Virginia County and City Codes – Laws

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

Motor-Vehicle Related

  • 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.

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:

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Brenton D. Vincenzes is a lifelong Fairfax County resident and Fairfax Criminal Defense Lawyer. He is a member of the Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, National College of DUI Defense, NORML, and has been awarded the following in 2014-15: Top 100 Trial Lawyer (National Trial Lawyers) Top 40 Under 40 Trial Lawyer (National Trial Lawyers) Nationally Ranked Top 10 Under 40 Defense Attorney (National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys) 10 Best in Client Satisfaction for Criminal Defense (American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys) Nationally Ranked Top 1% Attorney Award Recipient (National Association of Distinguished Counsel) As a local leader, Mr. Vincenzes mentors troubled youths, volunteers his time to serve at his church, takes select pro bono clients, and strives to improve the community. Mr. Vincenzes represents men, women, and juveniles through zealous and diligent advocacy, strategic planning, and skilled trial work preparation. Mr. Vincenzes' areas of criminal law practice are broad, and include most felonies and misdemeanors such as: reckless driving, DUI & DWI, drug offenses, assault and battery, domestic violence, assault on an officer, destruction of property, alcohol offenses, firearm offenses, larceny, shoplifting, embezzlement, fraud, and other theft offenses, and moving traffic violations among others. His private legal services are available in most Northern Virginia jurisdictions, including Fairfax County, Arlington County, Prince William County, Loudoun County, Stafford County, Alexandria, Manassas, Leesburg, South Riding, and other cities and towns.

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