the name of your arresting officer
  6. You want to know your case number

*If you do not see your case posted, do not be alarmed. Some cases are not posted online until a week or even a day before the court date. If your case is in the Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court, you will not have access to your case information online.

BUILDING YOUR DEFENSE – FAIRFAX DUI & DWI

Discovery or “Evidence Gathering” in a Fairfax DUI or DWI Case

Rule 7C:5 of the Virginia Supreme Court states that the prosecution must turn over three pieces of information to the defense:

(1) Any relevant oral or written statements made by the defendant

(2) The defendant’s criminal record

(3) Any information on expert witnesses (if applicable)

Additionally, the majority of Fairfax DUI and DWI cases have video footage. Your attorney does not know in advance if there is audio or video. If they exist, your attorney is typically given a copy at your first or second court hearing. Once you have retained our services, we immediately begin the “discovery” process.*  This means we contact the Fairfax Commonwealth’s attorney’s office (i.e. the prosecutor) and request the following:

(1) All documents and audio/video footage (audio/video does not always exist). These materials are typically given to us at your first or second court hearing.

*Please note this process typically takes several weeks, and we will notify you as soon as we have any updates.

(2) For breath cases: DC-302 (Certificate of Breath/Blood Analysis). This does not apply to refusal cases. The certificate is mailed to us anywhere from two to six weeks after it is requested.

(3) For blood cases: DC-303 (Motion for Transmission of Blood Sample).  This does not apply to refusal cases.

Freedom of Information Act Request

Once we receive the Certificate of Analysis, we contact the Department of Forensic Science (DFS) with a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.*  This does not apply for refusal cases. The information within these documents outlines the specifics of the machine used for your breath analysis. We examine the dates this machine was last transferred, calibrated and certified.

*Please note this process typically takes several weeks, and we will notify you as soon as we have any updates.

FAIRFAX, VIRGINIA DUI AND DWI FAQS

  1. When I was arrested for DUI/DWI in Fairfax, the officer took my license. How/when will I get it back?

If you’re charged with a first offense DUI in Virginia, your driving privileges are revoked for 7 days from your arrest date. If you’re charged with a second offense, your driving privileges are revoked for 60 days or until your court date (whichever comes first). If you’re charged with a third offense, your driving privileges are revoked until your trial date. If you’re unsure whether your license will be mailed to you or if you will be required to pick it up at the courthouse, you will need to contact the Traffic Division of the Fairfax County General District at 703-246-3746. Or, if your case is in Fairfax City, you will need to contact the clerk at 703-385-7866.

  1. My lawyer advised me to sign up for VASAP classes – how do I do this? Can I take the classes online?

Please visit: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/admin/asap.htmfor information on the VASAP program in Fairfax. You will need to complete this program in person. If your attorney did not advise you to sign up ahead of time, you do not need to sign up.

  1. My DUI lawyer advised me to get started on community service – how do I do this?

Please visit Volunteer Fairfax: http://www.volunteerfairfax.org/individuals/alternative-community-service.phpand Opportunities, Alternatives and Opportunities (OAR): http://www.oarfairfax.org/volunteer-opportunitiesfor information on signing up for and beginning your community service. If your lawyer did not advise you to sign up ahead of time, you do not need to sign up.

  1. My DUI attorney advised me to gather character letters – how do I do this?

Typically, our clients bring us 1 to 5 character letters. These letters may be anywhere from a paragraph to a couple of pages. We do not provide a template for these letters. Please have the author(s) address the letter “To Whom it May Concern.” We recommend asking previous employers, current employers, teachers/professors, co-workers, and long-time family friends to write these letters for you. We ask that you have these letters into us by your second court date. You can have the letter(s) e-mailed directly to us, or forwarded to us from you.

  1. Do I need to attend my court date for my Fairfax DUI or DWI?

If you hired your DUI lawyer prior to your arraignment and/or attorney review hearing date in Fairfax, you will not need to attend those hearings. You must be present at all other hearings.

  1. What should I wear to court in Fairfax?

Business casual – dress as though you’re attending a job interview.

  1. My arraignment and/or attorney review hearing have been waived – do I need to meet with my DUI lawyer before my discovery hearing?

No. The purpose of your discovery hearing in Fairfax is for evidence gathering. Your case will not be finalized at this hearing. Schedule a meeting with your DUI lawyer after your discovery date. This way, your DUI lawyer will have information (video footage, police report, etc.) from the prosecutor, which will make for a much more productive meeting. Your lawyer won’t know the facts of your case until he/she has this information. Meeting with your DUI lawyer prior to your discovery date is the equivalent of meeting with your doctor prior to your doctor’s appointment.

  1. How long will my DUI hearing in Fairfax take?

DWI/DUI hearings in Fairfax are at 9:30 am Monday through Friday. You should expect to be out of court between 12:00pm and 1:00 pm. We can never guarantee when you will be out of court, as we don’t know in advance how long the docket (number of cases) is in your specific courtroom.

  1. Do I need to arrive early to my DUI hearing in Fairfax?

No. Your case will not be called prior to 9:30 am.

  1. Am I allowed to bring my cell phone inside the Fairfax courthouse? Inside my courtroom?

Yes. You may bring your phone inside the Fairfax courthouse and courtroom, although most judges do not want defendants to have their phones out in open court.

  1. On the morning of court, will I meet my DUI lawyer in the office or the Fairfax courthouse?

The Fairfax courthouse – please have a seat in the back of your courtroom.

  1. Where do I park at the Fairfax courthouse?

There is a garage with ample parking.

  1. How do I locate my courtroom?

Once you go through security, walk past the escalators/elevators until you see monitors up on the wall. Locate your name and respective courtroom. Or, you can refer to page 7 of this document to navigate the online system (although courtrooms are not always posted online). DWI and DUI cases in Fairfax County are on either the 1st or 2nd floor of the courthouse.

  1. Do I need to contact my attorney once I’ve arrived at the courthouse/courtroom?

No. Your lawyer will locate your courtroom and find you.

  1. Will I be required to speak at my hearing?

You will not be required to speak unless your lawyer tells you beforehand.

  1. At my discovery hearing, my lawyer received a video of my DUI arrest – will I get to watch it?

Yes. If there is video in your case, we will obtain a copy and set up a meeting for you to come in to our office to view it a few days before your next court date. It is likely that the video and/or audio will be turned over to your lawyer at you first court date (after your arraignment or attorney review hearing).

  1. Is it okay to post about my case on social media? Can I talk about my case with others?

We strongly advise you not to post any information regarding your case on social media. We also advise you not to speak with anyone about your case until it has been resolved.

  1. Someone I know was charged with _______ but their lawyer had it amended to _______. Will this happen for me too?

Each and every case is unique with its own set of circumstances. Your Fairfax DUI case cannot be compared to any other case, even if it’s the same charge.

  1. I won’t be able to attend my current court date – can we change the date?

Possibly. A first-time continuance request is usually granted in Fairfax. We will file a continuance motion or continuance request and receive a new court date at the motion date. Your lawyer attends the motion for you – you do not need to attend.  We will have a new court date for you the day after the motion date.

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