Virginia Criminal Attorney


There are several reasons one may be charged with a crime including mistaken identity, false accusations, lack of restraint, poor judgment, or feeling that one had no other choice but to commit certain actions. Regardless of the circumstances that led to a criminal charge, if you are accused of a criminal offense in Virginia, you would be wise to learn as much as possible about the charges you face. If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges in Fairfax, Stafford, or another part of the Commonwealth, it is important to consult with a Virginia criminal lawyer who has experience handling cases from reckless driving to fraud. En Español.

Fairfax, Virginia Criminal LawyerVirginia crimes are charged as either misdemeanor or felony offenses. A misdemeanor is considered a less serious crime than a felony, with a maximum jail sentence of one year. Violent crimes, high dollar property crimes, and serious drug crimes are generally considered felonies and carry prison sentences of up to life in prison. Certain crimes, such as DUI and assault, may be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances surrounding the offense. For example, first offense DUI is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, but subsequent offenses may be charged as felony DUIs. Assault is generally charged as a misdemeanor, but aggravated assault is considered a felony. Other crimes remain firmly planted in the misdemeanor category, such as disorderly conduct. Reckless driving is another common criminal misdemeanor in the Commonwealth of Virginia.


A Virginia criminal defense attorney based in Fairfax is well-suited to provide legal representation for clients who are facing a variety of criminal offenses in the region. From reckless driving to prostitution, from petty theft to fraud, from domestic abuse to drug charges — and everything in between — a successful Virginia criminal lawyer is knowledgeable about the laws of the Commonwealth, effective courtroom strategies, and the proper questioning and investigative procedures. Having a proficient legal advocate on your side is paramount to maintaining your rights and your freedom.

No matter the charges, an experienced Fairfax criminal lawyer can provide you with a case-specific defense to help you avoid conviction and the maximum penalties that may be ordered by the Virginia courts.


Virginia reckless driving lawyer Karin PorterOur site also offers information about reckless driving, which is more than just a traffic infraction in the Commonwealth of Virginia. In most states, driving at excessive speeds is a traffic violation. In Virginia, excessive speed and certain other driver actions are considered reckless driving. This is a criminal misdemeanor and can be punished by up to a year in jail. There is an extensive list of actions that constitute a reckless driving violation in the state of Virginia, which includes but is not limited to:

  • Driving in excess of 20 mph above the posted speed limit
  • Driving at any speed over 80 mph
  • Failure to signal
  • Passing a vehicle on a curve
  • Passing a stopped school bus
  • Driving with faulty brakes
  • Drag racing
  • Any act of aggressive driving, such as weaving in and out of traffic
  • Failure to yield to an emergency vehicle

Many of these violations are very similar to an offense that would just lead to a typical traffic ticket, making it difficult to understand when you have committed a criminal offense or what exactly you did. You can find more information about these violations and what they might mean for you by visiting our reckless driving lawyer page.


Sex crimes are among the most fiercely prosecuted in the Commonwealth of Virginia. In fact, violations of these laws are treated so seriously that even an attempted act of sexual aggression could lead to pretty serious criminal charges even though a violation of the more serious laws was never actually committed.

Sex offenses in Virginia include rape, sexual battery, and object sexual penetration, but also encompass non-physical acts such as indecent exposure. Sex crimes that cross state lines, such as sex trafficking and child pornography charges, could be prosecuted by the U.S. government and therefore be classified as federal crimes. A conviction for a sex crime could carry penalties of up to ten years in prison and pretty heavy fines, and there are also certain sex offenses that would require those convicted to register as a sex offender, so it is important to understand these laws and not risk putting yourself in jeopardy.


Criminal Attorneys in Fairfax, VirginiaCriminal offenses that are prosecuted by the United States government, rather than Virginia, are considered federal offenses; however, charges may be brought in either state or federal court. Federal criminal offenses include drug crimes such as drug trafficking and manufacturing as well as sex crimes such as the production of child pornography. Convictions for federal crimes typically lead to much harsher penalties than state-level criminal offenses, which is why the help of a seasoned federal crimes lawyer is of the utmost importance.

The federal government has endless resources at its disposal to investigate such crimes and will use investigative agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to build an extremely solid case against the individuals they are charging. There is a higher conviction rate for federal charges, but that does not mean that all is lost should you be charged with a federal offense.


Virginia Criminal Defense AttorneysOffenses involving illegal business or commercial activity for the financial gain of a person or organization are often referred to as white collar crimes in homage to the suits that business people typically wear. These types of offenses are very commonly charged and very aggressively prosecuted. White collar cases can be tried in state courts or federal courts if the alleged victim is the U.S. government or an agency that receives funding from the government. White collar crimes include, but are not limited to:

  • Embezzlement
  • Money Laundering
  • Fraud
  • Tax Fraud
  • Conspiracy
  • Bribery or Extortion

Due to their intricate nature, such crimes often involve extensive investigation in order for the prosecution to prove their case. If convicted, offenders can face extremely severe penalties as well as a permanently marred reputation. Individuals who require security clearances for their jobs may risk their employment status.


