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Newport News Criminal Law Blog

What can you do if you're accused of domestic violence?

There are dozens of reasons why a person could be accused of domestic violence when he or she never participated in a violent act. Male or female, innocent people are more likely to be accused of domestic violence by people who irrationally want to harm their reputation or get them into trouble with the law. Many cases involve spouses or partners who want revenge or to control the other person.

In reality, those who are falsely accused of domestic violence are victims of it. They're being accused of something horrible and having to fight against allegations for something they never did. Being blindsided by the allegations means someone could seem very nervous, frantic or aggressive, further "proving" the accuser's lies about the other party.

Miranda rights matters: Staying silent to protect yourself

When you're accused of a crime, you may know that an arresting officer could read you your Miranda rights. Is the officer always required to do so at the point of arrest? No, and that's when it becomes tricky.

When you're under arrest, the best thing you can do for yourself is to stay quiet and respectful. The Fifth Amendment gives you the right to stay silent and say nothing that could incriminate you. Those rights are technically offered to everyone, but the police need to let you know about those rights only before you're being questioned.

Midlife divorce can cause stress among older children

There is no question that divorces affect children. Some of the children who are slightly overlooked are young adults, though. These older children are often thought to handle divorce better, but it can still cause a major disruption in their lives.

When you decide to go through a midlife divorce, you may have a few more difficulties than if you had divorced with younger children. First, while you and your spouse should decide on custody arrangements, your children are likely old enough to say what they want you to know about their preferences.

How do multiple DUI convictions affect you in Virginia?

No one plans to go out drinking for a night and to end up in jail the next morning. DUIs often catch people by surprise, and sometimes, more than once.

If you've previously been convicted of driving under the influence in Virginia, a second or subsequent violation of the law could hold harsh penalties for you. It's important to always defend yourself as quickly as possible to help avoid some of these penalties, which could significantly impact your life.

First-time offenders face ignition interlock device in Virginia

Virginia's first-time DUI offender laws are strict; they're much stricter than other states in some ways. For instance, did you know that if you have a first-offense DUI, you'll have to pay to have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed into your vehicle? That installation costs around $480 for six months as of the 2012 regulations. This penalty applies regardless of the person's level of intoxication; if he or she is over the limit, then an IID is required.

This law was initiated in July 2012. As a direct result, over four times as many people had to have IIDs installed after offenses, even if they were considered minor. This has caused a debate in the state since the law was first set.

Virginia lawmakers hope to stop ‘school-to-prison pipeline’

Virginia refers more school students to law enforcement than any other state. For every 1,000 students, Virginia schools send nearly 16 to authorities. It’s a rate almost three times the national average with the highest referral rates being for middle school students.

Parents, community leaders and Virginia lawmakers want answers to how we can better help our students, while diminishing these referrals in what some refer to as the “school-to-prison pipeline.” They reason that the flow of students to courtrooms needs to be more of a trickle.

Study will focus on domestic abuse and homelessness

Imagine being forced to leave your home because of domestic violence. You've fled, and now you're left alone to fend for yourself on the streets. Those who are homeless are going to be asked about this very serious problem in New York. According to the news from Jan. 22, New York will now ask if the homeless are fleeing from domestic violence.

Getting this information can help communities understand and serve the population of homeless individuals. It also helps advocates understand how much domestic violence is taking place, so they can find ways to address it.

The process of a trial: What to expect

A criminal trial has many steps, but as someone facing charges, you first need to understand how to present yourself. It should be your priority to put your best foot forward and to look your best while following the rules of the court. Avoid interrupting the judge or anyone else, and be concise when you're asked to speak.

Your case will go through several steps before you have to worry about a full-blown trial. First, a jury has to be chosen. The jury is meant to be unbiased, so your attorney will have some say in who is chosen. The judge may also excuse potential jurors who may be biased before they are involved in the case.

How long do you have to wait to divorce in Virginia?

You fought getting a divorce for quite a while. You and your spouse decided to live apart, just to get some space. Now, he's asking for a divorce, and you don't have a way to stop him.

Thanks to the time you spent apart, which was just over a year, he can claim desertion or turn to a no-fault divorce. You may want to appeal the case, knowing that you expected to get back together.

Remember, appearances make a difference in court

You love your child more than anyone else. Your ex-spouse does, too, but you want to know that your child is being raised right. You want custody, and you want to make sure you're in at least some control over what happens to your child.

When you have worries about your child custody arrangements, the last thing you want to be concerned about is how a judge perceives you. How can you make sure that you don't have to worry? Taking the time to know how to present yourself is the first step.

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