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 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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer across Virginia. People have cook-outs, go to the park, go camping or go to their favorite beach or swimming pool. For many, the three-day weekend is a welcome respite from the daily grind. And, at many of these celebrations, beer, wine and liquor will be served. As a result, Virginia police will be on the lookout for drunk drivers. If a person is pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving, they may wonder whether the traffic stop was lawful, especially if they are sober.
While the use of marijuana for medicinal or recreational purposes is starting to gain acceptance nationwide, in Virginia the possession, cultivation and sale of marijuana is still illegal. This may go against what some people believe is a harmless drug that should be legalized. But, as of right now, those who possess, cultivate or sell marijuana in Virginia are breaking the law, and will be penalized if convicted on drug charges.
Being convicted of a felony crime can have a significantly negative impact on a person's life. Not only will a person have to spend time in jail and pay fines, but that person will incur a criminal record that will show up on any background checks performed. This could make it difficult for that person to find housing or a job after being released from prison, putting that person's life into an even more precarious state. Needless to say, it is important that people in Virginia aren't unduly convicted of felonies.
Parents in Leesburg do their best to raise their children to become kind, respectful, self-sufficient and productive members of society. However, part of growing up is making mistakes, and sometimes a teenager is accused of doing something illegal. This situation might not seem so serious at first, but parents and teens must keep in mind that a criminal conviction acquired in their youth can impact their entire future.