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Harrisonburg Virginia Legal Blog

Several people arrested; accused of drug trafficking

Several people were arrested in Southwest Virginia in connection with what police were describing as a sophisticated drug trafficking operation that was also active in at least one other state. Police say that they have identified over 20 people with ties to this operation. But, at this time, they have only made 11 arrests, although they say more are forthcoming. In this latest official action, police made two of their arrests in connection with a search warrant they obtained after arresting another suspect.

Police say that during this operation, which involved the use of confidential informants and other conventional investigation tactics, police seized several weapons as well as methamphetamine. The police say that these people were distributing crystal methamphetamine in the area and were also involved in trading stolen property and firearms on the black market. The charges against those arrested vary widely.

How can divorce affect my immigration status?

As readers of our blog know, our law firm represents Virginians going through a divorce, including a divorce from bed and board, as well as those who are facing issues related to federal immigration laws.

Many immigrants come to the United States on account of their spouses and sometimes may even rely on their spouse's legal immigration status to justify their stay in this country. Others may marry permanent residents or American citizens.

We can help defend against a reckless driving charge

A previous post on this blog talked about how Virginia's reckless driving laws are particularly onerous. This post went over the many ways even the most upstanding Virginia resident can face a criminal reckless driving case.

Even simply causing an accident or not keeping close tabs on one's speed on the interstate can leave a Harrisonburg resident staring down the possibility of jail time and a criminal conviction on her record. Furthermore, a conviction can mean long-term difficulties with her ability to operate a motor vehicle.

Virginia's reckless driving laws are broad

Many states have reckless driving laws. Using these laws, police and prosecutors can criminally punish drivers who engage in behaviors that law enforcement officers deem to be particularly dangerous or careless. In Virginia, the laws against reckless driving are especially broad. For instance, just about anyone who causes an accident can face a charge of misdemeanor reckless driving, because reckless driving in Virginia is any sort of driving that endangers another person's life or property, even if no other traffic laws are broken.

Likewise, Virginia has a laundry list of behaviors that, in this state, are criminal. Among other behaviors, driving over 80 miles per hour, even on a freeway, or going more than 20 miles per hour over the speed limit, is automatically reckless driving. Likewise, unlawful passing of a school bus, passing on a hill, passing near a railroad crossing or even forgetting to use a turn signal are all acts of reckless driving.

There is support for seeking alternative penalties in drug cases

Drug offenses occur when someone uses, sells, possesses or furnishes drugs prohibited by law. In the majority of cases, drug offenses are felonies. Whether the offender is an adult or a minor, the charge can have significant weight and lead to life-changing consequences.

An interesting topic that has now been widely researched is if imprisoning someone for a drug charge really helps. The results were not surprising. More imprisonment, according to Pew, does not reduce drug problems. In fact, the data has shown no relationship between drug misuse and prison terms.

Some immigrants may be eligible for cancellation of removal

The reality is that many people in Virginia may have been living in this country for many years without ever obtaining, or maintaining, proper documentation.

During this time, these immigrants may have establish a family and other roots in this country and state which would make it very hard, on both themselves and those who count on them, were they to be deported.

Overview of Virginia's property division laws

Like other states, Virginia has specific laws describing how property is to be divided between a married couple after a divorce. These laws would also apply to the divorce from bed and board proceeding which a previous post on our blog discussed.

Virginia is what is called an equitable division state. This means that, like most other states, a Virginia court is going to try to divide the property between two separating spouses fairly, but not necessarily 50-50. The same rules applies for any debts that the spouses may owe.

Will drug convictions affect your child’s federal financial aid?

Sending your child to James Madison University for the first time is a momentous occasion and milestone. It can be nerve-wrecking to let your child finally go off on their own. While just letting them leave the nest is difficult and worrisome, what if your child gets into trouble while away? For example, your child may face criminal charges for illegal drug possession or distribution.

You’ve spent most of your life caring for your child, so it’s only natural to want to protect them and their future. Illegal possession or the unlawful sale of drugs could make your child ineligible for federal financial aid. In turn, this may impact their ability to continue a path in higher education. College is expensive, and your child may rely on financial aid to cover its costs.

Defending a DUI charge may be worth the investment

A previous post on this blog discussed how even a first-time conviction for a DUI, with no aggravating circumstances, can haunt a person for a long time. First, there is the cost of fines, probation fees and other bills, such as the cost of posting bail.

Additionally, a person will have to pay to arrange transportation while under a license suspension, and he may also have to pay for an ignition interlock device. Moreover, higher insurance premiums are a real possibility.

Higher premiums are a forgotten consequence of DUIs

As this blog has discussed on previous occasions, getting convicted of a DUI in Virginia is a serious affair even when it is a first offense. In addition to the possibility of jail and an almost inevitable license suspension, a person convicted can wind up paying hundreds if not thousands of dollars in probation costs, mandatory counseling and other fees.

Moreover, especially if someone drives professionally or is even just expected to drive as part of his or her job as a salesperson or the like, a DUI conviction can have devastating professional ramifications.

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