Christianburg Criminal Defense Law Blog

Is public intoxication the same as drunk and disorderly conduct?

Drunk and disorderly conduct versus public intoxication. You've likely heard both terminologies being used before and may have wondered what the differences are between the two. Both are used interchangeably in most jurisdictions to refer to the same crime: someone being either visibly intoxicated from drugs or alcohol in a public place. Most city and state laws classify such a crime as a misdemeanor.

If you've been charged with public intoxication, you may wonder why it's illegal to be drunk in an open space. One of the reasons being under the influence of alcohol or drugs in public is against the law is because it has the potential to infringe upon others' ability to enjoy themselves.

Virginia's handling of habitual offenders convicted of DUI

In Virginia, anyone who's been convicted of either 12 minor or 3 major drunk driving convictions during a single 10-year period may be labeled as a habitual offender by either court officials or the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

Being labeled as such is not something that should be taken lightly as the state views it as a serious offense. If you are stopped for driving drunk as a habitual offender, then there's a strong likelihood of you not just being fined, but also being sent to prison. How your new case will be handled is largely contingent upon the nature of your offense.

How prosecutors prove intent to distribute charges

If you've been charged with drug possession with an intent to deliver charge tacked onto it, then it's important to know that three distinct elements must be met to charge you with that crime.

Perhaps the most obvious element of all is that you have to have been in possession of the controlled substance at the time of your arrest. This means that you must have either had the drug in your hands or your belongings at the time of your arrest.

A Montgomery County man is sentenced to 25 years for DUI death

A Montgomery County, Virginia, man will be spending many years behind bars after pleading guilty to a multitude of different charges stemming from his arrest for driving under the influence (DUI) back on July 4. The incident that resulted in the charges being filed against the man occurred along the portion of Interstate 81 that runs through Montgomery County.

That holiday, the defendant has apparently been operating his Ford Expedition as he drove northbound along the highway. He'd only made it a short distance past the Christiansburg exit when he apparently struck a disabled tractor-trailer that had parked along the interstate's shoulder.

What the Virginia Schedule I and II drug possession penalties are

In Virginia, those convicted of drug crimes are punished according to what category it falls into. Posession of Schedule I and II narcotics carry the most serious penalties whereas possession of Schedule VI drugs results in relatively minor reprecautions.

Schedule I drugs like lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) or heroin are considered most dangerous to users because of the propensity for them to become addicted to the drug. State regulators also content that Schedule I drugs also apparently carry no medicinal value.

What falls under the umbrella of drunk and disorderly conduct?

Public drunkenness, disturbing the peace and loitering are just some of the many different offenses that may lead to you being charged with disorderly conduct. This is one of the reasons that many legal experts refer to this type of crime as a "catch all" offense.

Essentially, any person engaging in obnoxious or otherwise disruptive behavior may be charmed with this crime, provided that no one's safety is put put in severe jeopardy because of said behavior.

A Virginia fraternity brother faces drug distribution charges

A member of George Mason University's Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity was arrested and charged with distributing the drug lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) on Wednesday, April 25. He may also be facing additional criminal charges stemming from an incident in which a fellow fraternity brother jumped five stories to his death after taking the drug.

Evidence presented to a grand jury for consideration back in January showed that one 19-year-old Annandale, Virginia, brother gave the decedent, also 19, the drug three days before he jumped to his death from his dorm window this past September.

Can I clear my DUI record in Virginia?

Getting a DUI is never an ideal situation for your driver's license record. However, despite the disastrous consequences that it can have on your life, DUIs are quite frequently given out, and it could be argued that the methods used to convict drivers of a DUI are not very accurate and dependable.

In the state of Virginia, being charged with a DUI means that you have been found to be driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or higher. This will likely result in the temporary revocation of your license -- often for 6 months -- and a fine.

Abusing prescription drugs during college is a mistake

There's a belief among many college students that prescription or over-the-counter medications are somehow safer to use recreationally than other substances available on unregulated markets. While it is true that these medications will have standard doses and generally won't have any adulterants that are dangerous, that doesn't mean abusing them is safe. However, many college students still misuse prescription drugs.

Using any medication in a manner that varies from how the doctor ordered it violates the terms of your prescription. Taking extra pills, sharing with other people or mixing medications with other substances can prove to be serious mistakes that have medical, legal and educational consequences for students in Virginia.

A conviction for disorderly conduct can impact your job prospects

For many Americans, competition is fierce when it comes to finding a job. The job market becomes a lot harder to navigate, though, when you have a criminal record.

One Center for American Progress study published in 2014 suggested that more than 70 million Americans at the time likely had criminal records. In many cases, a conviction on an individual's record can limit the jobs that he or she can get hired for. It's not uncommon for employers to run background checks on prospective new hires either.

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