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Leesburg Criminal Law Blog

Defining reckless driving in Virginia

Under Virginia law, reckless driving may be considered either a misdemeanor or felony offense. In most cases, it will stay on a driver's DMV record for 11 years. The one exception is a reckless driving offense involving a person going 20 miles per hour or more above a posted speed limit, which stays on a person's DMV record for five years.

There are many different reasons why a person may be cited for reckless driving in the state. For instance, if a person is driving in excess of 80 miles per hour or too fast for road conditions, he or she may be charged with reckless driving. The same may be true of anyone who decides to pass an emergency vehicle or a school bus. Passing at the crest of a hill or at a railroad crossing may also be considered reckless in the state of Virginia.

Actor's daughter faces DUI charge

Virginia residents may have heard that the daughter of actor David Hasselhoff was taken into custody for drunk driving on May 13. According to authorities, she was driving on Highway 101 when her car came to a full stop at the Fallbrook off-ramp at about 4 a.m. When police arrived at the scene, she was passed out behind the wheel with her foot on the brake.

Police managed to wake her up and take control of the vehicle. She performed poorly on a sobriety test before being taken into custody. After a stop at an area hospital for evaluation, the actor's daughter was taken to jail. There was no information as to whether she was allowed to post bail or if she was still in custody.

Virginia elementary school teacher charged with DUI

A 55-year-old Virginia elementary school teacher has been placed on administrative leave and faces a raft of charges including drunk driving, resisting arrest and four counts of assault due to an incident in Kingsport on the afternoon of April 28. Reports indicate that the woman turned herself in after being released from a local hospital. Police say that she was sedated and hospitalized after being taken into custody.

Kingsport police say that they received a call about a possible drunk driver on the John B. Dennis Highway at about 5:20 p.m. At about the same time, Sullivan County paramedics say they were informed about a driver who appeared to be passed out in their car in the vicinity of the John B. Dennis Highway. Paramedics say that the woman drove away when they approached, but they were able to catch up to her at a nearby car wash.

Two arrested in drug raid

Two women were arrested following a drug raid in Bristol on May 1. According to police, a search warrant was obtained for a residence located on the 400 block of Lee Street. At approximately 9:30 p.m., police officers set off flash bangs to create a distraction while officers entered the home.

Right before 11 p.m., BVPD SWAT members who were on the scene informed reporters that two individuals were arrested and at least one of the charges was related to drugs. At the time, SWAT stated that a significant amount of evidence was still being collected from the scene.

Virginia teen threatens school massacre

A 17-year-old Virginia student has been taken into custody on weapons charges for allegedly threatening an attack on his school on what would have been the anniversary of the Columbine High School attack. According to an affidavit, a 16-year-old classmate said the older student had spoken about the Columbine attack several times throughout the school year.

April 20 was the 18th anniversary of the attack. The older student told the younger one that he had ordered explosives. He also described what kind of guns he would use and said he would "make Columbine look like a joke."

Preventing fatalities with ignition interlock devices

Virginia drivers who are convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol are required to place an ignition interlock device on their vehicles. However, this is not the case in every state. In some states, the device is only mandatory if a person's blood alcohol is above a certain level, if there is a second offense or at the judge's discretion. In the first study to look at all 50 states and the effect of ignition interlock devices on alcohol-related motor vehicle fatalities, researchers reported a 7 percent decrease in crashes and estimate around 1,250 lives have been saved since the first mandatory laws were passed in 1993.

The study used data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and compared fatalities with state laws about ignition interlock devices. Researchers controlled for general crash trends and other safety laws. The period examined was from 1982 to 2013. With just over half of states requiring ignition interlock devices, researchers expressed hope that the data showing a connection between their mandatory installation and a drop in crashes might encourage more states to follow suit.

Combatting hacking by the government

The use of hacking by federal law enforcement agents to gather evidence has been increasing. However, attorneys who practice criminal defense law in Virginia and the rest of the country now have strategies for challenging the surveillance technique used to obtain the evidence and to make the evidence inadmissible in court.

Attorneys at the American Civil Liberties Union, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers have issued a report that describes how law enforcement hacking can be fought. The report is intended to provide attorneys with the information they need to provide their clients with a vigorous defense and to make sure that any hacking conducted by law enforcement is in accordance with the Constitution and applicable statutes.

How a criminal record can influence your life

Whether it is a simple misdemeanor or a complicated felony, there is more to fear from criminal charges than just jail time or a fine. The reality is that a blemish on your record can affect your life well into the future, even after you put the mistake behind you.

A criminal record can affect your chances of getting a job, may stop you from getting loans to go to college and can even show up when a landlord runs your background check before renting you a place to live. To maintain your grip on your future, it is important to keep your record as clean as possible.

9 taken into custody in association with drug ring

On April 14, it was reported that several Virginia men were taken into custody after it was alleged that they were involved in a drug ring. The arrests occurred after a month-long investigation that began with a single child abuse complaint. Although a total of nine individuals have been taken into custody, two were still on the run.

The complaint was being investigated in the 100 block of Shelter Cove Way in Carrolton. After authorities served a search warrant, they found what was thought to be a large quantity of cocaine. After obtaining a second search warrant, they reportedly uncovered additional items, including more narcotics. Approximately two kilos of cocaine, seven firearms and $50,000 in cash that was allegedly directly involved in the sale of drugs.

Chris Brown could be charged in federal drug case

Singer and Virginia native Chris Brown could soon face federal drug charges, according to multiple media reports. The hip-hop artist is suspected of wiring $15,000 to a Miami music producer in exchange for illegal drugs.

On April 6, federal authorities announced they had uncovered a $15,000 wire transfer from Brown to music producer Harrison Garcia, who was arrested on drug charges in October. Investigators are now trying to establish whether the money was used to purchase illegal narcotics. Garcia, 26, is accused of running a large pharmaceutical drug ring and selling a lethal cough syrup mix known as "lean" or "sizzurp" to his clients. After his arrest, he allegedly told authorities he sold drugs to Brown and rapper Lil Wayne.

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