Experienced Fairfax DUI Attorney
My ultimate goal will always be to win a complete dismissal of the charges against you.
Defending you against damaging drunk driving convictions
Facing a DUI or DWI charge is possibly one of the most stressful periods in a person’s life. Most of that stress simply comes from not knowing the strengths and weaknesses of your case and not having a clear understanding of the benefits of actually fighting the charge. Information truly is Power. Make the important decision to act now by calling the right Fairfax DUI lawyer to help you fight those charges.
Many serious consequences accompany a conviction for drunk driving in Virginia, but many DUI and DWI cases can be won and those consequences can be avoided.
The NoVa Law Firm is here to help you by providing answers to your questions and arming you with information so that you can:
- Understand the charges against you
- Mistakes that the police might have made
- The way the court system works
- Options you have to put this moment behind you and move forward with your life
DUI and DWI law in Virginia
Some states distinguish between the two, but DUI (driving under the influence) and DWI (driving while intoxicated) are interchangeable terms in Virginia, and the more commonly used term by lawyers, cops and judges is DUI. DUI in Virginia refers to operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08. This often translates to roughly two alcoholic drinks per hour. But it’s not that simple.
Many people mistakenly think that by limiting themselves to even a single drink they can avoid a DUI charge. However, different drinks have varying amounts of alcohol (a beer vs. a shot of tequila); bartenders can “free pour” and leave you with more alcohol than you bargained for. Finally, height, weight and even the amount of food eaten during a given period all affect a person’s BAC level.
Taking Adderall, Xanax, or Ambien? Be extremely careful: There are also charges of driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) when taking illegal or prescription drugs and getting behind the wheel.
Administrative Suspension in Virginia
DUI and DWI charges will impact you before you’ve even gone to court. For example, in Virginia, if you are charged with DUI, your driver’s license is suspended immediately for seven days for the first offense. That is just for being charged with DUI, not being convicted. This is known as an “Administrative Suspension.”
If this is your second or subsequent drunk driving charge, you will have your license suspended for a longer period, again, this is before you’ve even gone to court! At The NoVa Law Firm, many of our clients are surprised to learn that you don’t have to suffer this “Administrative Suspension” at all.
You have the right to challenge the officer’s “Probable Cause” to arrest you in an early stage of the prosecution. When you prevail, your driving privileges are immediately restored. At The NoVa Law Firm, our mission is to minimize the inconveniences associated with a pending DUI or DWI charge while we prepare to win your case at trial.
You can face severe penalties
In Virginia, DUI refers to several different ways someone can be charged for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Depending on the driver’s age, blood alcohol content and if there is a commercial driver’s license, the penalties are different.
- Underage drinkers have a lower BAC limit at just 0.02—between 0.02 and 0.08 percent can result in suspension of an underage driver’s license and a $500 fine. As a legal drinker, you face the same penalties if your BAC is 0.08 or higher.
- If your BAC is found to be above 0.15, you face minimum mandatory jail time (5 days) even if it is your first offense. Virginia law considers this to be an “Extreme DUI” due to the high BAC. Drivers with BAC over 0.21 face even longer mandatory minimum jail terms.
- Commercial drivers must forego driving commercial vehicles for one year if their BAC is found to be 0.04 or higher.
What Are The Penalties For A First, Second, Or Third DUI Offense In Fairfax County?
* First DUI Offense in Virginia
- $250 Fine (Which can increase to $500 if a minor was present, but will not exceed $2500)
- No Mandatory Minimum Jail Sentence
- Class 1 Misdemeanor
* Second DUI Offense In Virginia in 5 years
- 30 days in Jail
- 20 days of this sentence are mandatory
- Fines ranging between $500 and $2500
* Third DUI Defense In Viriginia in 5 Years
- Minimum $1000 fine
- 6 Months In Jail
- License Revoked Indefinitely
Your aggressive DUI defense
We look at all the issues in your DUI case, from the beginning (the initial traffic stop –was it justified?) to the end (the breath or blood test –did the breath tech operate his equipment fairly and appropriately?).
In the middle of it all are additional factors we investigate thoroughly, including the police officer’s administration of field sobriety tests, and the documentation of events (Dash-Cam Video and police report).
There are even rarer cases we’ve worked on where our clients were not even driving when they were arrested for DUI. In Virginia, you do not even have to be driving your car to be charged with a DUI—all you need is to be in the car with the key in the ignition.
Trials are tough, hard, and grueling. Prosecutors prefer to avoid trials, and they do not want to face a DUI and DWI Defense Specialist like Fairfax DUI lawyer Eric Clingan from The NoVa Law Firm. They understand that we will not back down from any case. They respect that, but they hate it because it means we cause them more work.
Prosecutors also know we build solid defenses that call into question every step of the DUI arrest, and we do not stop until our client’s rights are protected –and vindicated. With nearly 20 years of experience defending our neighbors here in Northern Virginia, we’ve been fighting, winning trials and getting dismissals of DUI charges. No one needs to forced into a guilty plea by a weak lawyer and/or be wrongfully convicted for drunk driving.
Professional, thorough, experienced DUI / DWI lawyer on your side
We fight to beat, not plead down, the DUI charge against you. Our office is a five-minute walk from the Fairfax County Courthouse and just minutes from Arlington, Alexandria, Prince William and Loudoun County courts. Call The NoVa Law Firm at (703) 352-9347, or contact us online today to schedule your free consultation.
Watch this NBC 4 Washington News Video where DUI Defense Attorney Eric Clingan got 4 DUI cases dismissed for the officer’s failure to record them on his video/audio equipment.
FAQ’s About DUI’s In Northern Viriginia
If you’ve recently been charged with a DUI in Fairfax County or Northern Virginia,you probably have many questions and concerns. While every individual DUI or DWI case is unique, there are some common scenarios which are covered below.
DWI vs. DUI in Viriginia, Is There A Difference?
DUI and DWI are largely interchangeable in Virginia. Some states have differing degrees of culpability when it comes to driving and alcohol. So, a person who is over a certain minimum limit can be said to be “Driving While Intoxicated” another person who may be under that limit but still exhibited questionable driving behavior might be said to be “Driving Under the Influence” (of an intoxicant). Again, in Virginia, there is no such language difference. Virginia simply refers to the charge as “Driving Under the Influence.”
Is It Possible To Get A DUI For Marijuana?
Yes. First and foremost, marijuana DUI charges are almost without exception more subjective than an alcohol DUI charge. As a defendant, this changes certain things, and can ultimately have both positive and negative repercussions for your case. According to Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-266, Virginia drivers operating a vehicle while under the influence of any amount of marijuana are technically breaking the law. With alcohol, however, there is considerable leniency for drivers whose blood alcohol content (“BAC”) is under 0.08 as measured by a Breathalyzer.
What If I Refused A DUI or DWI Breathalyzer Test?
In Virginia, per Va. Code §18.2-268.3, if you are convicted for refusing to take a Breathalyzer, you can face various penalties including fines, driver’s’ license suspensions, and jail time. For a first time refusal conviction, your driver’s’ license may be suspended for one year, and you will be ineligible to drive for any reason, at any time, during that year. That’s right. You will not be granted a “restricted license.” This means no driving to work, school, daycare for your child, doctor’s appointments, even religious services.
He was extremely professional, to-the-point, yet patient to explain all my options to me. Together, we won a DUI case, and the charge was thrown out (and my record expunged). Actually, WE didn’t win it, he won it with grace and skill. I had never been inside a courtroom, but his intelligence and eloquence and strategic thinking shone during trial.
– Christian, Client Review On Avvo Put 15 Years Of Experience To Work For You – Call Today