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Louisa, Virginia Criminal Defense & Traffic Law Blog

Those convicted of DUI must use an ignition interlock device

We may take for granted our ability to drive. People drive to work, to medical appointments, to drop their kids off at school and to run errands. Some may even go so far as to say that the ability to drive is essential to their everyday life. However, if a person in Virginia is convicted of driving under the influence, they could find their ability to drive is made significantly more difficult.

In Virginia, if a person is convicted of DUI, he or she must install an ignition interlock device on his or her vehicle and use it for a minimum of six months. This is true even for first time offenders. This is in addition to any other penalties that might be imposed, such as fines or jail time.

Fleeing the scene of a traffic accident is a criminal offense

Being involved in a car accident can be a scary thing. It may be tempting, in the aftermath of a crash, to flee. However, motorists in Virginia who cause a car crash have certain legal responsibilities, and could be criminally charged if they flee, resulting in a hit-and-run crash.

Under Virginia law, when a motorist is involved in a collision that causes property damage, causes another individual to suffer injuries or causes the death of another individual, that motorist must stay at the scene of the traffic accident and contact the police. The motorist must provide police with certain information, including their name, vehicle registration number and driver's license number. The motorist must also provide this information to the injured individual if that individual is able to comprehend and remember the information. If the accident caused property damage, this information must be provided to the custodian of the damaged property.

What is the difference between assault and battery?

Most people in Virginia will get into arguments from time to time. These arguments may take place between friends or relatives, or they may involve complete strangers. Usually, these arguments only involve words hurled at one another, and nothing more. However, other times an argument can escalate into threats of physical violence or an actual physical attack. When this happens a person in Virginia might be charged with assault or battery.

In Virginia, the crime of simple assault takes place when someone attempts to commit a battery or attempts to make a person fear that they will face imminent physical harm. A person can be charged with simple assault even if they never even touch the alleged victim.

Are holiday sobriety checkpoints legal in Virginia?

The winter holidays are here, and that means office holiday parties, family celebrations and other festivities. It also means there will be many opportunities to share a drink with friends and loved ones. Most people in Virginia are responsible with alcohol and won't drive drunk. However, that doesn't mean police in the Commonwealth won't go to extra lengths this time of year to apprehend those they believe are driving under the influence.

One way that police attempt to identify drunk drivers is via sobriety checkpoints. These are roadblocks set up along intersections, wherein police will randomly detain motorists at regular intervals to determine whether the motorist is under the influence of alcohol. However, do sobriety checkpoints violate a motorist's rights against unreasonable searches and seizure?

What happens the 1st time you are caught with drugs in Virginia?

You shouldn’t use illegal drugs. If you do and you are caught by law enforcement in Virginia, what can you expect?

Illegal drugs are called controlled substances. Laws involving controlled substances do not include alcohol or tobacco. Drugs are classified into six schedules:

Reckless driving in Virginia may be more serious than you think

Thanksgiving weekend is one of the busiest traffic periods of the year in Virginia and nationwide. While most people will abide by the rules of the road, this will not stop police from being on high alert for those they believe are committing traffic offenses, particularly reckless driving. And, reckless driving can encompass actions that motorists may not initially consider to be very serious.

Under §46.2-852 of the Code of Virginia, regardless of the posted speed limit, motorists on highways in the Commonwealth who operate their vehicles in a way that puts the life, limb or property of another in danger can be charged with reckless driving. When people think of reckless driving, they may think of very dangerous behaviors, such as crossing over the double yellow line to pass multiple vehicles, driving extremely aggressively or even driving while intoxicated. However, people may be surprised to hear that driving even as much as 11 miles per hour over the posted speed limit could be considered reckless driving.

Do you need to tell your boss if you get a DUI?

As if the penalties for driving under the influence were not rough enough, thinking about telling your boss about the incident could put you over the edge.

DUIs are not uncommon. In Virginia, there were over 7,000  alcohol-related crashes in 2016. While they are common, it can still be hard to deal with. Is it necessary to inform a current employer of your DUI?

College hazing: Illegal in Virginia

Being accused of hazing someone in connection to a fraternity, sorority or some other school club or organization is not a minor thing here in Virginia. It can lead to a college student facing major consequences.

This includes criminal charges. This is because state law makes it a crime to commit hazing activities that cause bodily injury to a student.

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CommonwealthCriminal & Traffic Law Group

Commonwealth Criminal & Traffic Law Group
202 W Main St
Louisa, VA 23093

Phone: 540-603-0405
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