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Fairfax Criminal Defense Law Blog

Youths often financially burdened by the juvenile justice system

When you think of juvenile courts, you probably think of courts that are only there to punish juveniles and then let them go on their way. Interestingly, these juveniles who go through the system are responsible for paying court costs and other expenses. That leaves some juveniles in jail even longer because they can't pay what they owe.

Some juveniles who are in the system are ordered to pay restitution. Those who remain in the custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice must also pay for their support while they are completing their sentences.

What should I know about impaired driving in Virginia?

Impaired driving is a very serious problem throughout this nation, and Virginia isn't an exception to that. When you think of impaired driving, you can't think about only alcohol these days. Instead, you have to think about alcohol and drugs. Essentially, you would have to include anything that could alter your ability to drive in a safe manner when you think about impaired driving.

What is BAC?

From start to finish, we are here to stand up for your rights

Whether you are charged with an attempted crime, which we discussed last week, or a crime that was completed, you need to understand what your rights are and what options you have. When you are first arrested, you were likely read your Miranda rights. Making sure that you understand those and invoke them is crucial. You don't want to answer questions by detectives or police officers that might lead to self-incrimination.

We know that you might be nervous or even angry when dealing with the police officers. That is one reason why we need to be present when you are dealing with them. Your emotions are probably on overdrive, and we need to help you understand how specific answers and actions might impact your defense options.

Attempt: Criminal charges for a failed criminal act

If you are trying to commit a crime and don't actually get to commit that crime, you might still face criminal charges for an attempted crime. Even though the charge that you face might not seem as serious as what was possible if you were successful in the commission of the crime, there is still a chance that you could face significant penalties and consequences if you are convicted.

When it comes to attempted crime charges, the prosecution has to show that you had the intent to commit the crime. Think about this one -- you shoot at a rival gang member and the bullet hits that person in the shoulder. The person lives, but you are now facing attempted murder charges. The prosecution would have to show that your shot at that person was made in an effort to kill the person.

Find out the options for dealing with a juvenile justice case

As we discussed last week, juvenile justice cases are cries for help and not always cause for punishment. There are many misguided youth in our world. We know that as the parent of a child who is facing the juvenile justice system, you might be concerned about what is going to happen and how it will affect your child. That is totally understandable.

We know that for people who aren't familiar with the juvenile justice system, being thrust into the system can be frightening and confusing. We can help you to understand what is happening and what options are possible throughout the case.

Juveniles need help, not more problems

It is often said that juveniles who enter into the juvenile justice system are actually crying out for help. Getting this help should be a goal of the juvenile justice system, but some youthful offenders might not see it that way. The fact remains that it can be difficult for the current system to come up with suitable answers to all of the issues that lead kids to get introduced into the system in the first place.

The individual but vast differences between juveniles mean that what works for one juvenile might not work for another one even if both are charged with similar offenses. It is important to look at the underlying causes that can signal a juvenile in crisis. This might be a drug addiction or the gang life. If the underlying cause of the juvenile's issues can be addressed, there is a better chance that the rehabilitation will be successful.

Habitual offender DUIs can lead to harsh consequences

Facing drunk driving charges is hard to do, but the difficulty increases when you are facing subsequent charges after being previously convicted. Having multiple DUI convictions can end up meaning that you are labeled as a habitual offender. Understanding what this means and how it will affect you might have an impact on the effort you are going to put into your defense.

In order to be labeled as a habitual offender, you have to be convicted of violating specific laws a certain number of times within a certain period of time. If the court labels you as a habitual offender, you can face some very serious consequences.

Know options for dealing with drug charges in Virginia

You can probably remember the feeling you got the first time that you did your drug of choice. Now, you are facing criminal charges from an addiction that stemmed from your desire to replicate that feeling. You probably don't think that your entire future should hinge on a criminal case when all you need is the chance to get clean and walk on the right path again.

We know that facing drug charges because you have an addiction is something that can make your life horrible. The stress of the charges might push you back toward the drugs, but the bail on which you are out of jail might not allow you to have drugs or alcohol. While we can't take the stress or difficulties away, we can help you to learn about the options you have for handling your drug case.

What are some juvenile justice terms?

The Virginia juvenile justice system is one that is meant to help minors who are heading down the wrong road. There are some points in the juvenile system that differ from the adult criminal justice system that many people are familiar with. Learning some of the terminology that you might encounter can help you to better understand what is going on as the case moves forward.

How do status offenders and delinquents differ?

Resolution of case may lead to reinstatement of football players

Two suspended Virginia Tech football players might get to be reinstated to the team soon because of the resolution of criminal justice cases against the men. The two were suspended indefinitely after being arrested following the Hokies' annual spring game in April.

The two men were charged with possession of marijuana. One man was also facing a charge for underage possession of alcohol, but that charge was ultimately dismissed. Both men were sentenced to a diversion program in which they must each complete 24 hours of community service and 12 months on probation. If they successfully complete the sentence, the charge against each of them will be dismissed.

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