If you have been charged with a crime in the Fairfax area, you will need a skilled Fairfax criminal lawyer working diligently on your behalf. Karin Riley Porter is just such an attorney. Call today for a free, initial legal consultation. Ms. Porter and the attorneys that she leads in the Virginia criminal practice groups can prepare you for the challenges that you face and help you understand the potential consequences of your specific charges.

Through this initial meeting, she can begin to develop a defense strategy; one that is aimed at either eliminating the charges or, if that’s not possible, working to have them reduced to lesser offenses. Additionally, Ms. Porter will be able to explain certain aggravating and mitigating factors to keep in mind while moving forward with your case. If a conviction is inevitable, she and her colleagues will work with prosecutors to secure a plea agreement that can minimize the potential penalties. Call her Fairfax law office today.


Fairfax County is a relatively high-income area, and so many parents are shocked or unprepared to deal with the criminal justice or juvenile legal systems when their children are charged with offenses like drug possession, disorderly conduct, driving under the influence, or assault. We have provided a brief article for parents of teens on juvenile drug diversion and drug prevention.


No one plans on becoming a defendant in a criminal case, but if you find yourself facing a criminal misdemeanor or felony charge, your freedom and livelihood could be at risk.If you are questioned about your involvement in any crime, arrested on a criminal complaint, or charged with a misdemeanor or felony offense, it is your right to have an attorney and it is important to exercise such constitutional rights.

If you are looking for more information regarding the types of charges you are facing as well as the possible penalties associated with a conviction, our team of diligent Virginia criminal lawyers is here to advise you. To speak with an experienced Virginia criminal attorney regarding your case, call (703) 278-2800 or (888) 415-8090 for a free consultation.

Learn more about our Scholarship Opportunities.


Fairfax has a number of criminal defense attorneys who can provide legal representation for those charged with a crime in Virginia, but it is important to find a Fairfax criminal lawyer and a law firm with a successful history of sound criminal defense for a wide array of charges. These charges may include, but are not necessarily limited to:

An effective Virginia criminal attorney in Fairfax will have a thorough understanding of state law pertaining to all of these offenses, and will know what steps to take to fight a variety of criminal allegations in an effort to avoid conviction and unnecessary penalization.

For a greater understanding of all the charges and penalties that fall within the disorderly conduct category, please click here.

Fairfax County

Fairfax County is the most populated jurisdiction in Virginia. The county is bordered by Washington, DC to the northeast and is serviced by several major highways, including the Capital Beltway, Interstate 66, Interstate 95, and Interstate 395, making one of the most congested areas in the nation. Its proximity to Washington, DC makes Fairfax County a hub of professional services and technology, housing several headquarters of intelligence agencies, as well as ten Fortune 500 companies. Fairfax is consistently ranked as one of the wealthiest counties in the nation.

Our law firm has an office located at 10605 Judicial Drive in Fairfax, where our lawyers are proud to serve clients from every jurisdiction in Fairfax County, including Burke, Centreville, Clifton, Dunn Loring, Fairfax Station, Fort Belvoir, Great Falls, Lorton, Merrifield, and Oakton.

For more information on legal representation in the more populous cities in Fairfax County, please visit the following pages:


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The Myth of the “Best Lawyer in Virginia”

We often speak to individuals who are looking for “the best Virginia lawyer.” The truth is, however, that a “best attorney” simply does not exist. The law is complex, and there are numerous practice areas that are very different from each other. For example, a tax lawyer does not practice the same kind of law, nor does she handle the same kinds of cases, as a divorce or criminal defense attorney. Even within practice areas, the circumstances of every case are unique and will impact how the law applies to the facts.

For this reason, it is important for people seeking legal counsel to understand that there is no blanket label for a “best lawyer in Virginia” or a “best Virginia criminal lawyer.”

Second, it is important for individuals to understand what qualities they can look for in an attorney to help them make a decision.

It is important for an attorney to have experience practicing the kind of law, but it is also important to find a lawyer who you trust. Particularly in criminal defense, you are likely looking for a legal advocate who can represent your interests in court and tell your side of the story.

We also believe it is important to speak to the lawyer, either on the phone or face-to-face, to consult with them about your case. This can help give you an idea of whether you can build a strong relationship with the lawyer.

Don’t go looking for the “best attorney in Virginia” — there is no such thing. When choosing an attorney, look for a lawyer who you believe is right for you and your case.

Karin Riley Porter Good Works Scholarship

Virginia criminal attorney Karin Riley Porter values community service, especially when the project pertains to improving the condition of criminal justice concerns. In response to her commitment to service, she is awarding one individual $500. This scholar must accurately reflect their commitment to community service, especially as it pertains to the criminal justice system.