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Fairfax Virginia Legal Blog

Why property crimes increase during the winter

A lot of factors influence criminal activity, including poverty, social status, police policy and family conditions. However, there is one contributor to the crime rate that may come as a surprise: weather. There are different trends in criminal behavior depending on the season.

While crimes against people are more prevalent in the summer, property crimes actually spike during the winter. Common property crimes during the winter season include the following:

  • Motor vehicle theft
  • Burglary
  • Shoplifting

Overweight truck citations in Virginia

Everyone who drives a commercial truck knows how important it is to stay within weight restrictions when they make their runs. Thousands of citations are handed out each year for tractor-trailers being overloaded. These citations create major problems for all involved, from the driver, to the transportation company to the client expecting the delivery.

Virginia levies heavy fines to any commercial truck found to be over the allowed weight. According to the Virginia DMV, these fines can range from one cent per pound a payload is over, to 35 cents per pound, and may be further compounded by being doubled or tripled depending on how far over the limit the vehicle is.

Battery penalties may depend on occupation of victim

If tensions break out into a barroom brawl, defendants may face simple disorderly conduct charges or they could face assault and battery charges, depending on the severity of the case. Even popular female rap artist, Cardi B, was recently charged with assault and endangerment after getting into a fight at a club.

In Virginia, knowing the occupation of the person you assault could cause heightened penalties in an assault or battery case.

If you work while you have a disability, SSDI may award you

If you qualify for benefits with Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), you receive government support for your disability or blindness. The program allows you to focus on maintaining your health while United States’ workers’ contributions provide you money to sustain yourself.

If you choose to work, although you suffer from a disability, you may prove eligible for work incentives through the SSDI program. Essentially, the government will continue to aid in your financial well being, all while you work part-time or full-time. The SSDI work incentives program works to help individuals have a sense of positive responsibility and the feeling of contribution by holding a job, but the program still provides benefits.

Drunk driving accidents rise in August and September

A recent study found that the end of summer is the most dangerous time of the year, in relation to intoxicated drivers being on the road. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), August is the deadliest month of the year, followed closely by September and July.

As August and September are on the horizon, it may be wise to use extra caution when deciding when to drive after having a drink.

A connection between team rivalry and criminal activity

Watching professional sports teams like the Washington Redskins proves both exciting and excruciating. Fans from across the country gather to view men battle for trophies and high honor. If you root for the winning team, and they win, you've won. If they lose, you lose.

Perhaps the camaraderie between sports players and fans is what causes men and women to commit crimes on game day. Serious offenses land fans ticketed, injured or even in jail.

The importance of expungements in criminal matters

The furor over the arrest of two African-American men sitting in a Philadelphia Starbucks was yet another example of the racial disparity in America. Hardly anyone expected that they would be asked to leave without creating a disturbance, let alone be arrested for trespassing. Yet they were taken away in handcuffs in a very public manner.

After Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson came to Philadelphia to apologize directly to Donte Robinson and Rashon Nelson, media coverage focused on whether there would be a civil rights lawsuit initiated against the popular coffee shop chain. Instead, the two men reportedly reached settlements with both Starbucks and the Philadelphia Police Department.

Even when innocent, an arrest may create lasting problems

Pretty much everyone has seen mugshots used outside of a police station. It only takes a trip to the gas station or grocery store to see a tabloid with a less-than-glamorous photo of a celebrity at their lowest on the front of a tabloid. Mugshots capture the moment of arrest, but they don’t go away after the fact. Just like the dejected celebrity mugshots, anyone who has been arrested has a mugshot that may come back to haunt them.

College students: Don't make these mistakes on spring break

College students look forward to spring break all year. It is a time to unwind from the stress and demands of school and it gives people the rest they need to make it through the end of the school year.

That being said, it is also a time when destinations are flooded with students who might be unfamiliar with the area and drinking, using drugs and engaging in sexual activity. This can be a recipe for disaster and many students wind up arrested and facing criminal charges during spring break. If you are a student, then you should avoid the following mistakes on spring break, whether you stay here in Virginia or head elsewhere.

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