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What are the elements of a drug possession charge?

Drug possession charges can have serious and even life-long repercussions on the futures of those who are forced to face them. When Virginia residents are convicted of these crimes they may lose many of the privileges that men and women in free society enjoy as they are incarcerated for their alleged crimes. This post will discuss what drug possession actually is and what defenses individuals may be able to assert to avoid conviction.

A drug possession charge generally will involve to elements that prosecutors must prove to prevail at trial. First, a person must actually know that the substance they have in their possession is illegal. For example, if a person is given a bag of a substance and is told that it is a safe or legal item, then the possessor may not have the requisite knowledge needed to secure a conviction.

The problems with field sobriety tests as evidence of DUI

Law enforcement officials throughout the nation are prohibited from making arbitrary arrests and subjecting individuals to searches and interrogations that are unfounded and without cause. In order to make an arrest for an alleged crime like DUI, they must collect evidence of their suspect's purported wrongdoing so that there are sufficient grounds on which to allege they have broken the law. In Virginia and other jurisdictions law enforcement officials use field sobriety tests and a means of getting evidence of drivers' suspected intoxication.

Field sobriety tests happen in real time during traffic stops. Drivers are asked to get out of their vehicles and are asked to perform several standardized physical tests. Based on their performances on these tests the drivers may be determined to be intoxicated and may then be arrested for alleged DUI.

A review of reckless driving in Virginia

Certain driving actions are considered reckless by the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia. When an individual drives in such a way that the state believes that they knew or should have known about the harm they could cause then they may face a reckless driving infraction. This post will discuss some of the specific grounds on which a reckless driving charge may be based.

In Virginia, a person can be charged with reckless driving if they operate their vehicle 20 miles per hour or more over the speed limit. This means that if a driver is stopped for allegedly driving 85 miles per hour in a 65 mile per hour interstate zone, they could be charged with reckless driving.

Should you stay unhappily married for the sake of your kids?

Having children can often make many people feel that their lives are more fulfilled. These children are often born into families with married parents, and they become a loving unit. Of course, as you know, not every unit remains as loving, and you may find yourself considering divorce.

Though you may no longer find your relationship happy and could even consider it unhealthy, you wonder whether divorce is the right answer due to how it could affect your kids. Certainly, divorce can have major impacts on children, but staying together just for the kids may not be as beneficial as you would hope.

Getting the best possible help with a Virginia divorce

At its core, a divorce is a legal process that undoes the legal union that a marriage creates. However, any Virginia resident who has personally gone through a divorce or who has witnessed it happen to someone they love can be sure that there is a lot more to it than just breaking a relationship. There are emotional hardships that many divorcing parties must weather and important personal and financial decisions that must be made before divorces can be finalized. Working through those issues all while meeting the requirements of a divorce can be tough for a person to handle on their own.

Big Valley Law, a family law firm located in Harrisonburg, prides itself on offering its clients legal representation for those going through the process of divorce. The attorneys of the firm understand that any two divorces will vary based on the needs of the parties and their expectations for their post-divorce lives.

Are you facing charges for drug manufacturing?

Many substances are considered illegal to possess or manufacture under various laws. You may have recently found yourself accused of manufacturing an illicit substance, and the charges may have come as a shock to you. Now, you need to focus on finding the right way to handle the allegations brought against you.

While you may understandably feel overwhelmed by the fact that you face criminal charges, it may comfort you to know that you do not have to face the situation alone because you have the right to an attorney. This legal professional can help guide you through your case. Additionally, understanding more about drug manufacturing charges may prove useful to you.

What does it mean to drive drunk in Virginia?

The Commonwealth of Virginia and the other states of the nation have outlawed drunk driving in an effort to prevent vehicle accidents and collision fatalities. These are noble goals and there is no doubt that alcohol is an intoxicating substance that can alter a person's faculties. However, the rigid laws that Virginia and other jurisdictions apply in drunk driving cases take away any subjective considerations that may affect a person's rights when arrested for DUI.

In Virginia a person is considered driving drunk if their blood alcohol concentration is at or above .08 percent. A person implicitly consents to submit to a blood test when they are stopped for suspected drunk driving as the Commonwealth has adopted an implied consent law that mandates all who drive on Virginia's roads to do so.

The differences between joint and sole custody

Putting a child through a divorce can be hard on a Virginia parent. Although untangling their lives from those of their spouses can make them happier people and therefore more attentive parents, individuals may worry about what the stress of divorce will do to their kids. One of the ways that they can smooth the transition for their children is through creating custody plans that serve their kids' needs.

Child custody deals with important details of a child's post-divorce life, such as where they will live and which parent will have the power to make decisions about their upbringing. In many cases a child's two parents may share these responsibilities in a joint custody plan, but if certain factors warrant it a court may only give one parent these rights in a sole custody plan.

Do you have to let police into your house?

Have you ever been relaxing at home when a sudden, unexpected knock at your door catches your attention? Situations like this can immediately cause unrest, especially because you weren't planning on having any visitors, so you're not sure what's going on or who is on the other side of your door. If you live in a neighborhood where it's common for people to pop in unannounced, it's probably no big deal. 

What should you do, however, if, as you make your way to the door, you get a glimpse through a nearby window and see what appears to be several uniformed police officers standing on your front porch? Do you open the door? Must you let them in if they ask to come inside? It could be that they have the wrong address. However, it might be something far more serious, in which case, how well you know your rights may impact the outcome of the situation. 

Love the nightlife in Virginia but DUI not so much?

It's fun to get together with friends after a long, stressful work week to kick back and relax in your free time. Virginia has a vibrant nightlife, especially in the hub of regions that are close to the nation's capital. If you are age 21 or older, you can toss back a couple cold beers, glasses of wine or other alcohol without worrying about legal repercussions; that is, unless you later plan to drive a motor vehicle the same night.  

That's another issue altogether. Like most responsible residents of Virginia, the law trusts you to make good decisions regarding alcohol intake and operation of a motor vehicle. It's easy to lose track of how many drinks you've had when you're partying with friends. There are several things you can do to avoid drunk driving, which in turn should help you avoid a DUI conviction.  

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Big Valley Law Martin & Hahn, PLLC

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