John Elledge & Assoc PC
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Harrisonburg Virginia Legal Blog

Getting the right answers to your divorce questions

When Virginia residents see divorce on the horizon, they may have more questions than answers, or so it usually seems. After all, a divorce is a significant event in any person's life, severing a relationship that most thought would last a lifetime.

When such a significant legal event comes up, getting the right answers to divorce questions is crucial.

Updated policy streamlines immigration process

Our readers in Virginia probably know that getting a green card through marriage is one of the most common ways that individuals obtain legal residency in the United States. Foreign spouses of American citizens can get a green card that, while temporary at first, can become permanent in time. However, after the set period of time has passed and a foreign spouse has the right to obtain permanent residency, sometimes they do not.

As a recent news article pointed out, sometimes these spouses either forget to take this action, or they have divorced the American citizen they were married to.

Involuntary manslaughter charges after a drunk driving crash

It is no doubt a scary thing for any Virginian resident of the Harrisonburg area or another part of the Shenandoah Valley to face a DUI accusation, especially if they have no familiarity with the criminal justice system. However, facing criminal charges related to DUI can be an absolute nightmare if they come on the heels of a deadly accident. The reason is that, under such circumstances, a resident could face an involuntary manslaughter conviction, which is a felony under Virginia law.

Like other states, our state will punish drunk drivers who are involved in fatal accidents, even if they had absolutely no intention of hurting another person. All the state has to prove in order to obtain this conviction is that a motorist caused an accident and was legally under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time.

Divorces can be difficult: Here are 5 tips to help

Anyone who has been through a divorce can tell you that there are unique challenges that they faced. One person might have an aggressive and manipulative spouse who tries to drag out the divorce. Another may have a nearly unresponsive spouse who does their best not to receive the divorce papers or to be served for any purpose.

No matter what kind of divorce you're going through, there are some tips that can help. Here are five to consider.

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.

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