If you need a skilled Fairfax criminal defense, call Carleton Penn III at (703) 293-5910. He brings over 30 years of experience to each case.
[06/18/19] Call and schedule a mutually agreeable appointment.
[06/18/19] Call and schedule a mutable appointment.
[01/27/19] Had court today in Culpeper Circuit today. What a beautiful drive down and back that I recommend to everyone with numerous eateries, places of interest ie antique, furniture and inexpensive gas, ie $2.01 a gallon. Everyone is so genteel and friendly that I wish we in Nawthern Virginia could take a clue from our southern neighbors as we used to be.
[01/01/19] Was successful in Loudoun last week with a Motion to Quash the initial stop. My client had a BAC of .20 and did okay on field tests but blew a .23 on the PBT.
[06/10/17] After many years with a firm, I have recently opened my own office and will concentrate on DWI, Criminal and Traffic Defense. My new office is still across the street from the Fairfax County Courthouse at 4103 Chain Bridge Road, Suite 100. I look forward to assisting those that have found themselves or a "good friend" in trouble.
Arrested in Fairfax, VA? Find out why you should hire a criminal defense lawyer from Carleton Penn III. We’ve handled thousands of cases!
fairfaxcriminallaw.com Carleton Penn III, our skilled attorney, can help defend your rights, your freedom, and your future with 30+ years of experience & thousands of cases handled.
Carleton Penn III
[10/19/15] Happy Monday! Hale Ball will be celebrating Halloween on Friday, October 30th...pictures to follow.
[12/11/12] Honored to be listed in Northern Virginia Magazine as 2012 Top Lawyers for Criminal and DWI/DUI Defense.
DUI and Security Clearances
Although it is a crime to drive under the influence in the Commonwealth of Virginia, most people charged with a first-time DUI have never been in trouble with the law before. Other than the sense of shame that these otherwise law-abiding citizens may feel, there are implications that inevitably affect other aspects of their lives. If you’re charged with DUI in Virginia, what you disclose to your friends and family is usually a personal decision. This isn’t the case when it comes to your employer.
Whether you hold a security clearance or you’re applying for a government job that requires one, it’s a foregone conclusion that the background investigator is going to learn of your DUI arrest and any resulting sentence. Although government employers occasionally overlook minor driving infractions, a DUI arrest is generally significant enough to raise a red flag. Confidential, secret and top secret security clearances all require:
– A National Agency Check (NAC)-A computerized search of investigative files and other records held by federal agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and Office of Personnel Management (OPM).
– A Local Agency Check (LAC)-A review of appropriate criminal history records held by local law enforcement agencies, such as police departments or sheriffs, with jurisdiction over the areas where you have resided, gone to school, or worked.
– Financial checks – A review of your Credit Record.
When it comes to jobs that require security clearances, not disclosing your DUI to an existing employer is out of the question and probably pointless—the agency will undoubtedly have your name “flagged,” and will be alerted when you’re arrested. Besides, if you’re an actual employee (as opposed to a contractor), the arresting agency will notify your employers as a matter of policy. Once your boss is aware of the arrest, the police report is relatively easy to obtain from the arresting agency. If you lie or simply fail to report a criminal arrest, you will be fired and may be subject to additional legal action. You’ll also render yourself unemployable for other job prospects—you certainly won’t work for the government again.
However, there are things that you can do to protect your job. If you hold a confidential, secret, or top secret clearance, it’s particularly important that you be proactive in your legal defense by contacting a reputable Virginia DUI attorney as early as possible. A DUI lawyer who has experience in dealing with the effects of drunk driving arrests on security clearances can assess the viability of the prosecutorial case against you and advise you of the best way to notify your employer. Truthfulness is important, but until you speak to an attorney, you won’t necessarily know what aspects of your case need to be disclosed.
If you are arrested for a DUI in the Commonwealth of Virginia, the first step is always to hire the services of an attorney who specializes in this area of the law. Protect your legal rights and the integrity of your security clearance by employing a DUI lawyer before taking any other action.
The Impact of DUI On Your Insurance
In Virginia, auto insurance companies are in business to be profitable. That means that in addition to jumping the regulatory hurdles that the Commonwealth puts in place to govern the industry, insurers must also weigh the premiums that they charge you against the risk of having you as a client. High-risk drivers can cause an insurer to lose tens of thousands of dollars with a single claim. Too many of these claims can severely undermine the profitability of the company. With this in mind, a DUI arrest or a crash resulting from drunk driving will compel your insurer to raise your premiums or even drop you as a client all together.
