The Law Office of Robert D. Anderson, PLLCFormer Chief Prosecutor Of Loudoun County
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July 2018 Archives

The argument in favor of reducing drug possession charges

In Virginia and across the nation, the criminal justice system is stacked against defendants who are convicted of drug possession offenses. The outcomes of felony drug convictions are often more severe than just prison sentences, fines and supervised release; there is also a socioeconomic stigma that interferes with future job opportunities as well as obtaining educational and healthcare benefits.

3 people taken into custody for drug possession

Two men and a woman are facing drug charges after an officer was sent to Black Diamond Market in Lee County, Virginia. The officer approached an ATV and smelled marijuana, which prompted a search of the vehicle. According to the officer, the search turned up 27 grams of methamphetamine, and one of the men ate methamphetamine hoping to destroy evidence. The search also yielded two handguns, marijuana and some scales.

Underage DUI laws impose a zero-tolerance approach

For drivers in Virginia, DUI charges can be serious at any age. However, they can be at their most severe for people who are arrested and charged with underage DUI. For people who are legally driving but not yet legally drinking because they are under the age of 21, DUI charges can be leveled even when the driver is under the legal limit of 0.08 percent BAC. Drivers with alcohol in their systems under the age of 21 are subject to a different legal regime that can put their driving privileges at risk.

Cellphone location information receives greater protection

People in Virginia could have greater privacy protections after a U.S. Supreme Court decision requiring law enforcement agencies to obtain a warrant in order to access location information for a person's cellphone. The June 2018 decision is based on the Fourth Amendment, protecting people's rights to be free of warrantless search and seizure. There have been a variety of mixed rulings on how the Fourth Amendment applies to modern technologies, but experts say that this ruling could be among the most significant.

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