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Leesburg Criminal Law Blog

Opioids affect Virginians: Here's how

Opioid abuse is a significant problem throughout Virginia. In 2017, 1,241 people died from drug overdoses that involved opioids. That's around 14.8 deaths per 100,000 people, which is just above the national average.

One of the biggest issues is that the number of deaths have been increasing. There was an increase in the number of deaths involving heroin and fentanyl, specifically.

Breathalyzer tests often have weaknesses you can challenge

Receiving a drunk driving charge after failing a Breathalyzer test is a serious matter, and anyone with drunk driving charges should build a strong legal defense to keep their rights secure. Often, drunk driving charges lead to ongoing expenses and can make it difficult or impossible to find and keep a job, or qualify for insurance.

Unfortunately, many people do not realize that Breathalyzers and similar devices all have weaknesses that may impact results. Failing a Breathalyzer test is not an automatic conviction, and it is well worth your while as a defendant to build a strong defense to protect yourself. With careful review of the evidence against you and the circumstances of your arrest, you may find opportunities to challenge the evidence and reduce or dismiss your charges. If you have not begun building your defense, today is the day to start the process.

When is the Miranda warning not required?

"You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you…." We've heard television cops played by everyone from Jack Webb to Ice-T read people their rights for decades. However, when you're the person being detained and questioned by police, you may not be thinking about whether you received your "Miranda warning" or not.

These Miranda rights stem not from the U.S. Constitution, but from a Supreme Court case, Miranda v. Arizona. If a person who's taken in to custodial interrogation, they must be read their rights. If they aren't, their case could be thrown out.

How will a DUI affect you?

A DUI has serious implications for those who are accused. Whether you're 22 and just graduating from college or are in your 50s and looking to advance in your job, getting a DUI could put a hold on all of your plans.

For a soon-to-be college graduate, there are many things that could happen. You might end up suspended or kicked out of your college program. If you require licensing, you may be unable to obtain it. In a worst-case scenario, you could be refused a diploma due to suspension or expulsion and need to find another school to transfer your credits to.

Should you be worried about a DUI charge?

Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is against the law in every state in the U.S. Virginia has penalties that are specific to it, so if you are caught, you may face penalties such as fines or a possible jail sentence.

As someone who has not been in trouble with the law in the past, you need to know that even a first-offense DUI is serious. You need to consider working with your attorney on a defense because failing to do so could lead to significant penalties.

2 teens now facing charges in connection with double homicide

Virginia State Police have announced the arrest of a juvenile in connection with a double homicide last month in Halifax County. The 17-year-old, who lives in Danville, was charged as an accessory after the fact and also faces an obstruction of justice charge.

No name or other details about the teen were provided since they're a minor. Police also didn't say specifically what the teen's alleged involvement in the crime was.

Destruction of property can have serious consequences

Kids and young people may think that graffiti (or "tagging") and otherwise damaging or defacing property is just harmless fun. However, it's illegal. Many state laws refer to it as "vandalism."

Here in Virginia, we have numerous laws regarding destruction of property. Depending on the cost of the damage done and the type of property damaged, charges can be misdemeanors or felonies.

Here's why you should work with a criminal defense attorney

When you're accused of a crime, it's in your best interests to take steps to defend yourself. If you don't, you could face unfair treatment, a bias in court or just make mistakes that hurt your case. Many people don't realize the value that a criminal defense attorney has, but it's important that you do.

Criminal defense attorneys don't just help you build a case against any allegations that you face. They also:

  • Discuss how your case is impacted by local, state or federal law
  • Give you tips on how to act or look in court to give yourself the best chances of success
  • Talk to you about the benefits of a plea deal, if one is possible
  • Discuss possible outcomes

Meth trafficking ring leader sentenced to 30 years in prison

A federal judge has sentenced the leader of a national methamphetamine trafficking ring to 30 years in prison. The ring was reportedly transporting a very pure form of the drug to southwest Virginia.

According to information released by the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Virginia, the defendant was one of dozens of individuals targeted during a 2017 joint law enforcement initiative called Operation California Dreaming, which focused on a cross-country methamphetamine trafficking ring. The operation led to the arrest of 28 people in Virginia, California, Georgia, and Tennessee.

Doctor faces 20 years in prison for opioid prescriptions

A Virginia doctor faces up to 20 years in a federal prison for prescribing powerful medications including Xanax, oxycodone and Adderall to individuals who had no medical need to take the drugs. The 49-year-old Fairfax resident pleaded guilty on March 4 to six counts of illegally distributing controlled substances after entering into a negotiated plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. He is scheduled to be sentenced in May.

During the investigation into the doctor's activities, undercover officers posing as patients allegedly obtained prescriptions for Adderall. The officers say that the doctor did not physically examine them and asked no medical questions. The doctor is also said to have agreed to write prescriptions for extra Adderall for a friend of one of the officers. U.S. attorneys say the doctor also ignored a warning issued by the Food and Drug Administration in 2016 about the overdose risks of prescribing patients both benzodiazepines and opioids.

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