Moving with the tech times, the Virginia State Police recently announced the launching of a new smart phone app—one that will allow citizens to report crime tips directly from their phone. Called “See Something. Send Something,” the police are hoping the app will turn neighbor against neighbor and leave them looking like the good guys. [Read more…]
What do you do when you believe someone is trying to break into your house? Call the police. And that’s exactly what 83-year old Delma Towler did when she suspected a burglary at her Altavista home late one night a few weeks ago. What happened when the officer responded was a tragic and disturbing incident that is still not fully explained. [Read more…]
When you “spin” a news story, you tweak it to have a subjective point of view—to have a muted and often undetectable bias. Mainstream media does it all the time, despite high quality journalism supposedly being objective and unbiased. But now cops are getting in on the action. At a recent conference in Richmond, police agencies from around the country sent representatives to learn how best to use media to their advantage.
The event was hosted by the Richmond Police Department and was a three-day conference. According to the Times-Dispatch, the cops were there to learn the “tricks” of the trade and “how to put their own spin on the news they create.” (Notice, they aren’t there to learn how to relay facts or report the news, but to create and manipulate the news.) [Read more…]
While few police stops are quite that exciting or dramatic, a recent attempted police stop resulted in a police chase in Augusta County, by vehicle and on foot, resulting in an overturned vehicle and minor injuries for the defendant, and a trip to the Middle River jail.
The news report at NewsLeader.com doesn’t say why the police were originally attempting to pull over Trevis H. Johnson, 28, of Charlottesville, but he was later charged with reckless driving, drug possession, and eluding police.
Typical police stops for reckless driving, the likely cause for the original police attention to the defendant, result in a criminal citation for a Class 1 misdemeanor. This charge is a serious offense, but there are often opportunities to challenge a criminal reckless charge in VA courts.
Reckless driving is a surprisingly standard and common offense in Virginia. Even though it is a criminal charge – a Class 1 Misdemeanor, the same as a DUI – it is very easy for the average person to get arrested and charged with reckless driving.
Hampton Roads.com reports that DUI arrests over this past holiday weekend were up over previous years, while the number of highways deaths was down.
Virginia State police have announced increased police patrols and presence on the highways from now until the end of the holiday weekend.
As reported in the Washington Post, the Virginia State Police have been stepping up weekend traffic patrols. They are aggressively targeting and enforcing speeding laws, and have made hundreds of arrests for reckless driving, DUI, and drug possession, as well as thousands of citations for speeding and sear belt violations.
Civilians aren’t the only ones making reckless decisions over the holidays. A Virginia Beach police officer has been charged with DUI and hit and run after an incident on December 26th.
Officer Stephane Prevot was arrested after hitting a neighbor’s mailbox that evening and was found to be under the influence of alcohol and presumably over the .08% legal limit. The department isn’t saying much at the time of this report, however.
Per regulation, Prevot has been placed on administrative leave pending further decisions. Officer Prevot has been with the department for nearly 5 years, according to the Virginian Pilot.
This is the second Va. Beach officer to face such charges this year. Officer Bryan Womble was charged with hit and run and DUI back in June. In typical fashion, he was sentenced to a short jail stint, license suspension, drug and alcohol awareness classes, and the installation of an ignition interlock device in his vehicle.
Offenses like DUI and Hit and Run apply to everyone. While it may seem like people in power get an easier shake when it comes to the law, many high ranking people charged with crimes like this end up serving a similar sentence as you or I would.
When it comes to a first offense DUI, Virginia law states you can be sentenced to a maximum of 1 year in jail and $2500 in fines. In addition, you face a driver’s license suspension lasting a year and mandatory alcohol safety classes. Depending on the circumstance of your case and your blood alcohol level, you may also be required to use an ignition interlock device when you license is reinstated.
As your DUI convictions add up, so do the penalties. Sentences get progressively worse if you have a criminal history. Knowing what type of penalty you face for your charges can be sobering but also allows you to focus on your case.
If you are facing DUI charges in Virginia, you need the assistance of an experienced local DUI attorney. As your attorney, we can challenge the reason you were stopped, challenge how the police handled your arrest, and even potentially challenge the breath test results.
Contact me today to discuss how we can move forward with your case. You need someone acting in your defense when you go before the judge.