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Study finds some psychology tests used in court may be invalid

People in Virginia who are facing felony charges might be required to take IQ or psychology tests that are not well-regarded by psychologists. According to a study that appeared in "Psychological Science in the Public Interest," around 33% of tests used by courts did not receive a review in major psychological publications. Among those that did, around one-quarter were considered unreliable, and just 40% were favorably reviewed.

Paper offers suggestions for reducing implicit bias

Attorneys and judges in Virginia might be able to reduce the likelihood that jurors will return verdicts based on implicit racial bias by discussing the phenomenon openly. This was one of the conclusions of a paper written by an Arizona assistant federal public defender that appeared in the "Seattle Journal for Social Justice."

Lawsuit shows tainted evidence may lead to false allegations

When a person is arrested in Virginia, evidence is a key factor in the case. This is true for relatively minor crimes like marijuana possession and for major crimes like murder. During an investigation, law enforcement is required to adhere to certain protocol in evidence collection. If there is a violation, it could be used as part of the criminal defense.

Drugs and weapons seized during Virginia narcotics sweep

A multi-agency narcotics operation in Virginia on Jan. 22 resulted in five individuals being taken into custody and the seizure of guns and illegal drugs according to the Amelia County Sheriff's Office. All five suspects were being detained at the Piedmont Regional Jail at the time of the report.

Evidence may be considered hearsay

In-court testimony that includes statements made outside of court may be considered hearsay. Generally speaking, hearsay evidence is not admitted in cases that take place in Virginia or other states. However, there are scenarios in which it may be allowed to be heard and considered by a jury. For instance, if a person made a statement to a medical professional at the scene of a crash or some other crime scene, that information could be used in a legal proceeding.

What is considered domestic violence?

When people hear "domestic violence," they often conjure images of physical violence. While physical violence certainly can constitute domestic violence, the definition of domestic violence is much broader. This means that those who find themselves embroiled in a domestic dispute may find themselves unexpectedly facing criminal charges or being subjected to a protective order.

The basics of juvenile crimes and what to do if charged

Juvenile crimes are important to understand because there is a lot on the line for young people who have been accused of committing a crime. Offenses committed by juveniles are treated somewhat differently than offenses committed by adults, so it is helpful to know the differences between the two types of crimes so that appropriate criminal defense tactics can be developed.

What is a sex offender registry?

A concern that accused individuals facing sex crimes charges may have is if they will have to register with a sex offender registry and what that means. Anyone facing sex crimes charges should understand what a sex offender registry is and the potential impacts of sex crimes allegations and charges.

When can I challenge a Breathalyzer test?

Breathalyzer tests can be challenged under certain circumstances and accused individuals should know what those circumstances are. To produce reliable and accurate results, Breathalyzer tests must be properly maintained and calibrated and if they are not, it may be possible to challenge drunk driving charges that are based on a Breathalyzer test.

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