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Fairfax Criminal Law Blog

Proposed Virginia Law Would Give Sex Crime Victims More Time to Sue

The Virginia Legislature has proposed a bill that would allow victims of sexual abuse to sue the perpetrator (or the organization that employed the perpetrator) for up to 20 years after the abuse occurred. This would increase the limit from the current 2 year statute of limitations.

What is the legal standard for a DWI or DUI stop and arrest in Fairfax County Virginia?

The process of a police investigation obviously first begins when a person has contact with the police. In DWI/DUI cases, this contact is in the form of a traffic stop. Fairfax Virginia DWI/DUI Lawyers are often asked what the legal standard is for a DWI/DUI stop and arrest. An officer must have a "reasonable suspicion" of criminal activity to make a traffic stop. A mere hunch of illegal activity is not enough for an officer to stop a vehicle. A stop is not the same as an arrest. In order for a police officer to place a person under arrest, the officer must have "probable cause" to believe that the person committed a crime. If at any point the officer does not have a sufficient basis either for the stop of the arrest, then all evidence that is obtained after that point can be excluded. Speak with a Fairfax Virginia DWI, DUI, Drunk Driving Attorney for a more detailed explanation.

What is a Reckless Driving Summons?

When a person is stopped for reckless driving in Fairfax, Virginia, an officer has the discretion to issue a summons in lieu of arresting the person. In reckless driving cases, drivers are generally released on a summons. A summons commands the person charged to appear at a stated time and place before a court of appropriate jurisdiction. The person being charged is asked to sign the summons. By signing, the driver is agreeing that he or she will appear at the stated time and place for court. If the driver refuses to sign, the officer is required to arrest the person and take them before a magistrate so that the magistrate can set conditions of bail that are appropriate to ensure appearance at court. A summons in a reckless driving case is not your tradition "traffic citation." Rather, it is the beginning of a criminal charge. Speak with a Fairfax Virginia Reckless Driving Attorney to obtain a better understanding of reckless driving.

Victims of Crimes in Virginia Can Sue for Compensation

Victims of crimes such as assault, rape, hit & run, DWI/DUI, and all other crimes who suffer some physical or significant emotional or psychological injury as a result of the perpetrator have the right to seek compensation for their injuries. Many victims feel that the only remedy they have is the criminal prosecution. Sometimes the result of the criminal process is less than satisfying to victims. However, regardless of what happens in the criminal process, you, as the victim, have the right to pursue any and all available civil remedies through a private lawyer.

Critical Mistakes to Avoid After Being Charged with DWI/DUI in Virginia - Calling the Police Officer to Discuss Your Case

Days after being arrested for DWI/DUI or being issued a summons for reckless driving, but before contacting a Fairfax Virginia DWI/DUI/Drunk Driving Lawyer or a Fairfax Reckless Driving Defense Lawyer, many people feel the need to call the officer to attempt to resolve the case. This is a tremendous mistake. Once you are issued a summons or arrested, there is nothing the officer can do to drop the charge. Even if the officer had the authority to drop the charge, the officer is not going to reverse his decision. More importantly, whatever you say to the offer directly, or in a voicemail, days after the event can be used as evidence against you in court. A good officer will use your call as an opportunity to get you to admit additional incriminating information, possibly things that you did not admit during the event or things that the officer forgot to ask you. Acknowledging minor facts you may not think are important, even implicitly, can be very damaging to your case. Sometimes admitting something as simple as when an accident occurred or that you had nothing to drink between the accident and the time the officer arrived can mean the difference between an acquittal and a conviction.

Distracted Driving Continues, Fairfax Virginia Personal Injury Lawyer and Car Accident Attorney Notes Cell Phone Laws Are Not Working

Distracted driving remains a huge problem in America, despite various cell phone laws banning texting and talking while driving. Recently, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood convened a summit on the issue.

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