Criminal Defense in Northern Virginia
If you’ve been charged with a crime you probably have many questions.
Your first question should be, how do I find a good lawyer, the right lawyer? Before you make a statement in an investigation or on the side of the road, or talk to ANYONE about your case, you should have an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you through it. Facing a criminal charge is likely going to be the most significant event of your life. You want an attorney who will listen to you, explain things to you in a way you will understand (no “legalese”), protect your rights, speak on your behalf, and get you through all the other matters that come along with a criminal charge or conviction. A dedicated criminal defense lawyer will stand between you and the government.
Because of her lifetime commitment to personal freedom, the Constitution, and harboring a healthy skepticism of the government, criminal defense attorney Sarah Bruns spent years as an Assistant Public Defender in Loudoun County. There, she honed her skills and grew her passion for helping people when everything seems to be against them. Because of her commitment and talent, Sarah knows exactly how to work your case and guide you through the process.
Sarah has experience defending clients accused of
- Violent Sex Offenses
- Drug Possession
- Drug Distribution
- Possession of Marijuana
- Alcohol Offenses
Criminal charges don’t exist in a vacuum in your life.
They don’t start and stop at the courthouse steps. A criminal conviction doesn’t just put you at risk of losing your liberty, it can also hurt every other aspect of your life:
- Your job. Many criminal charges make you ineligible to hold your current job. Or being held without bond or being sentenced to jail could keep you away long enough to lose it. If you drive for a living and the court takes away your right to drive, you will want to know how to obtain a restricted license that lets you drive for work.
- Your family. Being charged with a crime while going through a divorce or child custody battle places you at a disadvantage in those cases. Sometimes the events surrounding your charge lead to an investigation by Child Protective Services or the issuance of a Protective Order keeping you away from your spouse, your kids, or your home.
- Your driver’s license. Driver’s license suspensions are at the forefront of criminal justice reform in Virginia. But despite this progress, Virginia DMV can still suspend your license if you are unable to pay your court costs and fines. Numerous charges, even those having nothing to do with operating a vehicle, result in losing your license. Having a restricted license can be fraught with pitfalls. An experienced criminal defense attorney like Sarah can help.
- Your security clearance. Many government employees and government contractors in Northern Virginia hold security clearances. A criminal charge can impact your ability to retain that clearance, and your livelihood. Sarah can put you at your best advantage to keep it.
Sarah’s representation doesn’t stop the second you walk out of the courtroom.
If you need help getting a restricted license after your criminal charge finishes, Sarah will be there for you, and it won’t cost extra if it’s related to that case. Also, you won’t need to hire a separate family law attorney, Sarah is unique in that she also knows how to handle those cases. So if you hire her for that case also, she will already be intricately familiar with your case, which can save you money because she won’t require as many hours preparation as a separate attorney would.
Children need a good lawyer too.
While the juvenile courts focus on the best interests of the child, Sarah does not feel that being caught up in the delinquency system is in the best interest of a juvenile. A juvenile conviction (called “adjudications”) can have consequences that follow a child into adulthood. In Virginia, a felony adjudication as a juvenile remains on a person’s criminal history forever. The punishments for a juvenile felony can be just as severe as for an adult felony, including indeterminate commitment in the Department of Juvenile Justice. Juvenile delinquency proceedings can also affect your child at his or her school. Sarah frequently defends clients in the Juvenile & Domestic Relations courts, helping frightened parents and their children through this process.
Sarah can clear your record.
In Virginia, even if you are found not guilty or the charges against you are dismissed, the charge remains on your criminal history record for the rest of your life unless you take action. By filing a petition for expungement, you can obtain a court order that removes your charge from your record and requires the police and the prosecutor’s office to destroy all reports and files related to your case. Contact Sarah Bruns Law PLLC for a free evaluation on whether you qualify for an expungement.