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Virginia is experiencing a backlog in drug testing

In general, when it comes to drug crimes police will seize what they believe to be illicit drugs. These drugs are usually tested to ensure they are what police believed them to be. However, many people in Virginia facing drug charges may find that there is a lengthy wait time for these items to be tested.

What constitutes the crime of burglary in Virginia?

Sometimes it seems like "familiar" crimes should be open-and-shut cases. For example, many people have a general idea of what they think burglary looks like. They may picture a thief forcing open a locked door in the dead of night and stealing something therein. However, the actual crime of burglary in Virginia is a lot broader than that.

What rights to Virginia juveniles have when accused of a crime?

Teenagers in Virginia sometimes make mistakes or fall in with the wrong crowd. They are still developing mentally and do not have the foresight or maturity of a grown adult. For these reasons, except in the case of serious criminal offenses, a juvenile accused of a crime will not always go through the same criminal trial process as an adult.

Virginia still takes a hard stance against marijuana crimes

Marijuana use is increasingly being seen as beneficial in certain circumstances. Many states have legalized the cultivation, sale and use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. However, recreational use of the drug is still illegal in most states, including Virginia. In addition, those who provide marijuana to another person could also be convicted of a drug crime.

Are there 'Romeo and Juliet' laws in Virginia?

The age at which a person in Virginia can legally consent to sexual intercourse is 18. However, it is not unusual for teenagers to engage in consensual sexual intercourse with one another, especially if they are romantically involved. While Virginia statutes do not use the phrase statutory rape, the law in Virginia does make some allowances for individuals 15 through 17. This is known as a "close-in-age" exemption, or "Romeo and Juliet laws."

Virginia governor signs two new crime bills into law

Virginia keeps a DNA database in which a person convicted of a crime has his or her DNA collected and kept. This DNA could link a person to a past or future crime. In some cases, it could exonerate a person accused of a crime. However, when it comes to DNA analysis, as well as the taking of fingerprints and photographs after a conviction, it is important that one's due process rights aren't violated.

Can DNA evidence be expunged in Virginia?

When it comes to violent crimes, a person in Virginia may be convicted based, at least in part, on DNA evidence. Other times, investigators will collect DNA evidence from a crime site, with the intent of locating or charging the alleged perpetrator. However, DNA evidence is not infallible, and sometimes a person will be charged or convicted of a crime they did not commit based on the wrong DNA evidence. When this happens, what will happen to the DNA evidence, and how will it affect the accused?

Being charged with DUI is a serious issue in Virginia

Whether it is a summer wedding, a backyard barbecue, at the ballgame or during happy hour, many people in Virginia will celebrate such events with a drink or two. Most people in Virginia are responsible drinkers. However, the dangers associated with drunk driving are well known, so when Virginia residents are out drinking, they will either moderate so they don't become intoxicated, ride with a designated driver, take a cab or stay where they are until they are sober enough to drive.

What dispositions are available for juvenile crimes?

Making mistakes is just part of growing up. Some of the mistakes teenagers make are not very serious and serve as a good learning experience. However, sometimes teenagers make poor decisions that have more serious consequences. For example, if a teenager in Virginia possesses drugs, commits a traffic offense or consumes alcohol, he or she could be criminally charged. Fortunately, except for very serious offenses, there are options when it comes to the disposition of juvenile crimes.

Just how far does the expectation of privacy extend?

In a unanimous decision, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling stating that those who borrow a rental car from a relative or friend must be afforded the same police search and seizure protections that the person authorized to drive the vehicle would enjoy. In its decision, the court ruled that a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy if they are legally driving a rental car, even if they are not technically the authorized driver of the vehicle.

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