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Harrisonburg Virginia Legal Blog

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.

What penalty does my underage child face for a DUI?

As a parent, it can be difficult to learn your child has gotten into trouble with the law. It can be even more difficult when you are not even sure how serious of a punishment your child faces.

Alcohol offenses can lead to harsh punishments in Virginia. Even though a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 is the legal limit for those over 21 years old, someone who is under the legal drinking age can be charged with a driving under the influence (DUI) offense with a BAC of 0.02 or more.

Tax implications of alimony changing very soon

A previous post on this blog talked about how family law judge in Virginia can order one spouse to pay another alimony either while a divorce or separation is pending or following the entry of a final decree. As this post discussed, whether a spouse is entitled to alimony, and how much, depends on a number of factors that are ultimately within the discretion of the judge to evaluate.

Alimony may also be called spousal support since, as the name implies, it is supposed to ensure that a spouse who may otherwise face financial hardship on account of a divorce receives what he or she both needs and deserves.

What exactly is asylum?

There have been a lot of stories in the major news outlets over the past few weeks discussing asylum and the Administration's attempts to change the process. However, some people in the Harrisonburg area may not fully understand what exactly asylum is.

There may even be some in the area who are eligible to seek asylum but may not know how to do so.

What factors result in enhanced DUI penalties?

The penalties for a DUI conviction in Virginia can include an array of sanctions like fines, the loss of one's license, and even jail time. However, these penalties can be enhanced if certain factors are present at the time an individual is arrested and charged with their drunk driving crime.

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