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Newport News Criminal Law Blog

Several types of defenses exist when you're accused of a crime

If you are accused of a crime, it's of the utmost importance that you have a chance to defend yourself. It's not possible to be convicted of a crime unless the prosecution can show beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed it. Since the burden of proof falls to the prosecution, you may be able to win your case and defend yourself successfully simply by placing doubt in the minds of the judge or jury.

Since there is a high burden of proof in your case, you may wish to take one of several defense angles. For instance, you may say nothing and allow the prosecution to show that there is no solid evidence against you. You may decide to have an alibi testify about where you were at the time of the criminal act. You may also want to state that you didn't do it and show evidence that you did not participate in the crime through video footage or other evidence.

Fines and fees add up when you get a DUI

Virginia has serious penalties for those convicted of drunk driving. The penalties are particularly bad if you're caught transporting children at the time of your arrest.

According to the Virginia State Department of Motor Vehicles, if you're convicted of an offense involving a person aged 17 or under, you will face an additional and mandatory five-day jail sentence on top of other penalties. You can also be fined up to $1,000 and may face other charges or penalties depending on the number of times you've been stopped and convicted of a DUI.

Man faces charges after Alexa allegedly calls the sheriff

Technology is changing how cases are handled in court. With emails, text messages and even products like Amazon's Alexa, which is hooked up to continuous Wi-Fi, there are more chances than ever to collect evidence against a person or to prove someone's innocence.

That's important to this case, which highlights the changing technology kept in people's homes. Although this incident didn't happen locally, it drew media attention for its unusual nature. According to the July 10 report, an Amazon smart speaker called the police on a man who is now accused of domestic violence.

Why does it matter what schedule a drug is?

A controlled substance is any Schedule I through Schedule VI drug as listed in the Virginia Drug Control Act. Possessing these substances can lead to a criminal charge. If you are accused of possessing drugs, it's a good idea to build a defense immediately to protect your reputation and rights.

Each drug schedule has a different meaning that you should understand, because the schedule a drug falls under can determine the kinds of penalties you face. For example, Schedule I drugs have a high potential for abuse and no medically acceptable purpose. If you are in possession of one of these drugs, you may face harsher penalties than if you have a Schedule VI drug in your possession. Why is a Schedule VI drug so different? It includes "drugs" like aerosol cans and glue, which are available to purchase legally when you're over a certain age.

Drinking and driving causes crashes and takes lives

Drunkenly driving your vehicle puts your life, the lives of your passengers and the lives of others on the roadways at risk. Even if you feel normal when you get behind the wheel, your blood alcohol concentration could risk and cause you to drive poorly. It's very important to take the time to test your BAC before you drive or to chose an alternative way home if you plan to drink.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has stated that over 1.4 million drivers were arrested in 2010 for drinking and driving or for driving under the influence of drugs. One fortunate effect of realizing the number of drunk drivers on the roads is that more efforts have been taken to reduce them. Teen drinking and driving is still a concern, but it has steadily declined since 2010.

Tri-parenting is becoming the new normal in more court rulings

Children don't always have only two parents. Some in divorced families have two sets of mothers and two sets of fathers. Even though only two people are biologically related to a child, that doesn't mean a third person isn't as involved or doesn't deserve the same legal rights as the biological parents.

Of course, every situation is a little different, and the courts need to consider that when they're ruling on a case. It is much more common to see modern families involved in tri-parenting today than in the past, though.

How should you approach making a custody arrangement?

Not all parenting plans are created equally, and this is because all parents live different lives. With each person having his or her own needs along with having to meet the needs of the child, the parenting plan must be perfectly adjusted.

Fortunately, there are a number of ways to create a plan that is suitable for your situation. To start with, you'll want to create a plan that is right for you, your ex-partner and your child. For example, if you work Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, it might be beneficial for your ex-partner to watch your child those days while you watch your child on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. You may also choose to split your time with one half-day each on one of the weekdays, so you have around 50/50 parenting time.

Adultery can still matter in a Virginian court

Adultery used to be seen so negatively that it was defined as one of the few faults for which a divorce would be granted. Today, you do not need to prove that your spouse did anything wrong to ask for a divorce, even though you can list adultery as a cause.

There are laws against adultery because marriages are meant to be monogamous by law. In a fault-based divorce, you can select to place adultery as a factor and use it as a negotiating tactic in your case. Adultery can affect your divorce proceedings.

Brass knuckles: Illegal and a danger to others

Brass knuckles are illegal in most states. These weapons, also called knuckle dusters, are both defensive and offensive weapons. They interlink with the fingers and protect the knuckles, which helps the person fighting deliver harsh blows to his or her enemies.

These devices were used in both World War I and II, but it's well-recognized today that they are extremely dangerous. They have the potential to break bones and cause life-threatening injuries in some cases.

How can you tell if your blood alcohol concentration is over .08?

As someone who loves to go out and have a good time but also wants to be responsible, it's important to understand how alcohol affects the body. If you are planning to drive home, you need to know that you're going to have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.07 or lower to prevent being stopped and charged with a DUI.

Of course, the best way to drive is with as little alcohol in your system as possible. Since alcohol affects each person differently, here are a few tips on how to know the BAC you may have.

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