DUI in Virginia When You are “Under the Legal Limit” (BAC .08%)

It is fairly common knowledge in Virginia that the state’s “legal limit” for blood alcohol level (BAC) is .08%, meaning that a person who operates a vehicle with a BAC of .08% can be charged with a DUI. The internet is full of BAC calculators that give you an approximation of what your BAC would be based on drinks consumed in a given time and your weight, and you can even purchase personal breathalyzers which can Read More

Can the Police Arrest Me if I Refuse to Answer Their Questions?

When a police officer is staring you down with a list of questions - whether in a traffic stop, at your front door, or out in public - it can be hard to know what your rights are. You might have some sense that you do have rights, based on cop and lawyer shows you might have seen or news articles, but trying to figure those rights out in the moment and assert them is a challenge. One of the most well-known rights is Read More

Do I Have to Submit to a DUI Breathalyzer Test in Virginia?

Breathalyzers have only been around for a handful of decades, but they are now so ubiquitous that law enforcement agencies everywhere regularly use them and breathalyzer results can almost seem like an integral part of any DUI prosecution (note: they are not). Which has raised several issues, including whether it is constitutional to require a driver to submit to a breathalyzer test and whether refusing to submit to Read More

Is There a Duty to Retreat Under Virginia Criminal Law?

One of the perennially controversial topics in criminal law - and one that we still see discussed vigorously today - is about the so-called “duty to retreat,” which deals with the question of when an otherwise criminal act of violence is justified by self-defense. Different states have different approaches, with some states employing the duty to retreat approach, which means a defendant cannot successfully assert Read More

Why Sorority/Fraternity Hazing Can Land You in Jail in Virginia

Virginia has a long, rich history of higher education, and many of the nation’s oldest fraternities and sororities began right here in our state. Indeed, the very first Greek organization in the United States was started at the College of William and Mary when Phi Beta Kappa was founded in 1776, the year of our country’s birth. Initiation rites for sororities and fraternities have a rich (if largely secret) history Read More

Can You Be Charged With a DUI/DWI For Drugs?

There is much confusion out there surrounding DUI/DWI laws, which is due in part to the fact that drunk driving laws are set in place by state law, so what might apply in Texas or California does not necessarily apply in Virginia. And while many states do enforce DUI laws that make it a crime to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level (BAC) of .08% or higher, there are other situations in which a police Read More

When do the Police Have to “Read Me My Rights?”

We’ve all seen it in countless movies and police TV shows: that dramatic moment when the detective tells the suspect, “You have the right to remain silent…” But it can be confusing for the viewer to know when and why this occurs, and whether the actor is reading the other actor his rights because it is the legally accurate time for that to happen or if it just makes for a good cliffhanger to lead to the commercial Read More

When Do I Have a Right to an Attorney in a Virginia Criminal Investigation?

Being under criminal investigation is one of the scariest ordeals you may ever have to go through, and, no matter how many detective shows you’ve watched on TV, facing the questions of police officers, detectives, agents, and other members of law enforcement can leave you confused, shaken, and not sure where to turn. One of the biggest mistakes that people under criminal investigation make is believing that talking Read More

Does Asking For A Lawyer Make Me Look Guilty?

When you are approached by law enforcement - either in the form of local police or state or federal investigators and prosecutors - to speak about matters you or may or may not have been involved in, you might try to remember all the things you’ve heard about your constitutional rights as they are often described in television shows and movies. You might recall that police are required to read you your Miranda rights Read More