When you are a vocal critic of the system, you’re bound to ruffle feathers. And when your critiques involve veiled threats or weapons, you could become a target. One Virginia-area activist, who has most recently taken on gun rights, found out again that the government doesn’t take too kindly to direct challenges when his home was raided by a federal SWAT team recently.
A criminal record in the age of easy background checks can prevent you from getting the job you want being a productive member of society decades after the incident. In this harrowing story, a woman who paid here debt to society and by any reasonable standard is no threat or danger to anyone, despite a serious crime (bank robbery) in her past is denied the chance to work in a job where she can help people.
Many employers and state licensing boards will reject out of hand anyone with a criminal record, even for a minor incident.
Virginia in particular is ranked one of the worst states in allowing people with criminal records to function and prosper in terms of employment opportunities, as well as take advantage of the social safety net or public housing, public assistance, and more.
These are important things to consider before pleading guilty to any criminal charge. The implications of accepting a conviction could haunt you for the rest of your life. You need to make sure you have considered every possible criminal legal defense option that has a chance to keep your record clean and beat the charges.
Please contact us for a criminal defense consultation on any charge in Manassas/Northern Virginia, Richmond, Virginia Beach, or elsewhere in Virginia.
Interesting article on issues of overcrowding in the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail and the larger implications of the criminal justice system in Virginia.
- Expansion of the jail does not seem like a reasonable solution, either for costs to the state of Virginia, or for the best interests of those convicted of criminal charge.
- Better treatment programs for those with drug addiction or mental illness makes a lot of sense. People who are serving time for non-violent drug charges would be far better served by treating the problem rather than merely punishing people at great cost and with little benefit. Mental health problems are another complicated matter, but it is widely known that jails in Virginia are full of people who would have been in institutions & getting mental heath treatment a few decades back.
- It makes little sense to put people in jail merely because they are intoxicated. The local options may be limited, but it certainly makes more sense to expand facilities to handle public drunkenness problems with a less costly and simpler solution.
- It makes little sense that Virginia doesn’t take credit cards as a means of covering bail. It is a simple, practical solution to the fact that most people don’t carry much cash anymore. If it streamlines the process and saves, time, and jail space for an overnight stay, that seems like an easy fix.
- The article states that some inmates stay in jail longer than their sentences merely because it takes a long time to process their release paperwork. No doubt additional clerical staff will ultimately save money for the system.
It is certainly a positive step that jail administrators and Virginia criminal justice experts are willing to examine these problems and work towards practical and cost effective solutions that enhance both the safety and pocketbooks of Virginia citizens at large.
If you are facing a criminal charge in Virginia, contact our defense attorney for a free legal consultation on your options and what we can do to help.
Interesting study on drug possession charges, penalties, and rates of incarceration for drug arrests in Virginia Beach.
Virginia is listed as the state with the greatest disparity between likelihood of prison for drug crimes – over 13 times greater for black defendants than white defendants for similar crimes.
Possible reasons for this huge difference could be emphasis on enforcement in predominantly African American areas, and poorer access to quality legal representation in defending the charges.
If you are facing a drug possession charge in Virginia Beach or anywhere in the state, please contact us for a criminal defense consultation on how we can help defend you and challenge the state against unfair charges.
Your Virginia driver’s license will be changing in the years to come. Virginia is adopting tougher standards to comply with the national Real ID act. The new licenses will be considerably more tamper proof, with laser engraving, micro filaments, and other measures to make them much more difficult to duplicate.
One of the significant hassles to come with this changeover will be that everyone will be required to renew their driver’s license in person. You will have to provide documentation to prove your legal residency, and those documents will be scanned and saved. Documents will be checked for authenticity with various agencies, and as a result, you won’t get a new driver’s license on the spot anymore – it will be sent to you through the mail.
Anyone under 50 years of age in 2014 will have to have completed the switchover by then. Older drivers will have until 2017.
For issues regarding suspended driver’s licenses in Virginia, see our main site.
According to news reports, Virginians are applying for concealed weapons permits at a rate 60% greater than the previous year.
Virginia is considered one of the most lenient states in the nation when it comes to gun laws, for both gun purchases and permits. Under Virginia law, you may apply for and be granted a license to carry a concealed handgun if you:
- Are 21 years old
- Have completed safety training
- Pass a criminal background check
- do not have any outstanding restraining orders
- do not have a drug abuse problem
Virginia is one of the few states that does not require a reason to get a concealed carry permit, and no judge can deny you a permit. For example, as mentioned in the article, even if you have been known to threaten a spouse or someone else, you cannot be denied a gun permit for that reason.
However, you may still be subject to criminal gun charges if you violate any of the above conditions in the future.
Virginia’s harsh abusive driver fees that added heavy fines to many driving offenses are expected to be repealed by the legislature. The fees which went into effect in 2006, were heavily criticized as punitive, and purely enacted to increase state revenue fees for reckless driving citations, DUIs, and other criminal misdemeanor traffic related offenses.
Citizen activism and outrage throughout Virginia is believed to have played a huge part in the removal of these fees. Virginia already had some of the toughest reckless driving laws in the nation, but now with the repeal of these fees, the “$3000 speeding ticket” should now be a thing of the past.
2/29/08 – Senate bill on increased penalties for DUI offenders 18 and under moves to full Senate for vote. Bill to require interlock devices for a first offense drunk driving conviction delayed in committee
Update: Is this bill dead?. Details here.
Update2: No, it was revived and made it out of the Senate committee to go to the full Senate for a vote and passage.