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Lynchburg Criminal Defense Blog

Driving while high

As states across the country, and surrounding Virginia, adjust the laws concerning marijuana, more people are focused on how this could affect the rules of the road. As the Washington Post explains, this is a complicated issue without a consensus among law enforcement.

If a person is pulled over for suspected driving under the influence, due to haphazard driving or other behavior the officer considers suspicious, he or she will administer a field test to check for sobriety. Yet unlike drinking and driving, there is not an equivalent test to a breathalyzer to measure how much marijuana is in a person's system. In fact, while a blood test can determine how much THC is in one's blood, there is not an agreement across the country for what level is acceptable while driving. This may be because depending on the method a person uses to get high, smoking versus edibles, his or her level of THC would differ.

Could you have committed a white collar crime?

If you watch the news or keep up with the local periodicals in Lynchburg consistently, you will likely hear the term "white collar crime" come up sooner or later. Yet while movies and other popular media may have already given you a romanticized idea of what sort of criminal activity that this may be, do you actually know what it is? The term was originally used to provide a distinction between classes of criminals, with "white collar" referring to people of a higher social status, and "blue collar" used in referenced to those from lower classes. With such distinctions having since become antiquated, the term white collar crime now refers specifically to fraudulent actions involving business and government professionals.

This leads to the question of whether you could have potentially committed such a crime. Common types of white collar criminal activity include:

  •          Tax violations
  •          Identity theft
  •          Money laundering
  •          Wire fraud
  •          Insider trading
  •          Bank and mortgage fraud

Boating and drinking laws in Virginia

As the summer season gets underway, many residents in Virginia are anxious to get out on the water. Boating is one of the classic summertime joys but people who operate the boats should be aware of the laws governing boating and drinking.

The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles explains that the laws in the state view driving a boat just like driving a car when it comes to intoxication. That means that even if a person is 21 years of age or older, they can be charged with an offense of operating a boat under the influence of alcohol if their blood alcohol content is at least 0.08 percent. In some cases, the law may actually support an arrest if a person's BAC is below 0.08 percent if impairment can be proven.

State orders marijuana Crime Commission study

As states around the country are decriminalizing the use of marijuana, both for medicinal and recreational use, Virginia has been reluctant to get into the conversation. According to Newsplex, times could be changing. The state Crime Commission is ordering a full study of issues surrounding marijuana decriminalization, including how other states are managing pot use, and what to consider for both recreational and medical uses of the drug.

The study comes as Gov. McAuliffe signed a bill into law that allows the production of low-THC cannabis oil in pharmacies in order to help treat patients with epilepsy. A study of THC cannabis oil use in patients with Crohn's disease and cancer is currently underway.

Suspended sentence reduces man's jail time

After an arrest for charges involving driving under the influence, Virginia residents no doubt will want to know what type of consequences they may experience if they are ultimately convicted. This is something that may vary quite a bit based upon the nature of a given case. For example, whether or not a crash happened or exactly what a driver's blood alcohol content was at the time of the arrest may play into the final penalties.

One man in Virginia recently received a sentence that found some of his originally ordered jail time suspended. The incident actually took place at the end of 2015 in Accomack County. The defendant was driving a vehicle with some of his friends inside when the vehicle went into a ditch and crashed. Witnesses are said to have reported that the man was driving at high rates of speed and maneuvering unsafely prior to the wreck. One of the passengers was killed and the others were injured.

Can I modify my child support?

Imagine you have a $1,200 child support bill you need to pay each month. Your child support costs are higher than average, but because your income is higher than average, it's not a problem for you to provide a high level of life to your children.

The problem is, last month you suffered a massive heart attack. Now, you can't work, your income has all but disappeared, and there's no way you can pay $1,200 a month to your ex and your children. Can you modify your child support order or child support agreement to make it more affordable?

What is the walk-and-turn field sobriety test?

If you have ever wondered what really happens during a traffic stop when officers begin to pursue a potential drunk driving arrest in Virginia, you are not alone. Many drivers have wondered the same thing and having an idea about this can be important for people because virtually anyone can find themselves in this situation. One thing to know is that the field sobriety tests used, although sanctioned by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, are not 100-percent accurate.

According to, one of the tests called the walk-and-turn test, has an accuracy rate of 66 percent at best. During this test, you may be evaluated when actually taking the steps as well as when listening to instructions. The instruction phase is when an officer demonstrates and explains what you are to do. If you for some reason start taking steps too soon, that may work against you.

Reviewing paternity establishment guidelines in Virginia

Like many in Lynchburg, you may one day dream of having a family of your own, yet you may not deem your current circumstances as being ideal to fulfill such a desire. We here at Mark B Arthur PC have worked with several male clients in the past who have shared your point of view, yet found themselves in the position of having potentially fathered a child. Being a parent brings with it certain responsibilities, such as providing financial support for a child. Yet those obligations may only come after parentage has been established.

According to the Code of Virginia, paternity can be established a number of different ways. The first is through genetic testing, for which a greater than 98 percent probability of paternity must be present in order for you to automatically be considered a child’s father. Paternity may also be established by you consenting in writing, along with the child’s mother, that you are his or her father. For such an agreement to be valid, however, it must first be established that you were informed of the consequences of acknowledging paternity and whatever rights you may be granted be doing so. Such an agreement can be rescinded within 60 days of your having signed it.

Man with Parkinson's disease granted bond after appeal

Virginia residents who are charged with serious criminal offenses often must navigate what can feel like a complex criminal justice system. Some cases may last for many years and often times an original decision may need to be appealed. This is just one of the factors that may contribute to a lengthy process. However, it is also one of the things that gives defendants the opportunity to ensure that their rights are properly addressed.

A man from Virginia Beach is today still working through a criminal charge for an incident that took place 16 years ago in 2001. The charge was for object sexual penetration although very few details about what is alleged to have happened are known. The situation is said to have involved a woman who was 18 years old at the time. The age of the defendant at the time of the alleged sex crime is not known.

Will I lose my teaching job because of a drunk driving arrest?

A drunk driving conviction will come with stiff criminal consequences. Those consequences may include the loss of your driving privileges, steep fines and, in extreme cases, time spent in jail.

Depending on your type of work, a DUI conviction could also bring your career to a halt. For example, if you work in a public capacity as a bus driver, police officer, firefighter or teacher, you might lose your job and you might not be able to find work in that industry again.

When You Are Ready To Fight This Criminal Charge, We Are Here For You. Call 434-338-7028 For Your Free Initial Consultation.
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Fax: 434-846-7113