City and County Codes in Virginia
This part of our website is meant to educate, inform, and provide a resource (directory) of County and City Codes – but it is not a substitute for legal advice:
Do not rely on anything you find online, regardless of source. If you face a criminal charge or traffic infraction and are seeking answers, please talk to one of the many local Northern Virginia Defense Attorneys.
The Code of Virginia and the Code of the Counties and Cities in Virginia change frequently. Therefore, the code sections and laws you find online including this page and this website should not be relied upon. While we strive to maintain an updated website, it is impossible to guarantee 100% accuracy as to every law or ordinance referenced.
With that said… this page will allow you to research the laws in your locality if you have been charged with a City or County Code violation.
Go Directly to the Page You Seek:
(this portion of the page will be updated as we add more City and County Codes to our site: as of publishing date – October 20th, 2014 – we our Northern Virginia Defense Attorney’s selected Code of Fairfax County sections are available for viewers to read).
Code of Fairfax County
Selected Offenses from the Code of Fairfax County
- Code of Fairfax County (selected Code Provisions most relevant to our local Criminal Defense Firm and Northern Virginia Defense Attorney experience).
- The following links will take you directly to the (lengthy) code section pages:
- Motor Vehicles and Traffic – Section 82
- Enforcement by County officers – Section 82-1-3
- Removal, (towing) immobilization, and disposition of Vehicles unlawfully parked on private or County property – Section 82-5-32
Code of Arlington County
Much more coming soon: the most relevant (or, most frequently charged violation) our local Arlington criminal attorney has handled involves public intoxication, or Arlington Code 17-7. Learn more about this County law here.
More about local laws and code sections:
When a person is charged with a violation of the law in Virginia, it is either an infraction or a criminal offense.
Criminal charges are misdemeanors or felonies, and charges will remain on an adult’s record for life. Some people charged with crimes are surprised to learn that they are not alleged to have violated a Virginia Code section…but instead, a county or city code provision.
There may be ways for a local Virginia criminal attorney to challenge a law in a particular locality as unconstitutional or in conflict with a principle called:Dillon’s Rule.
How is a locality such as Fairfax County or Arlington County able to make its’ own laws?
Local government gets power from three sources:
- the Virginia General Assembly if granted specifically;
- necessarily or implied power, as a result of a specific grant of authority; and,
- from vital functions/purposes of government.
If a local code is unconstitutional, the defendant’s case may be dismissed.
This is rare, but not as rare as you might think. For example, a violation of a local ordinance prohibiting vulgarity in public in a nearby Northern Virginia county was dismissed by the judge; it was dismissed because years before, the Supreme Court of Virginia held a very similar (if not identical) Code of another locality unconstitutional.
When charged with any criminal offense, securing a top Northern Virginia criminal lawyer is very important. This subtle legal issue (legality of a local code) is a good example of something an inexperienced criminal attorney may gloss over and miss.
Local codes are sometimes hard to find by way of casual searching online
The Code of Fairfax County is a good example. We have posted criminal offenses on our local law pages which we have linked to from this page, only for educational purposes. Do not rely on any laws you find online; there is no substitute for legal counsel. Laws change and are amended quite frequently.
Small changes can mean big consequences
There is a lot of information out there and on our website alone; if you have a question or if you are facing a criminal charge in Northern Virginia, there is no reason not to ask one of the local Virginia criminal lawyers serving your jurisdiction.
Learn more about the common offenses in Northern Virginia here:
- Northern Virginia Reckless Driving Resources and Results
- Virginia Possession of Marijuana Laws (and other drugs)
- Public Intoxication (also referred to as Drunk in Public)
- Trespassing Laws in Virginia
- Driver’s License Offenses in Virginia (Driving on Suspended, Revoked, No OL, etc)
- Driving While Intoxicated (DWI / DUI / OWI)
- Juvenile and Domestic Relations Matters
- Domestic Violence and Assault on Family Member Laws in Virginia
- Assault and Battery Laws in Virginia
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