Below, a lawyer discusses common criminal charges filed in Arlington, Virginia. For more information about criminal charges in this part of North Virginia or to discuss your case contact an Arlington criminal lawyer today to schedule a free consultation.
In Arlington, I think the most common criminal case I see is driving under the influence of alcohol or “DUI” as it is known. Those cases took up a lot of my time as a prosecutor and it is something that my office focused on heavily, there tends to be a lot DUIs in Arlington and Northern Virginia.
Additionally, I would say that grand larceny or other theft charges are frequently brought in Arlington. I think to a lesser extent in Arlington are the violent felonies-there fortunately tend to be fewer of these types of cases. There are more white-collar type crimes; fraud, check fraud, false pretenses, things along those lines, embezzlement. But it tends to be either financial crimes or driving under the influence or of course as in any jurisdiction that has made marijuana illegal-possession of marijuana offenses.
Well, I will tell you that I think that DUIs are more common due to a combination of several factors. The first is that Arlington has a stretch of bars in the Clarendon, Ballston, Courthouse, Virginia Square area that attract a lot of young individuals who come to drink, hang out, socialize, and then make the mistake of getting into their car either thinking they have not had too much to drink or not thinking about what they’re doing.
The reason why there are so many cases here is that it is a major concern to citizens of Arlington that people don’t drive intoxicated through their communities. And if the community cares, the prosecutor will always care too. It’s unique in that it is an offense that is dangerous in and of itself but can become much worse if an accident occurs and someone gets hurt. So there’s a prevention and deterrence element involved for the prosecutor.
I think there’s also a lot of arrests because there is a high police presence in those areas to ensure that people who have made that mistake or made a bad decision are apprehended before they can do something worse. So, I know a lot of resources both financial and time-wise are put into preventing drunk drivers from being on the road in Arlington and I know that once those cases come to court they are taken very seriously by the prosecutor.
As far as larceny, one reason that I think that there is a high prevalence of larcenies in Virginia and particularly Arlington is that there are a lot of high-end stores between Pentagon City Mall, Ballston Mall, and stores in Clarendon such as the Apple store. That creates an opportunity to steal.
Arlington also sees its share of financial crimes cases like forgery, theft by false pretenses, bad checks, embezzlement and other cases along those lines. I think you see so many of those cases because Arlington is a very professional area, most people have college degrees and are employed in various fields that involve finance, marketing, consulting and sales.
So you have smart people who often get mixed up trying to exploit a weakness in the system that they see they can take to their benefit. After working somewhere for a few years, and being intelligent but not respected in the office they begin feeling like, you know, I’m not respected here, I’m going to take a little bit of the profit for myself. So people tend to come up with various schemes, many times very clever schemes by the way, to take a little bit here and there from a company, and those cases can be very hard to prosecute.