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Fairfax Virginia Legal Blog

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.

How damaging is an underage DUI charge?

When your loved one has made the mistake of drinking while driving, especially as a minor, you can be in for a difficult legal ordeal. Ronald E. Smith, PC, is here to ensure that you get the criminal defense you deserve, since minors facing DUI-related charges can be in for some hefty penalties if convicted.

As you likely are aware, juvenile DUI-related crimes and charges are taken very seriously regardless of where you live. They also come with more severe penalties than DUI-related charges tied to those of legal drinking age. In many states, a minor who is caught drinking and driving can actually have their license suspended even if it is their first offense.

Man accused of multiple sex crimes

It may feel to people in Virginia that virtually every day lately there are new reports made detailing allegations of some form of sexual misconduct made against different men. Many of these allegations involve very famous persons in the entertaininment or media industries. Other such cases, however, involve individuals not in such high-profile or public professions.

A Virginia man is today in custody without bail after being arrested for and charged with multiple sex crimes. Public reports thus far have provided very few details of the case which make it very difficult for the defendant to look anything other than guilty to those who get only the few nuggets thus far provided. What is known is that the man was a physician and worked at a pain management clinic in Albermarle.

Differences between SSD and SSI

People in Virginia who experience a disability or blindness that results in their inability to work and earn a living need to understand their options for financial assistance. Worker's compensation benefits may be available in some situations such as if a disability is related to an accident that happened at work. However, when these benefits are not options, people might be able to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance program benefits and possibly even benefits under the Supplemental Security Income program.

As explained by the Social Security Administration, both of these programs are designed to help people who are blind or disabled. The Supplemental Security Income program also provides benefits to people who are elderly and meet the requirements. However, there are important differences between them. Some people may qualify for benefits under both programs simultaneously but it is also highly possible that they meet the criteria for one program only.

Is the walking field sobriety test accurate?

Virginia has clear laws on drunk driving and what may lead to a person being charged with an impaired driving offense. However, it is important for you to know that even with laws in place, there are still potential problems associated with the field sobriety tests often used as part of a drunk driving investigation and arrest.

According to, none of the three standardized roadside tests administered before a person may be arrested for impaired driving are fully accurate in all cases. One of these tests, the walk and turn test, has a stated accuracy rate of only 66 percent. Multiple things could contribute to this test not returning fully accurate results.

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