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Lynchburg Criminal Defense Blog

Your brain uses rank to make it harder to determine intoxication

You go to the bar, and you honestly feel like you take it pretty easy. Everyone else in your group drinks far more than you do. You came out for the social atmosphere and, while you are not against drinking, you did not really plan to get intoxicated. You have a few drinks, eat a meal and wash it all down with a glass of water.

As you decide to leave, it is clear to you that your plan has worked. Everyone else is extremely drunk and rowdy. You try to talk to them, and it's difficult. You feel fairly certain some of them are not even going to remember what happened when they wake up in the morning.

Plea deal involves deferred adjudication

People in Virginia who are facing criminal charges understandably want to learn how they may best defend themselves and avoid or minimize any penalties. A plea deal, also called a plea agreement, is one way that some people are able to do this. It may also eliminate some of the surprise or tension involved in enduring a full trial.

One man who is 19 years old has recently entered into a plea agreement with prosecutors in Cabell County in which he will have three years to potentially see his felony conviction eliminated. As reported by The Herald-Dispatch, the case involves multiple instances of arson. The defendant had been a volunteer firefighter for the Salt Rock Fire Department. He and another man who was also a volunteer firefighter with a different department are accused of setting at least five fires on purpose in the first few months of this year.

The role of a divorce mediator

When couples in Virginia decide to split, there are many different ways it can be handled. Some choose to rely entirely on courts, while others may seek the additional assistance of a divorce mediator to help make the transition period easier for everyone.

According to FindLaw, mediation in divorce helps a couple take control of the planning aspect. This includes plotting out divisions of assets, deciding child custody matters, figuring out how to divide property or other big expenses like cars, looking into how retirement should be split, and more. With a divorce mediator, a third party that lacks any bias is present. It's their job to form completely neutral opinions about any divorce, using suggestions and counseling to help both halves of a couple reach agreements they are happy with.

How can you challenge police evidence in a DUI-related case?

As a resident of Virginia who is currently facing DUI-related charges, you may be wondering if anything can be done to contest them. Mark B. Arthur, attorney at law, will explain the types of police evidence that are most often challenged.

The first is your breath analysis test results. These devices may seem like a fool-proof tool, but in reality, there is still plenty of room for error. For example, breath tests need to be calibrated by hand and maintained properly. The maintenance logs can be checked to ensure that the devices are running as they should be. Even if they are in top condition, the officer may not have known the proper way to use it. You may have even taken something that interferes with the device's results, such as a cough syrup or breath fresheners with alcohol in them.

Don't drink and boat during your summer vacation in Virginia

There's nothing so relaxing as a sunny afternoon on the water, catching some fish or perhaps towing the kids behind your boat in a tube. Some people extend their enjoyment by packing a picnic to enjoy a meal on the water as well. You may feel tempted to pack a few beers in your cooler to sip under the sun. If you do, be careful to ensure that you drink responsibly.

After all, boating involves operating a motor vehicle. If you have too many drinks and continue to use your boat, you could end up facing boating while intoxicated (BWI) charges in Virginia. While that charge may sound amusing, it's a serious crime that carries considerable consequences.

Defendant's plea delayed by lack of service

Most people in Virginia have heard references to the concept of "due process" as it related to a criminal arrest, defense or trial. What constitutes this due process may vary from case to case but one thing remains consistent and that is the requirement that due process be followed as indiated by the law.

WTKR reported on a case in which the requirement to follow due process is actually preventing a defendant from entering a plea in a criminal case against her. The case dates back to last autumn when the woman was involved in a vehicle accident along a stretch of Interstate 264. The crash involved the defendant's vehicle and one other vehicle. The driver of the second vehicle died after the accident. The defendant herself was seriously injured.

What should you know about underage DUIs?

As a student attending college in Virginia, you'll also likely be going to parties or having social outings with friends. However, as Mark B. Arthur will show, this does not make drinking and driving a viable choice. In fact, you could face even harsher penalties than an adult if convicted.

First of all, know that if you are under the age of 21, the legal limit for your blood alcohol content level (BAC) is actually .02 BAC. Compare this to the legal limit for people 21 and older, which is .08 BAC. Additionally, depending on a person's metabolism, it may only take a very small amount of alcohol to reach .02 BAC on a breath analysis test. This strict policy of no tolerance is intended to deter young people from taking risks with their lives and others while behind the wheel.

What differentiates a DUI misdemeanor from a felony?

As a resident of Virginia recently charged with DUI-related crimes, the charges that you face could be categorized as misdemeanors or felonies. Which category your charges fall under will depend on several different factors, and both types of charges can have very different potential consequences if you are convicted.

FindLaw explains the difference between these two types of charges, first examining whether or not a DUI is inherently considered a misdemeanor. Since misdemeanors are the category for less severe crimes, people who have been charged with DUI-related felonies will often fight to secure a reduction to a misdemeanor instead.

The effects a dui can have one a person's reputation

Virginia drivers who have been caught driving under the influence often face a mountain of difficulties. Aside from the obvious fines and potential jail time, a stigma exists when it comes to DUI charges in general. Offenders may experience different treatment from colleagues and family members, and may even have trouble maintaining work or finding a new job.

As unfair as this treatment may be, it nevertheless affects thousands of people who are simply trying to get life back in order. By better understanding the potential consequences, Virginians can manage a DUI process in a way that better protects -- and reclaims -- a public image. 

A drunk college party fight could lead to criminal charges

Young adults in college often learn through personal experiences as much as through college courses. Going out with friends and making mistakes is a sure way to gain real-world experience. Unfortunately, some kinds of college experimentation could result in a criminal conviction that haunts you for the rest of your life.

While fist fights and party brawls used to be almost a coming-of-age ritual, these days that kind of violence is likely to end up on YouTube and in front of a disciplinary panel at your school. Those consequences are for the luckiest students. If you hit someone in a drunken fight, you could actually find yourself facing very serious criminal charges in Virginia.

When You Are Ready To Fight This Criminal Charge, We Are Here For You. Call 434-846-7111 For Your Free Initial Consultation.
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