DUI & DWI in Federal Court – Eastern District of Virginia

By Bret Lee, Of Counsel

Northern Virginia is a hub of federal activity. Throughout Fairfax County, Arlington, Alexandria, and Prince William County are numerous federal agencies, parks, and buildings. Traffic crimes committed in national parks or on military property can result in different charges than you would normally face in Virginia state courts. One very common charge is driving while intoxicated (DWI) or under the influence (DUI), which becomes a federal charge if it occurs on federal property. DWI and DUI charges in Federal Court are a cross between state law violations and federal laws and regulations such as the CFR.

Whether you received a DUI charge on the grounds of Fort Belvoir or a DWI leaving Wolf Trap, you need to be prepared and have the right advocate by your side. Federal charges can have massive implications for immigration, job applications, and security clearances. There are a wide variety of consequences that a federal judge can impose in a DWI sentencing. Jail and loss of driving privileges are a real risk with these charges. Federal security clearances can be severely affected if you are convicted of a federal DUI.

You will need a Virginia criminal defense attorney who has a wide variety of skills and knows more than just the law. A strong understanding of the field sobriety tests and science behind the BAC tests is critical. Federal DWI and DUI often involve complex technology: blood alcohol tests through calibrated breath machines, laser or radar speed traps, laboratory blood tests, and other chemical tests can be the critical evidence in a federal DUI case. You need the best chance possible of challenging or excluding this evidence. If you care about your future employment and success, you must hire a lawyer that understands the importance of background checks, clearances, and has represented many government employees and members of the military against federal charges. Federal Court is very different from state court. The formalities are greater, the rules are more complex, and cases can proceed very quickly.