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Harrisonburg Virginia Legal Blog

What does illegal search and seizure mean for you?

If you are under investigation for criminal activity, you may be unsure of what you should do or say to protect your interests when dealing with law enforcement. 

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects you from unlawful search and seizure procedures by law enforcement. This means that, even if Virginia law enforcement is investigating your activities and preparing to file charges against you, there are limits to what they can do. An illegal search and seizure could undermine the prosecution's case.

Protecting your future against allegations of white collar crime

"White collar" crime involves financial impropriety, not violence. These types of charges can permanently alter the course of your life.

If you are facing charges of white collar crime, you would be wise to take prompt action to develop the right type of defense strategy. It is possible to challenge the case against you and protect your future, and acting quickly can ensure your defense is right for your unique situation. 

What can drivers expect after their first DUI conviction?

Drunk driving charges are taken very seriously by the Virginia courts and individuals can be penalized for findings of intoxication while they were behind the wheels of their cars. It is important that readers seek case-specific guidance for their DUI questions as this post can only speak on the topic generally and provide basic information. Legal advice should be sought from personal DUI and criminal defense attorneys.

When a person is charged and convicted of a DUI crime, they can face a range of penalties. If it is their first offense, then it is likely that their charge will be a Class 1 Misdemeanor and permanently included on their record. They will likely be fined for their alleged conduct, and that fine can reach up to $2,500. Most drivers who are convicted of DUI crimes will have their licenses suspended, which limits their rights to drive.

Jeff Bezos and wife did not execute a prenuptial agreement

Not all couples choose to draft and execute prenuptial agreements (prenups). In fact, some Virginia residents see the contracts as anti-romantic and do not want to impose such stark negotiations on their wedding plans. Those that have children from prior marriages, who own their own businesses or who have significant personal assets prior to getting married, though, may want to have prenups in place to protect their separate assets and needs.

Recently, readers of this blog may have become aware that Jeff Bezos, the CEO of online retail giant Amazon, and his wife filed for divorce. Bezos and his wife of 25 years will have a lot of work ahead of them because it has been reported that he alone is worth over $130 billion. But, the couple did not have a prenuptial agreement in place before they got married.

A defense may apply to a drug crimes charge

Facing a criminal charge for drug possession can be a terrifying experience not only because criminal charges can carry with them very serious consequences, but also because developing a criminal record can follow a Virginia resident for the rest of their life. In order to avoid the many negative effects that a criminal drug conviction can have on a person's immediate and long-term future an individual facing drug charges may wish to explore their possible defense strategies with their criminal defense attorney.

That is because there are a number of recognized defenses to drug crimes that can help individuals avoid conviction and the punishments that accompany them. One defense that may serve a drug crime defendant is the defense that the allegedly illegal drugs were not under their possession at the time of the defendant's arrest. If illegal drugs were actually found on another person or in a place not under the control of the defendant then there may be insufficient evidence to prove that the defendant ever possessed them.

How does equitable distribution affect a divorce?

The divorce of two Virginia residents requires a lot of hard work and compromise. Even when people are in agreement with their partners that ending their marriages is a good idea, they will they have to make concessions about particular matters related to their marital dissolutions. During a divorce, coming to terms with the division of a couple's property can be especially hard on those who do not want to give up anything that they own.

During a divorce property is categorized as either marital or separate. If property is considered marital it is subject to division. If it is deemed separate then the owner of it may keep it when their divorce is completed. In Virginia, marital property is divided pursuant to a legal doctrine known as equitable distribution.

How to gain control of your custody case

If you are facing divorce, you know child custody proceedings will play a significant part in your case. It may feel like the situation is out of your control because many legal factors may influence the outcome.

However, there are things you can do to help yourself feel more in control. You can start with how you dress for court.

Is a loved one showing signs of drug addiction?

Addictive substances can come into people's lives in various ways. You may have a loved one to whom doctors prescribed an opioid pain reliever, or a family member may have used an illicit substance with no negative effects.

Whatever the case may be, you now worry that he or she has developed an addiction to a substance. To make a better determination of what is happening, review these signs of addiction.

Virginia's reckless driving statute is broad by design

In the Commonwealth of Virginia it is illegal to drive recklessly. However, what it actually means to be reckless while behind the wheel of a car is not defined by one particular act. Under the Code of Virginia, different forms of conduct may constitute reckless driving and therefore the applicable statute may be read to apply to individuals who exhibited different driving behaviors.

Reckless driving may constitute being reckless while behind the wheel, and the term "reckless" may generally be defined as constituting an unreasonable risk to the safety of one's self or others. Under Virginia's reckless driving statute, speeding may also constitute recklessness if that speed is could endanger the life or property of others.

Is marijuana now legal in Virginia?

Laws can change over time as new information emerges concerning the best ways to protect public health and safety. One topic that has received a lot of attention in the national legal spotlight is marijuana and whether it should be considered an illegal substance. While some states have decriminalized the recreational use of marijuana, Virginia does not fall into that group.

In Virginia it is illegal to possess, manufacture, and sell marijuana. Individuals who are caught with marijuana on their persons or in their possession can face serious penalties. A conviction on a marijuana drug charge can have lasting effects on a person's future and can impact their options for seeking employment in the future.

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