A 36-year-old man faces a raft of felony and misdemeanor counts after being taken into custody on April 23 by investigators from a regional drug task force. Media reports indicate that the man is being held without bond at the Middle River Regional Jail. According to a press release from the Augusta County Sheriff's Office, the investigation into the man's alleged activities is ongoing, and more charges could be filed against him.
Police officers have long relied on breath tests to detect alcohol use among drivers. The increasing use of opioids and marijuana, both legal and otherwise, has complicated detection of impaired drivers. Blood testing can detect these drugs, but drawing blood requires a search warrant, unlike a breath test. According to a nonprofit organization based in Virginia, 45 states have laws or court rules that enable the issuance of electronic search warrants by telephone, video or other electronic means.
For many people in Virginia, a false conviction is one of their worst nightmares. The thought of spending years in prison and carrying a felony criminal record despite being innocent is chilling. However, it has also been a reality for far too many people. According to a report from the National Registry of Exonerations, wrongly convicted prisoners lost 1,600 years of life behind bars in 2018 alone. The organization tracks the exoneration of wrongfully convicted people from 1989 moving forward.
People make mistakes in their youth, and, unfortunately, those mistakes can follow them through the years. In the case of someone who faces criminal charges, the ramifications can be quite extensive.
Virginia retailers have strong motivations to keep shoplifters out of their stores, but the increasing use of facial recognition surveillance systems raises concerns about privacy. Stores that deploy the software collect facial data about everyone coming and going from their properties without their consent. Images of shoplifters or alleged shoplifters can be shared among store locations to alert security departments about the potential criminals. As the law stands now, actual criminal convictions would not need to occur for a private business to label a person a threat permanently.
On March 26, a woman who was driving an ice cream truck while drunk was sentenced to six years in prison on a hit-and-run charge. She was also given an additional 10 days for being in contempt of court. The incident occurred on July 15, 2018, which is also known as National Ice Cream Day. At about 6:38 p.m., she hit a vehicle that had three people inside of it.