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Newport News Criminal Law Blog

How does Virginia classify different drugs?

If you're accused of a drug crime, you need to understand the kind of charges you could face. The charges you'll face are partly based on the kind of drug you're in possession of and its potential to cause addiction.

Virginia classifies drugs in its Drug Control Act by their schedules. There are six schedules.

Seeking citizenship for a foreign-born American child

When a child is born in another country while on a military base or to American parents, the right paperwork must be filed to help that child obtain citizenship. It is an automatic right, but the correct legal paperwork still has to be filed.

If a child is born out of the U.S., then at least one parent must be a U.S. citizen at the time of the child's birth for the child to obtain immediate citizenship rights. If the parents aren't married, then it's important that the mother was a U.S. citizen and had been in the U.S. for at least a year before the child's birth. If the father is the U.S. citizen, he will need to have lived in the U.S. or been in the military for at least five years before the child's birth. Paternity must be established, and DNA testing might be required. In each case, it's important to file for a child's citizenship before he or she turns 18.

Does a divorce negatively influence a child?

Children are often a concern when you go through a divorce for a number of reasons. A child may not understand the full implications of a divorce, and you want to make sure your little one is happy and comfortable. Some people decide to stay in an unhappy marriage for the benefit of their children, but the truth is that you can raise a child even if you do go through a divorce.

Divorce itself has no lasting negative effects on a child's social skills or grades, self-esteem or life satisfaction, according to research. Despite that, people still claim that it's better to stay in a marriage that isn't working than to put a child through divorce. Is that really the best option?

Understanding a preliminary hearing

When you're accused of a crime, one of the first things you have to do is have a hearing. While an initial hearing might not do much, it can be an important time in your case. If you potentially have to go to trial, one of the first court appearances you'll go to is a preliminary hearing. This hearing is similar to an arraignment in that the judge hears the defendant's plea. Additionally, the judge can decide at this point if there is enough evidence to move forward with the case. If there is not, then the case may be dismissed at this point. If there is enough evidence, then the next step is a standard trial.

The judge has to decide if there is enough evidence for probable cause. That means that there must be enough evidence to convince a reasonable jury that the person who allegedly committed a crime is guilty. At this point, the prosecution does not need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed a crime; instead, it only needs to show that it has a reasonable amount of evidence to suggest your guilt.

Family abuse: You can defend yourself against allegations

Family abuse can be defined in many ways, but generally speaking, it involves any act in which force, violence or threats result in physical injury or the fear of physical injury against someone in your household. Family household members include anyone you live with in your home and anyone you have lived with within the last year. Children of those you lived with as well as ex-spouses and spouses may also be victims of family abuse.

Family abuse falls under both civil and criminal law. As such, a case may head to criminal or civil court depending on the circumstances. Civil cases usually begin if a person is seeking out a protective order. Criminal courts become involved if the person accused of violence is jailed or charged with a crime.

Woman arrested after allegedly driving while intoxicated

When you drive with children in your vehicle, you need to be sober and attentive. They're important, and they add a layer of difficulty if you get stopped for violating the law. If you're not careful, you can be accused of endangering your children as well as accused of a DUI. That's what's happening in this case out of Virginia.

A woman accused of driving while intoxicated has been arrested following a collision in Woodbridge. According to the story from Aug. 29, the woman had her children in her vehicle at the time of the crash.

Virginia's child custody guidelines help you protect your child

Virginia has a number of important child custody laws. If you decide to get a divorce, you'll need to understand these laws to protect yourself and your children.

Virginia law strongly prefers parents to go through mediation instead of litigation when it comes to forming a parenting plan. Yes, it's possible for a judge to create a plan, but it's better if the parents can come to an agreement, even if it's not exactly what they both want. Being able to talk to one another about your child's needs is an important part of your life moving forward, and mediation can be a good basis for opening those lines of communication.

Grief is normal after a marriage ends: Get the support you need

Divorces cause many kinds of strain, from the emotional to the financial. While finances are worked out during the divorce proceedings, your emotional trauma isn't. As a result, many people find themselves acting emotionally instead of considering the long-term implications of their choices.

Divorce is unsettling because it ends a relationship, changes your routine and complicates life. You may feel depressed, guilty, frustrated or anxious as a result. It's normal to feel this way, just as it's normal to feel angry, threatened or lonely.

Is drugged driving more common than drunk driving?

It's wise to look at traffic accidents to determine their causes, but doing so can create some connections to changes in laws that you may not have thought would impact drivers. For example, did you know that over the course of two years, the number of drugged driving deaths rose while the number of drunk driving deaths actually fell?

It seems like as soon as one policy begins to work, another issue pops up that prevents accidents from decreasing much at all. According to national data, around 43 percent of the drivers who were killed in automobile crashes had drugs in their systems. Drugs are being found more frequently than alcohol today, which is a reason to be concerned.

What should you know if you're accused of domestic violence?

It is never a good feeling to know that you've been accused of domestic violence. At this point, you have no choice but to face those allegations and to address them. Since there are many kinds of domestic violence, the first thing to do is to find out what kind you're accused of.

Although physical violence may be the first kind of domestic abuse you think of, you could be accused of other types such as emotional abuse or economic abuse. Emotional abuse includes things like humiliating your spouse or diminishing his or her sense of self-worth. Economic abuse may include forbidding your spouse to work or controlling all the finances in the family.

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