Virginia Criminal Law
The attorneys at our firm are dedicated legal advocates who maintain a day-to-day presence in the Fairfax County court system. Having this sort of local knowledge and presence on your side as you work to resolve your charges can be a major help when defending yourself in court or working with a prosecutor to negotiate a plea bargain that meets your needs.
It’s easy to generalize about the benefits of hiring an aggressive Fairfax criminal lawyer, but to find out how our legal team can help you specifically, please give us a call. Your initial consultation is completely free of charge. En Español.
The attorneys at our criminal defense firm are here to support you when you’re facing tough criminal charges. We have the resources to investigate your case and develop the kind of client-centered defense strategy that can benefit you.
Mary Nerino is a Virginia state and federal level defense attorney who serves clients in criminal matters throughout the Northern Virginia area. After graduating from Pennsylvania State University, Mary taught elementary school in Washington, DC, before deciding to pursue a career in law. Mary attended law school at the Washington and Lee University School of Law, where she was Vice President of the Student Bar Association and served on the Moot Court Executive Board.
Virginia is a state known for its low tolerance of traffic infractions which involve a proposed threat to other people or property. Among such traffic violations is driving under the influence (DUI). Punishment varies in cases of subsequent arrests, but even a first offense incurs serious punishment. If you have been arrested and charged with driving under the influence in Fairfax, whether for the first time or with multiple prior charges, it is important that you contact a Fairfax DUI lawyer who is familiar with Virginia DUI laws and testing and has the experience necessary to help you escape a conviction. En Español.
DUI charges are often very personal, in that they call into question the particular decisions or lifestyle of the defendant. However, it is the job of a Fairfax DUI lawyer to ensure that public opinion on DUI offenses does not cloud the facts of your case or the evidence presented by the prosecution. Our Fairfax attorneys have handled hundreds of DUI cases in the Commonwealth of Virginia and understand how to effectively defend against these types of charges.
DUI charges can result from inaccurate breathalyzer or chemical test results, or even a biased field sobriety test administered by an officer. Whatever the reason for your traffic stop and DUI arrest, your Fairfax DUI attorney will listen to your case. He or she will evaluate all the details to develop the optimal defense so you face the minimum possible impacts to your life and your personal and professional reputations.
In Virginia, the standard legal limit for blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08, at which point, a person is considered legally under the influence and a serious threat when behind the wheel of a car.
If an individual is pulled over with a BAC of 0.08 or greater, he or she will be arrested and charged with DUI. Under certain circumstances, however, the state has an even lower tolerance. If a person is certified to drive a vehicle, such as a tractor trailer, 10-passenger or greater van, bus, or if you transport hazardous materials, that person considered a commercial driver, for which the allowable BAC is 0.04 or greater. For underage drinkers, there is no tolerance. With a BAC of only 0.02, a person under the age of 21 can be arrested and charged with DUI.
Similarly, if you have a Commercial Driver’s License, learn about CDL DUI defense here.
On the other hand, you can also be charged of a DUID (or Drug DUI) for driving under the influence of certain narcotics.
To learn more about Virginia DUI laws and how your situation fits into the legal provisions, contact a Fairfax DUI lawyer.
When arrested for driving with a BAC between 0.08 and 0.14, and convicted with a first offense DUI, one receives a minimum fine of $250, a mandatory license suspension for one year, and mandatory enrollment in the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program (VASAP). If the driver was transporting a minor while under the influence of alcohol, he or she may also incur up to an additional $1000 in fines.
Second and third offenses carry harsher penalties, including mandatory jail sentences; license suspension and the potential compulsory installation of an ignition interlock device (IID). However, by working immediately with a Fairfax DUI lawyer, you may be able to take steps to reduce the charges and penalties associated with subsequent DUI offenses.
With an elevated BAC, the penalties increase, even for a first offense. With a BAC of 0.15 to 0.20, in addition to the penalties for a lesser BAC first-time offense, the individual will spend a minimum of five days in jail, have his or her license suspended for one year, and must have an ignition interlock device placed on any vehicle that he or she may drive.
Any subsequent DUI occurrences with such an elevated BAC may be subject to even more severe fines and penalties, which is why you should contact a Fairfax DUI attorney immediately if you are being charged.
“Mary Nerino is a great lawyer, I would highly recommend her. She very professional, and polite. I called her the day before I had court and she took me on last minute, I was charged with Driving on a revoked license and 15mph over the speed limit. She got the speeding ticket dropped and kept me from going to jail for 30 Days for driving on a revoked license.”
“I just wanted to compliment Attorney Mary Nerino and her team on an outstanding and professional effort in the recent legal services she provided to me. She worked adeptly through the legal bureaucracy and legal roadblocks all the while keeping me completely informed, updated and next steps. I would highly recommend Mary and her team. They did a great job with a successful outcome.”
“Mary did an awesome job for me – from the moment I contacted her office to the moment I walked out of the courtroom, she let me know exactly what she thought I needed to do to deal with my driving offense. She definitely had the experience necessary to effectively deal with the matter, and I couldn’t be more grateful.”
Given the potential penalties, anyone who is suspected of committing a crime in Northern Virginia should contact a Fairfax criminal lawyer for sound legal counsel. DUIs and most other criminal matters in Fairfax are aggressively prosecuted, which is why it’s important to seek legal advice even if you believe that your charges are fairly minor.
The Fairfax criminal defense and DUI attorneys at our firm are dedicated legal advocates who maintain a day-to-day presence in the Fairfax County court system. Having this sort of local knowledge and presence on your side as you work to resolve your charges can be a major help when defending yourself in court or working with a prosecutor to negotiate a plea bargain that meets your needs. Our experienced defense attorneys cover a wide range of criminal topics including but not limited to: assault, DUI, drug charges, gun offenses, prostitution, reckless driving, student defense, theft, and sex crimes.
There are many benefits that come along with hiring a private Fairfax criminal attorney, not the least of which is having the full resources of a criminal defense law firm to support the investigation and litigation of your case. If you’d like to learn more about what it’s like to work with a Fairfax criminal lawyer, call our team today and complete your free initial consultation.
If you are interested in possibly joining our team, please visit our opportunities page to learn what legal job positions and internships are available at our law offices.
Though Mary Nerino is now a criminal defense attorney, she began her career as an educator and still strongly believes in the power of education. The Educating Our Youth Scholarship is designed to provide one student with a $500 award for discussing the importance of educating today’s youth. To learn more about the application and eligibility, visit our scholarship page.