Interviewer: How many cases do you think you’ve handled in all the years you’ve been practicing in DUI?
Brian Geno: I’ve probably handled 400 to 500 DWIs over the years, most of them in the State of Virginia, a few of them in Washington, D.C. Most of them also wind up resolving at the initial trial level, which is the general district court. I would imagine I’ve tried a case with every Northern Virginia judge at least once and some of them many times. I’ve probably had cases with every single prosecutor who’s been in office for more than a year and a half.
Typical DUI Clients
Interviewer: Is there a typical person you see that gets arrested for DUI?
Brian Geno: Well, it is very hard to classify them like that. I don’t think so. I think that some people just drink too much because they’ve got substance abuse problems and those do have a characteristic. The typical person I see who gets a DWI is not a person who’s been at it, getting drunk a lot, and has had multiple DWIs.
The typical person I see is just an ordinary person who made a mistake. Maybe they were careless, but it certainly doesn’t classify them in any particular category. I’ve had men and women. Mostly people under 50 typically get it. I would say that it really is an even break between Asian, Black, white. There really is nobody in particular who I would say gets it.
Interviewer: Have you ever represented anyone surprising, like a police officer or a lawyer or a judge or a high-profile person? You don’t have to give names or anything.
Brian Geno: Well, I’ve represented people from church – pastors. I’ve represented teachers. I’ve represented people who are clearly involved in helping and training youth. I can’t necessarily say that I represented any celebrities. I’ve represented attorneys before, for sure, but not necessarily DWI attorneys or judges – none of those that I can think of. Actually, I did represent one federal magistrate judge, just once, for DWI.
Interviewer: That’s amazing. It affects everybody.
Brian Geno: Yes. It definitely does.
First-Time & Repeat DUI Offenders
Interviewer: Are most of the people you represent first-time offenders or do you get a lot of repeat offenders?
Brian Geno: Well, for most of the people, it’s their first time and that’s probably because most people don’t get a second DWI. As far as DWIs go, usually it’s just the first. As far as the numbers go statistically, it would have to be first-timers more often, simply because there are more of them. The second offenders, third offenders, fourth offenders are out there and I’ve definitely represented them. Those people require a tenacious attorney who is putting a lot of effort and creativity into helping them because the consequences can be very severe for a second or third or even fourth or fifth offender and I’ve had those, too.
A lot of times the consequences can get a person deported. The consequences can cause a person to lose their job, cause a person to lose their children. I had one just recently where a guy had sole custody of his children and he was looking at his second, so he possibly had 10 days to do in jail if he lost. We had to work it out. He had to actually move his mother in from out of state as a safety precaution in case he lost so that he wouldn’t lose his daughter if he lost the case.
Interviewer: What’s the highest number of DUIs one of your clients has had?
Brian Geno: I had somebody who had six. The court was charging him with five that they knew of and I knew that there was a sixth up in Maryland. This guy was a healthcare professional. In his particular position, if he lost his job, any new employer would do a background check on him and would then know about his drinking problem and he wouldn’t get back into the healthcare profession.
We had to arrange very special handling of his case so that he wouldn’t lose his job. He did have jail, obviously – it was his sixth DWI. But we arranged it, with the generosity of the court, to allow him to just serve his vacation time, and then after that, weekends, until he had served 45 days. It was definitely something that was very sensitive for him and I thought the results turned out great because he did keep his job.