Christianburg Criminal Defense Law Blog

Why are marijuana arrests higher for Virginia blacks than whites?

A recent investigation carried out by the Capital News Service suggests that black Virginians are three times more likely than their white counterparts to be charged with marijuana-related crimes.

To reach this conclusion, the researchers looked at the marijuana-related arrest rate in Richmond's Hanover County. Of the 88,000 self-reported Caucasians that reportedly live there, just under 250 out of every 100,000 of them were arrested for marijuana-related offenses in any given year.

What is a plea deal and what's the incentive in taking one?

Although trial dates get set, most never happen. That's because most cases end up being resolved via a plea deal instead.

Plea deals, also known as plea bargains, are often encouraged by judges as a way to clear up space on their court calendars so that they can more expeditiously hear other cases. They're also championed by judges because they oftentimes have a way of helping keep jails from becoming overcrowded.

How does a DUI conviction impact your ability to secure a job?

Although not every driving under the influence (DUI) charge is a felony, it might as well be, especially considering how a conviction for one can get you fired from your current job or make it harder to secure a new one. If the job you have or want involves working with children, being privy to sensitive materials or driving, then a DUI conviction may jeopardize your ability to either get or keep it.

While, in some jurisdictions, it's illegal for employers to ask about your previous arrests, in others, they're allowed to do so. In some places, a company who's looking to hire you may only be authorized to ask about previous drug- or alcohol-related arrests if you'll be coming in contact with those types of substances at your new job.

Virginia Techs student helps police catch a man for drugs

A senior at Virginia Tech went to use the men's restroom in the school's McComas Hall on Nov. 8, only to notice a hand holding a cell phone in a bejeweled cell phone case pointed up at him from beneath the divider separating the bathroom's stalls. The student initially reacted by knocking on the walls of the stall, and the individual's hand was withdrawn soon thereafter.

The accounting student then exited the bathroom and waited for nearly five minutes until the phone's owner also walked out of the bathroom. That's then that the senior followed the man as he walked down Washington Street in Blacksburg. As he followed him, he made contact with police about what had occurred in the bathroom. They soon arrived on the scene and placed the man under arrest.

What happens if you refuse breath or blood testing in Virginia?

In Virginia, much like other states, all motorists suspected of either driving drunk or drugged are required to submit to have either breath or blood alcohol testing performed on them if asked. Under Virginia state law though, a motorist is only required to submit to such chemical testing within the first three hours of their arrest of driving under the influence (DUI).

Under Virginia law, § 18.2-268.3, an officer is first required to have a defendant complete a breathalyzer test. It's only if that individual is unable to be breath tested -- or if that option is unavailable for some reason -- that they're lawfully able to have the individual's blood taken instead.

DUI consequences go far beyond jail time and court fines

Imagine driving home after spending some quality time with your favorite colleagues at happy hour. Celebrating the end of a long and especially hard week at work is common practice in countless cities across the United States. Unfortunately, that celebration can take a downturn if a Christiansburg police officer pulls you over and arrests you for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

A driving under the influence (DUI) conviction can have long-term effects beyond paying fines and doing possible jail time. In reality, a DUI can haunt multiple aspects of your life.

A Montgomery County teacher is arrested for public intoxication

A 26-year-old kindergarten teacher has been released from her job with the Montgomery County School System after she apparently was found to be intoxicated on school grounds.

Deputies with the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office reportedly received a call from one of the area school district's human resources officers at around 10:20 a.m. the morning of Wednesday, Oct. 11. That individual noted that school personnel suspected that one of its teachers may have been intoxicated while at work. It's unclear if she arrived to work that way or if she became intoxicated while there.

What's considered drunk and disorderly conduct in Virginia?

According to the Virginia disorderly conduct law, § 18.2-415, an individual can be charged with drunken or disorderly conduct whether he or she intends to annoy, inconvenience, act recklessly toward or alarm members of the general public.

Under Section A of this law, any violent act committed by one individual against another in public, whether it be along a highway or street or in a government building, also risks being charged with this offense. Oftentimes, the defendant will be charged with this crime in addition to any others.

Why police assume that you had an intention to distribute a drug

Many people may think that in order to be charged with possession, a police officer must find a drug on your person. However, whether the item was inside your purse or luggage, clothing or in your hands, that's far from the case. An individual can actually be charged with drug possession even in cases in which a drug is simply relatively close to them, such as in their home or car.

To be charged with possession in the case of the latter, an officer need only to be able to demonstrate that you were aware of its existence, yet failed to do anything to dispose of it.

Likely sentences for possessing and selling heroin in Virginia

The possession and distribution of opiates including heroin and morphine is illegal under both Virginia state and federal laws.

These drugs and their synthetic versions are labeled as being Schedule I to signify just how addictive these drugs are. Their classification also points to why both the federal and state government harshly punish those who are either in possession, sale or otherwise traffic the drug.

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P.O. Box 6126
Christiansburg, VA 24073
Phone: 540-251-1943
Fax: 540-260-3414
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