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Harrisonburg Virginia Legal Blog

How would a divorce impact my immigration status?

Many immigrants who live in Virginia are married to United States citizens. Should the marriages of these immigrants end in a divorce, they may wonder what will become of their legal status.

After all, without the right status, an immigrant may not be able to apply for permanent residency and, in the worst case, may lose his or her permission to live in the United States at all.

Lawyers' group concerned about immigration courts

The American Bar Association, or ABA, which is a large, nationwide organization of lawyers, has again expressed its concern that the immigration courts in Virginia and throughout the rest of the country are facing serious structural difficulties.

According to the report, the immigration courts are experiencing a large caseload, which in turn means additional delays in the administration of this country's immigration laws. Indeed, according to records, there are about 800,000 cases currently before the immigration courts. At the time the ABA last reported on the status of the immigration courts, in 2010, the backlog was 262,000 cases.

If charged with a DUI over the holiday, help is available

Many people in Harrisonburg will probably use St. Patrick's Day to take some time to relax with friends and family. Of course, one of the common customs of this holiday is to drink beer and other alcohol.

Most Virginians try to drink responsibly when they choose to drink, especially if they expect to drive home afterward. However, even for the most responsible people, mistakes can be made.

The different types of spousal support in Virginia

In Virginia, what is commonly referred to as alimony or maintenance is technically referred to as spousal support. Basically, spousal support is a court order in the context of a divorce in which one former spouse is ordered to pay money to the other spouse.

There are three basic types of spousal support. Which type a court is most likely to order depends on the facts and circumstances of the individual case. As such, a resident of Harrisonburg who has specific questions about spousal support may want to seek professional guidance.

The status of legal separation in Virginia

Unlike some other states, there is no formal process for legal separation in Virginia. When two parties start to live apart, they are considered separated for purposes of establishing that they are eligible for divorce. In Virginia, many grounds for a divorce, including the commonly used no fault divorce, require that the couple be separated for one year.

On the other hand, for those who may wish to remain legally married yet need orders to protect their property and their children, there is no separate process for doing so. A person may be able to get some relief by asking for a divorce from bed and board.

Is a misdemeanor conviction really that bad?

If you have recently received a misdemeanor conviction and dismissed it in your mind as not being very serious, you may want to re-evaluate that sentiment. The unfortunate fact is, any criminal conviction can have long-lasting ramifications. Here is what you should know about misdemeanors and why they can more severe than you think.

Criminal convictions can lead to deportation

As readers of our blog, our law office in Harrisonburg, Virginia, handles immigration cases. Among the cases we handle, we represent immigrants in this country who are facing deportation for a number of reasons.

One reason a person can be deported, even if they otherwise have authorization to live in the United States, is his or her conviction for certain types of crimes. To give one example, a non-citizen who commits what the United States deems a crime of moral turpitude can lead to deportation.

What are my rights at a sobriety checkpoint?

As is the case with most states, police in and around Harrisonburg, Virginia, are allowed to use what are often referred to as sobriety checkpoints in order to detain and then prosecute suspected drunk drivers.

For those who have not seen one, a sobriety checkpoint involves a group of police setting up what amounts to a roadblock at a highway or other road where they expect they will catch some drunk drivers. They then stop vehicles and engage various drivers who pass through the checkpoint in a short encounter.

Divorce may be on the horizon in the new year

Those who are in a difficult marital situation but believe that they may have dodged a bullet, that is, a divorce or separation, over the past few months may need to think twice before breathing a sigh of relief.

This is because, for whatever reason, many people just decide not to file for divorce in the last three months of any calendar year. According to one study, which surveyed divorce filing trends in another state over more than a decade, the number of divorce filings goes down steadily starting in September until hitting a low point in December.

Former employee at local fire department accused of theft

A person who at one time was affiliated with the Harrisonburg Fire Department has been charged with multiple criminal felonies in connection with an alleged break-in at a fire station. While the suspect has been identified as a former employee, it is not clear whether he was a firefighter or served in a supporting capacity.

According to reports, the former employee went to the fire station twice and on both occasions removed equipment from the fire trucks parked there. While the young man is charged with breaking and entering, it is not clear whether there was a forced entry in to the fire station. The suspect is currently at liberty on a bond, and the judge did not require any security from the suspect.

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