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Harrisonburg Virginia Legal Blog

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.

Virginia enforces an implied consent law

It is a major accomplishment in the life of residents to receive their first driver's license. While many people get them when they are teenagers, others may choose to secure their first licenses when they are older and in need of driving their own vehicles. When a person is given a driver's license they must abide by certain laws and expectations in order to maintain their driving privileges.

A DUI arrest and conviction can cause a driver to lose their license to a suspension, and in many cases law enforcement officers collect blood alcohol concentration evidence to demonstrate the driver's incapacitation. Blood alcohol concentration tests can use blood, breath, or urine to show that a driver had alcohol in their system when they were driving and the ability of law enforcement officers to collect such evidence arises from the Commonwealth's implied consent law.

How does a person secure a no-fault divorce in Virginia?

Before this post offers information on the above-mentioned question, readers are asked to remember that this Harrisonburg-based legal blog does not provide advice or legal guidance. Individuals who wish to pursue no-fault divorces are encouraged to talk to their own family law attorneys about the requirements that they will face in order to accomplish their goals. No-fault divorces are complex legal processes that should be managed with knowledge and care.

A no-fault divorce is one in which the parties do not allege that either has committed a fault-based grounds for ending their marriage. Fault grounds can include but are not limited to adultery, criminal conviction, cruelty and others. Those who have not experienced fault grounds in their relationships or who do not wish to discuss their personal lives in court may opt to use the no-fault basis for ending their marriages.

Legal custody and a noncustodial parent's rights in Virginia

Child custody can be a very complicated topic in the world of family law. That is because divorcing and separating parents can have different ideas about what they believe to be the best ways to raise their kids when they are no longer under the same rooves. In the end, parents may share custody of their kids or one parent may be granted the physical custody of them so that the children have only one place to call home.

When a parent has the exclusive physical custody of their children, they are often called the custodial parent. That makes the other parent the noncustodial parent. A recent post on this blog discussed the role of visitation in custody cases and noncustodial parents can fight for their rights to visitation time with their kids. A noncustodial parent can, however, also secure legal custody rights over their kids even if those youths do not live with them.

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.

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