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Leesburg Virginia Drunk Driving Defense Law Blog

Defenses exist against the crime of sexual assault

Allegations of sexual crimes are very serious. If a person in Virginia is convicted on sexual assault charges, not only may they face fines, incarceration and a criminal record, but they may also have to register as a sex offender. This could significantly limit where they can live or even what occupations they may pursue. Thus, it is essential that they formulate a strong defense strategy that will clear their name.

There are several defenses that a person can use to argue that they should not be found guilty of sexual assault. Two of these defenses are innocence and consent. Let's look at these defenses in greater detail, to gain a better understanding of them.

What are the two types of divorce in Virginia?

Most people getting married in Virginia do not anticipate their marriage might end in divorce, but that is the reality for some people. In Virginia, there are two different ways a person can end their marriage. A person can seek a divorce from the bond of matrimony or a divorce from bed and board.

People may be familiar with a divorce from the bond of matrimony. This is a divorce that, after a certain period of time has passed, completely ends the marriage. A divorce from the bond of matrimony must be based on one of several grounds, the most common being a "no fault" divorce. Once the divorce is complete, the spouses may marry another individual.

'Tender years' doctrine no longer recognized under Virginia law

In what was known as the "tender years" doctrine, it used to be presumed that most mothers should be the primary caretaker of their child, especially if the child was young. So, when parents divorced, oftentimes the mother was awarded primary custody, and the father was only awarded visitation. However, times have changed, and it is now recognized that fathers also play an important role in a child's life.

Thus, under Virginia Code, when it comes to making child custody decisions, the primary standard used by Virginia courts is the best interests of the child. This means that there is no legal presumption that either the mother or the father is best suited to have primary custody of the child. In addition, there is no legal presumption that joint custody is better than sole custody or vice versa.

How does driver's license suspension compare to revocation?

Maybe you are driving home from happy hour after work or a party at a friend's house when you see police lights flashing in your rear-view mirror. Before you know it, you are facing drunk driving charges. This can be a stressful time, as not only are you facing the possibility of fines or jail time, but you are also facing the loss of your driver's license. Because these penalties can have such a significant impact on your life, it is important to understand the difference between driver's license suspension and driver's license revocation in Virginia.

When your driver's license is suspended, it means you have temporarily lost the privilege to drive. After the suspension period has passed, your driver's license will be reinstated. This means that you will be able to have the same rights to operate a motor vehicle you had prior to the suspension. If you unreasonably refuse to submit to a breath test, your driver's license will be suspended for one year.

Staying safe while sipping holiday drinks

Having a seasonal drink or two at a holiday party is a fun tradition for many people. However, it's important to make sure you are practicing safe drinking habits so that the holiday remains a happy one.

Here are five basic tips for enjoying your seasonal parties while staying safe.

When can one seek an expungement in Virginia?

When a person in Virginia is charged with a crime, he or she will incur a criminal record. Even if the person is ultimately acquitted, those who perform a background check can still learn that the person had been charged with a crime. This could present problems in the life of the accused. Therefore, they may seek to have their criminal record expunged.

In Virginia, a person's criminal record can be expunged only in very limited circumstances. If a person is acquitted of the charges against him or her, he or she may request an expungement of his or her criminal record. In addition, a person may seek an expungement of his or her criminal charges if his case ended in nolle prosequi or a dismissal of the charges against him or her. A nolle prosequi means that the prosecution decided to abandon the charge against the accused.

Is there a presumption in favor of mothers in child custody laws?

Years ago, it was often assumed by many courts in Virginia and elsewhere that, when parents divorced, the mother was the most suitable parent to receive sole custody of the child, while fathers were relegated to visitation periods on weekends and perhaps one evening a week. This was based on the assumption that the child had a primary attachment to his or her mother. However, courts across the nation are ruling more in favor of shared custody and what meets the best interests of the child.

Under Virginia law, the primary consideration courts will consider when making custody decisions is the child's best interests. But, unlike some other courts that are moving towards a presumption in favor of shared custody, Virginia law does not have a presumption in favor of any type of custodial situation, whether it is joint physical or sole custody. The same can be said for legal custody.

Can Virginians pursue a 'no-fault' divorce?

Some marriages come to an end due to a specific act of one spouse. For example, one spouse may be unfaithful to their partner or may be abusive. While Virginia law does recognize several different specific fault-based grounds for divorce, it also recognizes what is coequally known as "no-fault" divorce. Per Virginia Code ยง20-91(9)(a), the requirements for a no-fault divorce differ depending whether the couple has children and on the length of time the couple has been separated.

A couple can pursue a no-fault divorce in Virginia if they have resided separately for one consecutive year and have not cohabitated. However, if the couple has a separation agreement, no minor children of the marriage and have not cohabitated, then they may pursue a no-fault divorce after living separately for six consecutive months.

An overview of drug schedules in Virginia

For the purposes of charging a person with a drug crime, the potential charges and penalties faced depend on what type of alleged drug was confiscated. The Virginia Drug Control Act categorizes controlled substances into five different levels, from most serious to least serious. These categories are referred to as "schedules." The following is a brief overview of what types of drugs fall under these schedules.

The most serious are Schedule I drugs. These are substances that have a great potential for abuse and for which there is no acceptable medical use. One example of a Schedule I drug is heroin.

When does a DUI become involuntary manslaughter in Virginia?

A motor vehicle accident can turn into a tragedy, if a person dies as a result. When this happens, people may be quick to assign fault to the driver that allegedly caused the accident. In some cases, an individual may be charged with a crime in connection to a fatal car crash, especially if it is alleged that the individual was intoxicated when the accident took place.

Under Virginia law, if a motorist drives under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and due to that condition, unintentionally causes the death of another individual, that motorist can be charged with the crime of involuntary manslaughter. Moreover, a motorist can be charged with aggravated involuntary manslaughter, if his or her actions are deemed to be so gross, wanton and culpable that it shows he or she had a reckless disregard of the lives of others.

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