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Northern Virginia General Law Blog

How do you divide a horse in a divorce settlement?

In the Commonwealth of Virginia, asking how to divide a horse in a property settlement is not as crazy as it sounds. In addition to the marital home, divorcing couples accumulate property of all kinds, including house pets, farm animals and thoroughbreds.

Virginia is an equitable distribution state. To couples who decide to divorce, ownership of the property in question becomes an important issue.

The types of custody available to parents in Virginia

The Virginia Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Courts are responsible for handling family law matters, such as child custody. Whether related to a divorce or initiated after a separation, child custody can be a contentious area of the law. Parents in Virginia have two types of custody that they may lobby for when a district court has the power to decide such matters for a child.

The first form of custody is physical custody. Physical custody is the type of custody that concerns where a child physically lives. In Virginia and in many other jurisdictions, a district court can decide to give just one of the parents physical custody. This is called sole physical custody and in such cases a district court may order the other parent to have visitation time with their kids.

Two sides to an alleged homicide will be heard at trial

In 2007, a mother of three in Virginia disappeared and was not found until six weeks later. Her body was discovered in a park and after evaluation medical examiners determined that she died from a combination of drugs and alcohol in her system and that she had suffered blunt force trauma to her head. Law enforcement officials later charged her boyfriend with first-degree murder. The boyfriend claims that the woman died from an accidental overdose.

The boyfriend of the deceased individual is now in the process of defending himself from very serious murder charges. He and his legal team have alleged that the decedent had a serious drug problem and that both had used drugs on the date that the decedent passed away. He claimed that he woke up to find the decedent no longer breathing and that in a state of panic he told his parents what had happened and together they found someone to dispose of the decedent's corpse.

What are the consequences for a DUI conviction in Virginia?

Drunk driving is considered a crime in the Commonwealth of Virginia. For that reason, individuals who are charged with allegedly operating their motor vehicles while under the influence of alcohol and drugs can face serious legal penalties if they are convicted of the alleged crimes. This post will briefly introduce the penalties for first and second DUI convictions in Virginia. Readers who have questions about their pending drunk driving charges should speak with criminal defense attorneys who can advise them of their rights and options.

The first time someone is arrested for drunk driving and is convicted of their charge, they can face a fine. That fine will be at least $250 and can be higher depending upon the facts of the individual's DUI case. In addition to a fine, a person convicted of their first DUI can also lose their driver's license for an entire year.

The breathtaking results of Virginia’s ignition interlock law

Scott Leamon used to think that Roanoke was the worst of the worst when it came to DUIs in Virginia. Ten years later, the crime prevention specialist for the city’s police department believes that ramped up enforcement, education and awareness has made a significant difference in reducing local drunk driving arrests.

Not to mention the all-offender law passed in July 2012 that requires DUI offenders to install ignition interlock devices. The Commonwealth is part of a larger contingency throughout the nation that has already prevented 2.3 million potential drunk drivers from starting their vehicles.

Complications are possible during the stepparent adoption process

During a traditional adoption a birth mother and birth father agree to relinquish their legal rights to their child so that another person or couple is able to create a legal relationship with the youth and raise the child as a member of their family. For this type of adoption to occur, many legal steps must be followed to ensure that everyone's rights have been protected. The process can be quite lengthy. Some Northern Virginia families engage in a very different type of adoption process that often requires fewer steps, but can be subject to complications just the same.

This type of adoption is stepparent adoption. It occurs when the spouse of a birth parent wishes to adopt the spouse's kids so that they are also a legal parent to the children. While stepparents can play important roles in the lives of their stepchildren, they are not technically parents to them and lack the legal rights to make important decisions about their upbringing and care.

A criminal defense strategy can protect your legal rights

Boyce, Leahy & Francescon Lawyers, a Northern Virginia law firm, provides criminal defense services to individuals facing criminal charges in the Manassas area. Their committed attorneys understand the severity of criminal accusations and are prepared to advocate for their clients' freedom and rights to attempt to ensure that they are granted fair trials and just proceedings as they face their charges.

It is important that our readers understand that criminal charges can vary and that different crimes of the same alleged nature can be viewed differently depending upon the facts and circumstances present at the time the alleged illegal conduct occurred. As such, no two criminal cases should be approached with the exact same criminal defense strategy, and individuals who must overcome allegations of criminal conduct can benefit from working with attorneys who know how to craft case-specific strategies to serve their clients' unique needs.

What are the requirements for seeking a divorce in Virginia?

An individual who has lived and resided in Virginia for at least six months prior to filing their paperwork for divorce may seek to use the Commonwealth's courts to complete the dissolution of their marriage. In Virginia a person may base their divorce on a ground of fault or may pursue a no fault divorce if they have been separated from their spouse for at least one year.

Fault grounds for divorce include engaging in certain sexual contact with individuals outside of one's marriage. Additionally, fault may provide a means to ending a marriage if one's spouse is convicted of a felony and is incarcerated for a certain period of time. Cruelty and fear of one's spouse may also be the bases of divorces if certain other conditions are met.

Defenses to claims of sexual assault and rape

An accusation of sexual assault or rape is a very serious legal matter. Virginia residents who find themselves facing theses serious criminal charges are encouraged to take these allegations seriously and consult with criminal defense legal professionals as soon as possible to take immediate action to protect their rights and begin planning their defense strategies. As every criminal case is different it is not possible for readers to use this post as legal advice; consultation with attorneys is the best way for readers to receive case-specific help with their particular needs.

However, not every claim of sexual assault or rape will result in a conviction. In some cases an accused party may have one or more defenses available to them to use to overcome their charges and preserve their freedom. This post will discuss only a few defenses that exist to sex crime charges and its contents are not comprehensive of all possible defenses.

Why Children Of Divorced Parents Are More Likely To Abuse Drugs

The statistics are clear: Children of divorced parents are more likely to engage in criminal behavior than children whose parents remain married. In particular, they are at higher risk of abusing (and leading others to abuse) illicit substances.

This is important to keep in mind as the new school year begins. As students head off to college, they enter minimally supervised settings that, in many cases, offer easy access to drugs and alcohol. Likewise, research indicates that high school students from divorced homes use drugs at a much higher rate than their counterparts. 

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