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Harrisonburg Virginia Legal Blog

Is your teen facing drunk driving charges?

As Harrisonburg parents of teens know, their kids don't always make the best decisions. Teens are constantly pushing the limits of what is acceptable and going against their parent's wishes. Most of the time teens are able to stay safe, but, occasionally, their choices result in an arrest. A DUI is a serious problem for teens who have been arrested.

Virginia has a zero tolerance law for teenage drinking and driving. If you are under the age of 21 and have any alcohol in your system, you can be arrested for drinking and driving. Even just one drink can cause serious problems for a teenager. A DUI conviction in Virginia can result in thousands of dollars in fines, a driver's license suspension, community service, an alcohol education program, and probation. A DUI can also create a permanent criminal record for a teen. This criminal record may hurt their college admissions chances, their ability to qualify for scholarships and future graduate schools.

Advice is nice, but you have control over your divorce story

Relationship issues affect almost every couple. Even if individuals do not realize it, they may be experiencing marital problems that could soon come to be too much to handle. Over time, some parties may choose to end their marriages for various reasons.

If you have recently begun thinking about divorce or recently filed a divorce petition, you may be experiencing a myriad of emotions. You may feel saddened by the fact that your relationship did not turn out as you had once hoped, but you may also feel relieved that you have the chance to start a new chapter in your life.

Officers do not have free rein in searches and seizures

Depending on your prior interactions with law enforcement, you may have a profound respect for officers, a healthy suspicion or, possibly, a bit of both. Whatever feelings you may have toward Virginia law enforcement, you understand they have authority. Still, it is also important to remember that their authority only reaches so far.

Law enforcement officers do not have freedom to do whatever they please whenever they want to do it. For instance, even if officers suspect you of illegal activity, they typically cannot barge into your home to conduct a search for evidence. They must follow certain procedures and have valid cause for carrying out a search.

How long can spousal support last in Virginia?

Despite a couple's best intention, not all marriages last forever. In fact, a large percentage of marriages are ending in divorce in Virginia. A divorce is an emotional time for both spouses with a lot of things at stake. Figuring out the important matters in a divorce is important and this may include spousal support. But how long should a person expect to pay spousal support in Virginia?

Spousal support can be awarded to a spouse during the divorce proceedings. There are certain circumstances in which a spouse can be awarded spousal support. Typically, spousal support is awarded by the courts when the marriage was long-lasting and there is a large gap of income between the two spouses. It can also be awarded if one of the spouses is disabled or doesn't have a job. Spousal support does not have to last forever. When the spousal support is set it can be for a limited duration which allows the spouse to go back to school or find a job so that they can be self-sufficient. Spousal support may also end if the spouse receiving the support is living with another person in a relationship for a year or more. Either side can go back to court to request a change in spousal support due to substantially changed circumstances as well.

Are you facing reckless driving charges in Virginia?

No matter how good a driver can be in Virginia mistakes can happen. Virginia drivers understand the importance of driving safely. They know how important it is to follow all driving laws and watch out for any hazards on the road. But sometimes life happens and drivers make mistakes. It is important for drivers to understand how serious a reckless driving charge can be.

If a Virginia driver is facing a reckless driving charge, they may think it is no big deal. Unfortunately, a reckless driving charge is actually quite serious. Reckless driving is a serious criminal offense that is a class 1 misdemeanor. Reckless driving occurs when a person is clocked driving more than 20 mph over the posted speed limit or drive over 80 mph regardless of the speed limit. A reckless driver conviction can bring a six-month license suspension, $2,500 in fines and 6 DMV points.

What is physical custody?

When parents split, there are important issues to sort out. However, this doesn't easily occur when parents do not agree. Physical custody is an important aspect of settling a child custody dispute. Matters of physical custody can come up when Virginia residents go through divorces, choose to separate from their partners or problems arise in existing custody plans. On its most basic level, physical custody covers where a child will live and which parent will be responsible for their day-to-day needs.

Whether a parent is granted physical custody of their child will depend on many factors related to their particular case. As such, this post does not offer its readers any legal advice. It offers only information to individuals who wish to learn more about this important family law topic.

Different forms of conduct may constitute reckless driving

Reckless driving is a serious traffic violation and may lead to significant criminal sanctions if a Virginia resident is convicted on their charges. While most readers may understand reckless driving involves operating one's vehicle at a high rate of speed, reckless driving can mean more than just excessive speeding. Reckless driving may be charged when a driver is suspected of driving in such a manner as to have no regard for the consequences of their actions.

As such, reckless driving can include driving to elude police officers. If a person is attempting to flee the police, they may not be paying attention to traffic signs, posted speeds or the safety of others who are on the roads with them. A person who drives recklessly to avoid the police may face other serious criminal charges as well.

How reliable are blood-alcohol results?

A DUI arrest may seem like a common occurrence in Virginia, but if you are the one in the back of the police car, it can be traumatic and confusing. Whether you had a couple of beers or you know you are completely sober, you may have little control over what happens when police pull you over.

Officers may be giving you directions and asking you questions while traffic zooms past and lights flash in your eyes. Before you know it, you are sitting in the police station while an officer prepares to administer a breath test. When the test results come back, they charge you with DUI. It may seem like there is evidence stacked against you, but before you accept a deal and plead guilty, you would be wise to seek some legal counsel.

How to respond after being placed on probation

A sentence of probation undoubtedly came as a great relief to you and your family. Instead of serving your sentence behind bars, you can remain at home and continue your life with some important restrictions. You may be allowed to continue working at your job or search for meaningful work. When you have completed your sentence in a few months or years, everything can go back to normal.

Some days may seem like nothing has changed. However, unless you keep in mind the court-ordered terms of your probation, you run the risk of violating them. This could have serious consequences.

Is alimony ever paid all at once?

Like child support and custody, alimony is an important legal matter that is associated with divorce proceedings. Only when two people decide to end their marriage will they determine with their divorce court if alimony is appropriate for them. In Virginia and jurisdictions throughout the nation, alimony is spousal support that one former martial partner may have to pay to the other to provide them with needed financial assistance in their post-divorce life.

Alimony is generally paid over time through periodic payments. Like a mortgage or car payment, alimony payments may be made every month or on a regular schedule that is understood by both the paying and receiving parties. Alimony can be paid indefinitely or for only a certain number of years; when necessary, alimony awards and agreements can be modified to accommodate the changing needs of the parties.

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