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Lynchburg Criminal Defense Blog

Do you plan to challenge your Breathalyzer results?

After receiving DUI charges because you failed a Breathalyzer test during a traffic stop, you may feel like you have no options when it comes to building a defense. It is true that you have a very difficult road ahead of you, but you may still have a number of ways to build a strong defense, if you examine the details of your case closely and consider all defense options.

In many instances, a defendant has grounds to challenge the results of a Breathalyzer test, and may see the charges reduced or dropped entirely. However, this is only true for those who bother to build a defense and go to the trouble of fighting the charges. Many individuals assume that nothing will help them and simply bury their heads in the sand and hope for the best. Legally, as in most areas of life, this is a poor plan.

Can you lose financial aid because of a drug conviction?

If you are the parent of a Virginia college student and your son or daughter is facing a drug-related criminal charge, you may have concerns about how a conviction might impact his or her life. In addition to fines, possible jail time and other potential penalties, your college student may also face “collateral consequences” relating to the crime, with collateral consequences referring to any repercussions that do not stem directly from the court system.

According to U.S. News & World Report, one of those collateral consequences your child may face after a drug conviction is a loss of student loan eligibility. Almost any type of drug conviction can cause your child to lose financial aid, including possession charges, sales charges and conspiring to sell charges. Now, whether your child will actually lose his or her ability to receive student loans depends on when, exactly, he or she committed the crime.

What kind of drugs do students see on college campuses?

When you live in a college dormitory in Virginia, you may expect to come into contact with alcohol during parties. You may not realize that you might encounter drug use, though. It is important for you to know which drugs you might encounter and the effect these can have on your life.

You may initially think that few college students would use drugs while they are in school. According to, a 2015 survey found that 23 percent of students had used illegal drugs. These drugs range from prescription drugs to substances such as cocaine. While you might expect to encounter drugs at parties or in a dormitory, many other situations can put these substances in front of you. Sometimes a member of your study group may suggest you take Adderall if you will need to be up all night preparing for an exam. Additionally, you may find some of these substances at bars catering to college students.

2018 may be a boom year for divorces

Getting a divorce is not something most people in Virginia ever think about rushing to do. However, with the looming introduction of the new tax law on January 1, 2019, some couples may well be doing just this. The reason for this is that the way in which alimony payments will be taxed is going to change significantly when the calendar turns to a new year.

Instead of the person who receives spousal support paying income tax on the money, the person who pays spousal support will be paying income tax on the money. This will apply to any divorce finalized in 2019 even if it was initiated in 2018. It may also apply to any divorce agreement finalized before 2019 but that has been modified in 2019. One may consider that the government is looking at alimony as a way of getting more tax income.

When fathers stop paying child support

When a mother has custody of her children in Virginia, she typically receives child support from her ex-husband. In some situations, an ex-spouse may decide that he no longer needs to make these payments. It is important for women to know what to do if they find themselves in this situation.

Most of the time, a father cannot refuse to pay child support. According to FindLaw, a father usually receives a notice informing him that he is behind on his payments and needs to arrange a schedule for paying child support. Sometimes man's wages may be garnished so the children's mother still receives financial support. In other situations, a father may lose his license to operate a business or practice a certain occupation.

Is one DUI-related conviction a big deal?

As a resident of Virginia facing your first DUI-related charge, you can easily be overwhelmed by anxieties and confusion. During this time, the legal guidance of Mark B. Arthur can be an irreplaceable tool in helping you decide what your next move should be.

A first time DUI-related offense will generally come with the lowest of potential penalties. Each subsequent offense will end with you facing higher fees, longer jail sentences, and more severe repercussions. But that doesn't mean you should take your first DUI charge lightly, either. Even one DUI-related charge can come with severe penalties. They can include:

  • Up to one year of license suspension
  • $250 in fees
  • 5 days in jail for a BAC of .15 or higher, minimum
  • 10 days in jail for a BAC of .20 or higher, minimum
  • Ignition interlock device for up to 6 months

Implied consent laws make refusing a test a potential crime

A police officer pulls you over or you get caught up in a roadblock enforcement effort. After briefly interacting with you, the officer says he or she believes you are under the influence and asks you to exit the vehicle. From there, you know you'll face a field sobriety test and likely a chemical breath test as well.

If you're worried about a potential alcohol charge, you might consider refusing to take the chemical test when asked by law enforcement. You may refuse the preliminary breath test requested prior to an arrest. However, you cannot refuse chemical testing if an officer has probable cause to suspect impaired driving.

What are the differences between assault and battery?

Assault and battery is a serious term that applies to any situation in which someone fears immediate physical harm, or has actually been physically harmed. However, assault charges and battery charges can also be two separate categories. It's possible to face an assault charge without a battery charge, and vice versa.

The Legal Dictionary defines assault and battery as an unlawful physically violent act against a person. It can be with or without physical injury, as long as the victim claims fear of injury at some point during the confrontation.

What does drunk driving look like in Virginia?

The drunk driving laws in Virginia are quite strict, making this state a bad place to get pulled over for a DUI in. If you have been arrested for crimes related to drunk driving, Mark B. Arthur, P.C., is here to walk you through the nuances of the law and understand where you stand with it.

First off, your blood alcohol content (BAC) level will determine how severe your potential charges will be. If you're under the age of 21, you only need to have a BAC volume of .02 percent, which is only one fourth of the BAC limit that those over 21 have. It's 0.08 percent for everyone else. Commercial vehicle drivers, regardless of their age, cannot have a BAC level of over .04 percent due to safety concerns of being responsible for the lives of other passengers.

College students who drink and drive may face consequences

When college students choose to drink alcohol on Virginia campuses, they may simply think they are engaging in a recreational college activity. However, alcohol can have serious consequences for students, especially if they choose to drink and then drive home.

While many college students might understand that drinking and driving is not safe behavior, they may not consider that this activity can sometimes lead to their deaths. According to The Washington Post, injuries connected to alcohol cause the deaths of about 1,825 students each year. This includes injuries sustained in car accidents. Some students might think that drunk driving is a relatively rare phenomenon among college students. However, roughly 3,360,000 college students drive after they have been drinking each year. 

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