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Northern Virginia General Law Blog

Understanding ignition interlock devices

Virginia motorists understand that driving is a privilege. This means that there are situations where this privilege can be limited or even taken away. When a driver is faced with a drunk driving allegation, this could result in the motorist having restricted abilities to drive if a conviction results. Thus, it is important to understand what these penalties could be, how it could impact the motorist's personal and professional life and what defense options he or she might have.

In the state of Virginia, a driver convicted of a DUI could be required to have an ignition interlock device installed in his or her vehicle. An ignition interlock system is a device that connects to a vehicle's ignition system and it analyzes the driver's blood alcohol content. If the device read's 0.02 percent or higher, the device will prevent the vehicle from starting.

What defense options are available against a DUI?

Let's face it; getting pulled over by law enforcement is not an enjoyable experience. As soon as a motorist sees the flashing lights in his or her rearview mirror, signaling them to pull over, the driver is likely anxious and worried about his or her fate. No matter the time of day, a driver may be stopped for a suspected drunk driving. If a police officer suspects that a driver is under the influence of alcohol, they will conduct a traffic stop based on his or her driving. However, this stop must be lawful, as this could be used to defend against a drunk driving charge if the driver is faced with a DUI.

What defense options are available against a DUI? When it comes to defense actions, there are two ways to look at this. First, a defendant can take an affirmative defense. This means the defendant is essentially saying he or she committed the crime, but had a legitimate reason for it, and should not be charged with the crime. The other is a defense that challenges the charge based on certain details of the matter.

Suspicious man in Bristol charged with drug crime

Criminal allegations can stem from a wide variety of situations. A person could be suspected of a crime based on suspicious activities. When law enforcement decides to further investigate a matter, this could result in a person, their property and even a residence being searched. When a search is lawfully conducted, this evidence could be used to charge and convict a suspected offender. However, if an unlawful search occurred, this evidence could be suppressed, helping the accused reduce or dismiss the charges.

According to recent reports, a Virginia man was arrested following a report of a suspicious person near the parking lot of the former Lowe's building located in Bristol. When police responded to this report, they located a 32-year-old male. Supposedly, the man was acting abnormally, his speech was slurred and was acting extremely nervous.

What constitutes the drug crime of drug manufacturing?

Being caught with drugs in your possession could result in serious penalties. Drug possession and distribution are serious charges; however, facing drug charges related to drug manufacturing or cultivation could cause the accused to face particularly harsh criminal consequences. Thus, it is important to understand the elements of drug manufacturing and what must be proven for a conviction of this drug crime.

Under both federal and Virginia law, it is illegal to manufacture or cultivate illegal drugs, which includes substances such as methamphetamine or marijuana. The term "drug manufacturing" refers to a person being involved in any step of the process to produce an illicit drug. For example, those selling precursor chemicals, specialized equipment or offering to help in the production of an illicit drug could be charged with drug manufacturing.

What are the drug distribution laws in Virginia?

Generally, states are tough on drugs. While the laws vary from one state to the next, the underlying understanding should be that when an individual is suspected of distributing an illicit drug, he or she could face serious penalties. In addition to facing serious charges in the state where the supposed act occurred, federal drug charges could also occur if distribution took place or involved more than one state.

What are the drug distribution laws in Virginia? In the Commonwealth of Virginia, manufacturing, sale, distribution and possession with the intent to distribute drugs are grouped together as the same offense. However, this is based on the amount of substance in question.

Helping you assert a strong criminal defense strategy

Being accused of a criminal charge is a serious situation even if the charge is not considered serious. For the most part, this is an overwhelming situation and one that causes a defendant to have many questions. It is nerve wrecking to see the evidence piling up against you; however, defendants should not let this deter them. It is still possible to build up a strong defense, helping to get rid of some or all of this evidence against you.

At Boyce, Leahy & Francescon Lawyers, our skilled attorneys understand that a criminal defense's strength lies with what the judge and jury will hear. Because of this, we take the time to assess the evidence collected, the credibility of the witnesses and whether there are any issues related to an unlawful search and seizure. We use all of our resources to ensure that the best defense possible is used for our clients in the Manassas area.

Penalties associated with child pornography allegations

Being accused of certain crimes can be extremely impactful and detrimental to a defendant's life. Facing allegations of possessing child pornography is not a situation to take lightly. Not only do these allegations damage a person's reputation but also they are criminal charges that carry with them serious penalties. Thus, it is vital to understand this matter to its fullest, exploring criminal defense options.

In the state of Virginia, anyone who knowingly possesses child pornography is guilty of a Class 6 felony, and any person who commits a second or subsequent violation is guilty of a Class 5 felony. A person guilty of intentionally operating an Internet website for the sole purpose of facilitating the access of child pornography through payment is charged with a Class 4 felony.

Speeding is a serious offense in the Commonwealth

The court system treats speeding as a serious offense in Virginia, especially if a driver has previously received a conviction for DUI or other traffic-related issues.

Speeding is a form of aggressive driving and, in the Commonwealth, a conviction can bring some severe penalties.

What are the penalties in Virginia for first time drug offenders?

Being accused of a drug crime is a serious situation. If this is a person's first run-in with the law, this can be a very overwhelming and scary situation. However, even if the accused offender has a criminal history, the penalties that often follow a conviction of a drug charge can be harsh. No matter a person's situation, it is important to understand the scenario and what penalties one might face.

What are the penalties in Virginia for first time drug offenders? With charges related to possession of narcotic drugs, marijuana, stimulants, depressants or hallucinogenic drugs, a first-time offender could have a criminal proceeding against them dismissed provided that they plead guilty, are placed on probation and follow terms and conditions of the plea.

Virginia woman faces multiple drug charges after traffic stop

Being stopped by law enforcement is anything bet enjoyable by motorists, however, traffic stops can occur for many reasons. Whether it is a minor or major infraction, a traffic stop could lead to officers investigating a driver for more than what the driver was stopped for. Therefore, it is important to consider a defense process that can help address any and all criminal charges he or she is facing due to a traffic stop.

A Virginia woman was recently arrested following a traffic stop. Reports indicated that the woman attempted to flee from police during the traffic stop. Apparently, the woman was stopped for an equipment violation. During the stop, the officer claimed that he detected an odor of marijuana coming form the vehicle.

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