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Leesburg Virginia Drunk Driving Defense Law Blog

Helping you develop a strong criminal defense

No matter the severity of the allegations, facing criminal charges can be a serious and overwhelming situation. For some, it may appear to be a situation in which they have few options. However, anyone accused of a crime has the ability to assert a defense. Doing so not only allows the facts of the matter to be considered, but it could also help defendants clear their names and reduce the impact the allegations could have on their personal and professional reputation.

As any criminal defense attorney can attest, the penalties associated with criminal charges can be harsh. It is important to consider ways to reduce or even eliminate these consequences. At our law firm, we understand that there is a lot on the line when a person faces criminal allegations. We take the time to explain the available defense options to our clients in the Leesburg area.

Virginia law means more DUI charges for some

An archaic Virginia law that is still on the books allows for a person who has been convicted of drunk driving to be deemed a "habitual drunkard." This means that the person is not permitted to possess alcohol and if they are found in possession of it -- or even merely being near it -- they can be fined up to $2,500 and spend up to 12 months in jail.

The law dates to 1873, and Utah is the only other state in the nation with a similar law. From 2007 to 2018, just over 1,700 individuals were declared habitual drunkards in the commonwealth. While the aim of the law may be to reduce the number of drunk drivers on the road, there are those who are challenging the constitutionality of the law, and attempts had been made in the past to have the law repealed.

How is child support calculated and can it be changed?

When parents in Virginia get a divorce, decisions will need to be made regarding their child. Specifically, decisions will need to be made regarding child custody and child support. In general, the non-custodial parent will pay child support to the custodial parent as a way of contributing to the financial costs of raising the child.

Virginia, like other states, has a statutory formula for calculating how much child support the non-custodial parent will pay. In general, these formulas are based on how much each parent earns, how many children are being supported and how much parenting time each parent has with the child. However, these guidelines may be deviated from if it is in the best interests of the child. In addition, parent may come up with their own child support arrangements, again, if these arrangements are in the child's best interests and are approved by the court.

What happens to your mortgage post-divorce?

Occasionally when a couple in Virginia divorces they will agree to sell their family home and divide the proceeds. However, it is often the case that one spouse will keep the family home, especially if the couple has children living there. When this happens, couples will need to decide how to handle the mortgage once their divorce is complete.

One option is to keep the original mortgage as held by both spouses jointly, even though only one of the spouses is living in the home. This might work out for couples who trust each other despite their divorce. However, there are risks. If the spouse living in the home misses a mortgage payment, the other spouse could be held responsible for the payment, and the missing payment could affect both spouses' credit -- even that of the spouse who doesn't live in the home.

Speeding tickets can affect your life for years to come

Seeing the red and blue lights of a police vehicle flashing in your rearview mirror while driving is never a welcome sight. The matter only gets worse if you end up receiving a speeding ticket or some other citation for a traffic offense. When a person in Virginia is convicted of a traffic offense, such as speeding, that person will receive demerit points on his or her driving record. The number of points assigned depends on how serious the offense was. How long the points stay on a motorist's record depends on how serious the offense was.

For example, speeding one to five miles per hour above the posted speed limit will result in the accumulation of three demerit points that will stay on a person's driving record for five years. Speeding 10 to 19 miles per hour over the posted speed limit will result in the accumulation of four demerit points that will stay on a person's driving record for five years. And speeding 20 miles per hour or more above the posted speed limit will result in the accumulation of six demerit points that will stay on a person's driving record for 11 years.

Key legal terms for grandparents seeking custody

Children need safe and stable conditions to reach their full potential. Unfortunately, parents are not always in a position to provide such an environment.

In certain cases, grandparents may be able to obtain custody. There are a few key legal terms that grandparents should be familiar with when pursuing custody cases.

Can you be charged with DUI if your BAC is below the legal limit?

Drunk driving is a common reason why police may arrest a motorist in Virginia. Many people in Virginia already know that the legal limit for how high a motorist's blood alcohol content can be in order to charge the motorist with drunk driving is 0.08 percent. What they may not know, however, is that in Virginia a motorist can face DUI charges even if their BAC is lower than the legal limit.

In Virginia, if a motorist's BAC is 0.08 percent or higher, then that motorist can be charged with DUI per se. This means that the motorist is deemed drunk and, therefore, to convict the motorist of DUI the prosecution simply needs to show that per a breath test or blood test the motorist's BAC registered at 0.08 percent or higher.

How is child support calculated in Virginia?

Determining child support in Virginia may seem straightforward, as there is a statutory formula for calculating how much support is owed. Plus, in Virginia, there is a presumption that the amount of child support as calculated by the statutory guidelines is correct. However, this presumption can be rebutted. To rebut this presumption, there must be findings that the amount calculated per the guidelines is unjust or inappropriate for the parties' specific situation, based on certain factors that affect the parents' obligations, ability to pay and the best interests of the child.

One factor is the amount of financial support given to other family members or former family members. Another factor is the child custody arrangements the parents have, which includes expenses related to traveling for visitation periods. A third factor is, with some exemptions related to child care and the pursuit of an educational or vocational program, imputed income to a parent who is voluntarily unemployed or underemployed. Child care costs incurred by a parent who is in an educational or vocational program to maintain or increase the income he or she earns are also considered. Another consideration is each parent's earning capacity, obligations, financial resources and separate needs.

Can you be charged with reckless driving if you're not speeding?

Sometimes driving on highways in Virginia can be a real hassle, especially during a busy rush hour. It may be tempting to try to speed, or in some other fashion try to get to our destinations quicker. However, if doing so puts the safety of others in danger, it could constitute the crime of reckless driving.

In Virginia, if a motorist drives recklessly or at a speed, regardless of the speed limit, that puts the life or property of another in danger, then that motorist may be charged with reckless driving. This means, for example, if a motorist is driving too fast for weather conditions and in a manner that could cause an accident that would injure another person, then that motorist may be charged with reckless driving even if the driver was driving under the posted speed limit.

Amazon founder settles property division issues in his divorce

Most people in Virginia have ordered something from the online retail giant Amazon at some point in time, and it seems like the company grows in popularity every day. The CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, has recently settled his divorce with his wife, MacKenzie Bezos.

Under the terms of the couple's divorce settlement, Bezos will retain 75 percent of the couple's shares in Amazon and he will retain sole voting authority over his soon-to-be ex-wife's stock in the company. This means that Bezos has an approximately 12 percent interest in Amazon worth nearly $108 billion, while his wife has approximately a 4 percent interest in the company worth nearly $36 billion. Bezos was also awarded total ownership over The Washington Post and the space company Blue Origin.

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Leesburg, VA 20176

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