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Roanoke Virginia Criminal Defense Law Blog

Getting a pardon in Virginia

Rebuilding one's life after a criminal conviction in Roanoke can certainly be an uphill battle, yet not necessarily one that cannot be won provided one knows the correct steps to take. The restoration of one's right own a firearm again can be a part of that victory, but only in select circumstances. One of those would be if one were to be pardoned under the state's Constitution. 

A pardon may seem to be a simple thing; those who are granted one are, in essence, "forgiven" of whatever criminal activity they were convicted of. According to the office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Virginia, however, there are actually three types of pardons: 

  • Simple pardons
  • Conditional pardons
  • Absolute pardons

You should consider every drunk driving defense strategy

Even though you understand the dangers of drunk driving, there could come a time when you find yourself behind the wheel after having a drink. Just the same, there's always the chance you could find yourself in trouble with the law for driving under the influence of alcohol.

If you're charged with drunk driving, it's imperative to learn more about the many strategies you can use to escape trouble. There's no guarantee of success when your day in court arrives, but it goes without saying that there are things you can do to help your cause.

Turning violations in Virginia

Drivers in Virginia can amass points on their driving record faster than they might think. These points even for what are relatively very small violations can stay on a driver's record for quite some time. Violations involving turns are one example.

Whether for left turns, right turns or u-turns, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles indicates that a driver may receive three points on their record per violation. These three points will remain on the person's record for three years. Knowing this, it can be helpful to review the state's laws on what constitutes a legal or an illegal turn.

New device said to detect pot by breath

Virginia is not one of the nine states that has legalized the use of marijuana for recreational purposes but one of its neighbors, the District of Columbia, has done this. It therefore stands to reason that some people might legally use pot in Washington D.C. and later find themselves in Virginia. Alternatively people who live in Virginia may go into D.C. and legally smoke pot there. Either way, they should be aware of the growing push to find ways to arrest people for suspected impaired driving due to marijuana.

As reported by National Public Radio, a company based in California is said to have developed a product now ready to market that can take a 30-second breath sample and within four minutes return results that indicate whether or not THC is present. Interestingly, this device does not provide information about a particular level of THC that might be in a driver's system but simply indicates that the substance is present.

Drunk driving checkpoints over holiday weekend

People who live in Virginia are quite likely used to hearing about increased enforcement against suspected drunk driving when holiday times come around. This is not without some cause as certainly many people attend events where alcohol is served and then drive home. First, it is important for people to remember that doing this is not illegal. However, it can start to make one feel like that is being treated as illegal when the crackdown is so severe.

It is essential that residents in Virginia are treated fairly and this takes many forms. As reported by WHSV, the Virginia State Police will engage what it calls Checkpoint Strikeforce over the Labor Day weekend. This is the 17th year in a row that this activity will take place. No details about where drunk driving checkpoints will be set up were given but it was noted that the Governor's office indicated that it believed men between the ages of 21 and 35 are those persons most likely to drive after consuming alcohol.

The heavy penalties for speeding on virginia's roads

Traffic violations -- no matter what type -- are usually a mere nuisance. However, in the state of Virginia, the ripple effect of just one ticket can leave a lasting burden. Speeding tickets specifically are a point of worry for many Virginians, as the state's laws surrounding these traffic violations are some of the strictest in the country.

There is no denying that speeding is a major threat on America's roads. WalletHub points out in an article on the nation's strictest states on speeding that speeding-related crashes cost the country over $40 billion each year. As dangerous as this driving habit may be, speeding tickets also cost drivers in a number of ways, placing many in difficult financial situations. Delaware takes the lead in strictest speeding and reckless driving laws, with Virginia following closely behind, but WalletHub reveals that the Mother of States ranked first when it came to speeding enforcement. In fact, the financial resource goes on to note that drivers in most states could face serious penalties with enough accumulated traffic offenses. 

Health and field sobriety tests

People in Virginia who are arrested for driving under the influence offenses after supposedly failing one or more of the field sobriety tests used by officers should know that these tests are not 100-percent accurate. According to FieldSobrietyTests.org, the individual accuracy rates of these three tests ranges from a high of only 77 percent to a low of 65 percent.

Among the factors that may inhibit a person from successfully passing these tests is a person's health. The ability to balance perfectly is one factor evaluated in two of the tests, the walk-and turn test and the one-leg stand test. A person who is heavy naturally can have a harder time balancing properly than can a slim person. Ear infections or other issues in the inner ear canal are known to interfere with balance. Any injury or medical condition involving the back, hips or the joints or soft tissue of the lower limbs may also make passing these tests all but impossible.

Your approach to a DUI checkpoint can save you trouble

The way you approach a DUI checkpoint can be the difference between continuing your journey without trouble, and finding yourself charged with a serious crime.

If you have never gone through a DUI checkpoint in the past, you may have some questions about how to act, what to say and what to expect. As nerve-wracking as it may be, with the right guidance, you'll know exactly what you should and shouldn't do.

Post-DUI job hunting

Despite the fact that a strong public stereotype continues to exist about the type of people who are arrested for drunk driving, the fact of the matter is that many very responsible people find themselves in this situation in Virginia every year. From doctors to lawyers to teachers and more, an arrest or conviction for driving under the influence has happened to more people than many might think.

Regardless of one's line of work or profession, when it comes time to look for a new job with a DUI on a record, it is reasonable for applicants to be nervous. Background checks are now part and parcel of pretty much every application and hiring process and some worry that a drunk driving arrest or conviction might actually bar them from getting the job they really want and may even need.

Substance violations and CDLs in Virginia

If you hold a commercial driving license in Virginia, you know that there are several responsibilities associated with this special type of operating license. In some cases, you are actually held to a higher standard than is someone who holds a standard personal driving license. One example is when it comes to impaired driving offenses.

As explained by the State of Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, most people can be convicted of driving under the influence offenses if they have a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or more. For people with commercial drivers' licenses, however, that threshold is much lower at 0.04 percent. You can actually lose your right to drive commercially if you have a BAC of 0.04 percent or more.

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