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July 2019 Archives

Blood tests lead to felony charges against Virginia driver

Drivers who are arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs are required to provide a blood sample for testing by a law enforcement laboratory. Tests for excess blood alcohol content are often completed within a week or two, but testing for more complex chemicals such as methamphetamine or marijuana can take much longer. A resident of Goode, Virginia recently was required to wait over a month in jail before the tests on his blood alcohol content were completed. The tests results were revealed last week, and they resulted in serious drunk driving charges being made against the man.

Annulment of a marriage in Virginia

Most couples who get married and later choose to end the marriage will follow the legal steps for a divorce. Occasionally, however, a marriage is either void from its inception or contains a legal flaw that allows either spouse or a third party to commence an action to annul the marriage. The difference between a divorce and an annulment is straightforward: a marriage that is terminated by an order for annulment never existed in the eyes of the law. A marriage that is ended by divorce is a marriage whose legal existence was ended by judicial decree.

Mayor charged with second DUI

Being a public official may provide many satisfying moments, but occasionally, a person's public role only serves to shine a brighter light on any sort of misstep. The mayor of Strasburg, Virginia, is learning that lesson after being charged with drunk driving within five years of a prior offense.

Methods of dividing equity in the family home

Virginia divorce laws require that a couple's property be divided fairly between the spouses. Real estate can be a difficult barrier to reaching this outcome because most real property is illiquid and cannot be easily divided. The family home therefore often presents a special problem because, for most divorcing couples, the family home is their largest single asset.

Deepfake revenge porn distribution now a crime in Virginia

Using the internet to distribute negative images is not new, but the means of creating and distributing the images continues to evolve. Since 2014, Virginia has defined the non-consensual distribution of nudes or sexual imagery of a person as a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Modifying an order for divorce in Virginia courts

Many Virginia residents who have endured the stress and anxiety of a divorce believe that the process is over when the court signs and enters the final order. Unfortunately, for some, life does not always proceed as they expect, and unanticipated events can often create a need to modify the court's final order for custody or support. Can such modifications be accomplished? If so, how?

Allegedly drunk driver drives off road, kills niece

When residents of Virginia elect to drive after consuming too many alcoholic beverages, they worry only about being arrested for drunk driving. They rarely consider the more serious consequences of drunk driving, such as losing control of the vehicle and causing death or serious injury to other people. In a recent case from southern Virginia, a man allegedly failed to make this calculation, and his niece was killed as a consequence.

Appointment of a guardian ad litem can help children in a divorce

Many divorces in Northern Virginia involve minor children. Issues such as child custody and child support bear directly upon the child's welfare, but in many cases, the child does not have independent representation to ensure that these issues are fully litigated in their best interests. To remedy this, the Virginia court system appoints "guardians ad litem" (GAL). If a judge in a divorce case appoints a GAL for the children in the case, the GAL will act as the child's attorney for the duration of the case. A GAL can also be appointed for an adult who is not able to understand or participate in the proceeding.

How do Virginia courts divide marital property and debts?

When Virginia residents begin to consider ending their marriage, one of the first questions is what will happen to the couple's assets and debts. Virginia courts are guided by a legislative enumeration of factors that the courts must consider.

Fairfax teacher charged with possessing child pornography

High school students provide some of the most vulnerable victims for pornographers because they are just beginning to experience and explore their sexuality. For this reason, among others, child pornography laws carry special penalties for violators. The recent arrest and arraignment of a teacher at Herndon High School serves as an example. The teacher at the Northern Virginia high school has just been arrested and charged with making illicit videos of students in various stages of undress.

What is the court procedure if a family law order is ignored?

Family law disputes are common in Virginia and it is often left up to the court to issue orders and make sure they are followed. If there is a family law order regarding spousal support or child support, or additional support and maintenance are owed and the person ordered to make the payments fails to do so, it is important for both sides to understand what steps will be taken under the law. For people who are dealing with these issues, getting the right legal information is crucial to attempt to settle the matter for the party who is to receive the payments and the party who has been ordered to pay and has been accused of failing to do so.

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