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Roanoke Virginia Criminal Defense Law Blog

Virginia driver accused of DUI after accident with state trooper

Most drivers in Virginia are committed to safety, including observing all traffic laws and abstaining from drinking alcohol before getting behind the wheel of a vehicle. Unfortunately, even the safest, most vigilant drivers can sometimes make an error in judgment, such as allowing their vehicle to drift out of the lanes of traffic on an interstate. While this is a relatively minor error and easily correctable, there can be complications if there is a vehicle on the shoulder of the road. Despite the ease of which an incident such as this can occur, police accused a driver of DUI following a similar incident.

The accident that led to the 32-year-old man's arrest reportedly happened at approximately 4 a.m. on a day in late July. According to reports, a police officer was attempting to complete a crash investigation. Police say that a vehicle ran off the interstate and struck the state trooper's vehicle.

Don't submit to field sobriety tests

You're driving home after enjoying happy hour with the gang from work when you see those dreaded blue lights in your rearview mirror. You immediately regret that round of shooters or extra margarita that you let yourself get talked into.

Before you can formulate a plan of action, the cop is tapping his flashlight on your window. When you roll it down, he says he pulled you over on suspicion of drunk driving and wants you to perform some roadside field sobriety tests.

Roanoke teen pleads guilty to reckless driving

The loss of a close friend or loved one is a devastating event. However, someone who is accused of being involved in causing the loss of someone he or she loved will likely have even more difficulty coping with such a tragedy. In fact, a teenager in Virginia was recently sentenced to 12 months in prison for reckless driving following a fatal accident.

The incident happened in May 2019. Prosecutors say that a 19-year-old male was driving his father's pickup truck with three passengers. The driver allegedly took a sharp turn at an intersection, causing the vehicle to overturn.

Expungements Q and A

When convicted of a crime, there is nothing wrong with wanting to clear one's record or ensure it is sealed. Having a conviction set aside can change one's life for the better. This week's column will address a few common questions many people have before deciding whether to pursue expungements in the state of Virginia.

Question number one: Who is eligible to receive an expungement? The courts look at various factors to determine if one is eligible to have one's record expunged. These factors include the details of the crime, when the crime occurred and one's previous criminal history. Ultimately, a judge will get to decide if one is eligible to receive an expungement.

Driver responsible for crash with injuries charged with DUI

Police in Virginia recently arrested a woman they claim was impaired when she crashed her vehicle, leaving at least one person with injuries. This event occurred on the evening of June 27 in Franklin county. Outside of the DUI charge, it is unclear if any other charges are pending in this case.

According to reports, shortly after 7:45 p.m., police and rescue teams were called to an accident on Riverwood Road. When they arrived, they found a sedan with several occupants in the Smith River. One passenger had to be extricated from the vehicle and was transported via air-lift to a medical facility for the treatment of unspecified injuries. Thankfully, this individual is expected to recover.

Handheld cellphone use now traffic violation in Virginia

There are multiple different distractions that can occur while driving. For some, simply talking with a passenger or reaching for a dropped item could result in a car accident. However, Virginia legislators have recently turned their attention to handheld cell phoneuse. Gov. Northam recently signed a bill that makes such use while driving a traffic violation.

The bill makes using handheld cellphones while driving a primary offense, allowing police to stop drivers who they see on their phones. A first offense is a $125 fine with a second offense resulting in a $250 fine. Handheld use while in a construction zone is also a $250 fine. Though the new law is technically in effect currently, it will not be enforced until Jan. 2021 to allow time to educate the public. Drivers may still use voice-activated services such as Siri. 

Traffic violations: July brings new laws for Virginia drivers

The intent of most traffic laws is to ensure the safety of those using the roadways, whether that is as a pedestrian or motorist. Unfortunately, some people may find themselves facing traffic violations if they are unaware of the laws. In some cases, certain actions that may result in charges may have been misconstrued or misrepresented.

Several new rules went into effect in Virginia in July with various potential consequences for those accused of breaking them. First, House Bill 885/Senate Bill 63 calls for an additional $100 in fines for those driving between 81 and 85 mph in a 65 mph speed zone. As a result of Senate Bill 437, a driver who causes serious injury to a vulnerable user of the road due to careless or distracted behavior now faces a Class 1 misdemeanor; a vulnerable user includes pedestrians, those on roller skates and bicyclists, among others.

Can felons in Virginia regain their right to bear arms?

Roanoke residents with felony convictions on their records should realize that there is a path available to them to regain their Second Amendment rights to bear arms.

Felons with federal convictions still must seek and obtain presidential pardons in order to have their rights to bear arms restored. But the process is not quite that difficult on the state level.

Reckless driving charge after fatal Virginia motorcycle accident

There are a variety of different types of motor vehicles that are legally allowed to be used on Virginia roadways. However, some vehicles -- such as motorcycles -- may be more difficult for other drivers to see due to their smaller size, especially at night. Unfortunately, a woman now faces a reckless driving charge after she was reportedly involved in an accident that resulted in the death of a motorcyclist.

The accident happened at approximately 11 p.m. on a night in late June. According to reports, a driver was headed north when she attempted to make a left turn. Unfortunately, police say that the woman turned into the path of a motorcyclist who was traveling in the southbound lanes of the same road.

Reckless driving charge filed in fatal Virginia accident

Even the most well-maintained vehicles can experience malfunctions that can have severe consequences. Despite this, police in Virginia apparently believe that a fatal motor vehicle accident in Virginia was caused by a failure to maintain a vehicle. As a result, a man now faces a charge of reckless driving.

The incident that led to the charge against the man reportedly happened during the afternoon hours of a day in late April. Investigators recently obtained an arrest warrant following the completion of an investigation; law enforcement officials claim that they discovered multiple defects in the pickup truck that caused the accident. The defendant reportedly turned himself in soon afterward.

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