When an insurer learns of your DUI conviction, there are a number of things that can happen. One is that they will classify you as a high-risk driver and raise your premiums substantially. They may also drop you as a client after the accident or simply not allow you to renew your policy. If you lose your insurance due to a DUI, it can be difficult, if not impossible, to procure replacement coverage. Again, the cost of the new policy is likely to be substantially higher than your previous coverage.
In addition to the difficulties that you may have with your insurer, the VA Department of Motor Vehicles may require you to carry an SR-22 financial responsibility certificate. The purpose of this document is to provide the state with proof that you have the required insurance to legally operate your motor vehicle. So even if an insurer manages to overlook your DUI conviction when underwriting your policy (which is unlikely), your request for an SR-22 certificate will alert them to the fact that there are issues with your Virginia driver's license. Keeping a SR-22 valid also may present problems as DMV is quick to suspend one's license if the SR-22 payments are not kept current and timely. This may result in your driver's license being suspended by DMV. There is a DMV fee EVERY time your driving privileges need to be reinstated.
Unlike minor infractions, a DUI conviction in the Commonwealth of Virginia stays on your driving record for eleven years. The most effective way to avoid these pitfalls is to drink responsibly and refrain from driving when you're intoxicated. However, in the event that you are stopped for drunk driving and subsequently arrested, it's important for you to obtain a competent Virginia DUI/DWI attorney to defend you in a court of law. By avoiding a conviction, you may also be able to retain your insurance and escape a premium hike.
Please feel free to call Carleton Penn, III, (703) 501-4900 to discuss this further.
Concert Season Is Coming: Be Aware of the Gauntlets
As this year’s concert schedules are announced, you’d be well advised to be aware of the situations into which you put yourself. Regardless of whether you’re attending a show at the Verizon Center or Jiffy Lube Live, because of the liability concerns of the owners and management of concert venues, not only is law enforcement invited in to supplement private security, they are often employed by the event coordinators to maintain order. The police will be present and if they observe a crime—even if it’s not one of the crimes that their event planners hired them to enforce—they have a legal obligation to take action.
Many people are under the impression that because D.C. has legalized the use of medical marijuana—and seems to have a relaxed stance on the personal use of cannabis in general—that nothing will happen if they are observed taking a hit off of a joint or passing a pipe around. However, this is a fallacy. If a D.C. police officer observes you smoking marijuana he or she will cite you or arrest you.
And it’s not only the Metropolitan D.C. police force that you need to worry about. If you’re taking the Metro into D.C., you should be aware that the rail system has its own police force, and their agents have the same arrest authority as the regular law enforcement officers. If you are returning via the George Washington Parkway, you will be on or cross over federal property. The U.S. Park Police have jurisdiction; any offense with which you are charged will be prosecuted in the U.S. District Court in Alexandria, VA. This same warning applies to Wolf Trap, which is also federal property. Because they’ve been tasked with maintaining order, Park Police are often zealous in the enforcement of drug and alcohol laws, both state and federal.
Additionally, our experience as criminal defense attorneys in the Northern Virginia has shown a distinct lack of discretion by the police when it comes to enforcement of drug and alcohol laws on local campuses. For instance, the Patriot Center is George Mason University’s concert venue and is also patrolled by the George Mason Police. They have taken a strong stance against drug and alcohol related crimes on campus. In addition, the private security force employed by Jiffy Lube Live are known for turning over all violators to the detail police who are hired at events. This is possible due to small—usually overlooked—signs at all points of entry that state “Private Property – All Vehicles and Persons Subject to Search."
If you’ve been arrested or charged with any crime in the Commonwealth of Virginia, you need to take both the charge and the resulting criminal record seriously. Retain the services of a reputable, Virginia criminal defense attorney who has a proven track record of success when it comes to traffic and criminal cases. Carleton Penn III, a partner of the law office of Hale Carlson Baumgartner, PLC defends clients in Fairfax City and County, Fauquier County, Arlington County, Prince William County, Loudoun County, Clarke County, Frederick County, Vienna, Tyson’s Corner, Alexandria, Leesburg, Manassas, Manassas Park, Winchester and other parts of Northern Virginia.
To schedule an appointment, contact us at our Fairfax office at (703)591-5900.
[08/08/11] Recently completed the intensive Summer Session in DUI Defense at Harvard Law School conducted by the National College for DUI Defense.
[08/29/10] Increase your chances of retaining your driver's license by requesting a driver's license suspension hearing. More information at www.valawyers.com/Criminal-Defense/Driver-s-License-Suspension.shtml
[08/29/10] Do you have to do the field tests if stopped for a suspected DUI?http://www.valawyers.com/Criminal-Defense/DUI-Defense.shtml
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