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Should you fight your traffic ticket?

Virginian residents who get a traffic ticket also have the option of deciding whether or not to contest it. While most people do eventually decide to simply pay the ticket, that isn't the path that you have to follow. However, it is your own unique circumstances that will determine whether contesting your ticket is worthwhile.

FindLaw takes a look at the deciding factors that can come into play when you are trying to choose whether or not to contest your traffic ticket. There is a reason most people don't contest the smaller, less serious tickets like those doled out for parking offenses, after all. Many will do this even if they have evidence to prove that they are in the right. This is because taking time off of work to go to court can actually cost you more than the ticket itself.

Harsher DUI penalties in Virginia due to recent law

In February of this year, the Virginia General Assembly passed a bill that imposes harsher penalties on drivers who cause injuries to others while under the influence. The governor of Virginia subsequently signed the bill into law, which means that it took effect as of July 1st. We at Madigan and Scott know that many citizens may become confused when new legislation goes into effect, and we hope that the following explanation will provide the necessary background to help you to understand how the new law may affect you. 

According to WHSV News, a car crash in 2017 that seriously injured a young girl provided the impetus for the bill. Authorities assert that the driver responsible for the crash was under the influence at the time. A delegate to the General Assembly introduced the bill but gives credit to the girl's family for testifying as to the extent of her injuries during the legislative session earlier this year. The girl's family, on the other hand, credits the delegate for being a catalyst for change. 

The role technology plays in divorce

Severing ties with your spouse may prove more difficult, especially in this technology-driven age. While some of these advances may benefit you during and after divorce, some may prove detrimental.

Understanding the impact of technology on your divorce may help you avoid some of the common pitfalls. Staying away from some behavior may aid in your divorce efforts.

You bought a lemon; what do you do now?

It may have been an honest mistake on the part of the dealer, or it may have been a deliberate attempt to pass off damaged goods. Whatever the circumstances, you bought a car in Virginia that turns out to have been defective, and now you are wondering what to do next. At Madigan and Scott, we know how frustrating this situation can be.

If you bought a lemon, here are some ideas about the next steps you should take. 

Virginia man avoids additional charges with DUI no contest plea

Two men, a 45-year-old passenger and a 40-year-old driver, sustained injury last October in a crash in Roanoke, Virginia. A tractor-trailer struck the side of the SUV in which the two men were riding after the driver of the SUV reportedly failed to yield to a yellow light. As a result, his passenger required hospitalization for approximately five months, one of which he reportedly spent in a coma. Initially, the SUV driver faced charges of felony DUI maiming due to his passenger's injuries in addition to charges of driving while intoxicated.

As the result of an agreement in which the SUV driver pleaded no contest to the DWI, the prosecutors dropped the maiming charge. The court sentenced him to 12 months in custody but suspended 10 months of that time. Subsequently, the SUV driver only needs to serve 60 days of incarceration. Pending the jail's approval of a request from the driver, he may be able to serve his sentence only on weekends. Additional penalties include a 12-month driver's license suspension, a $250 fine and participation in a VASAP program. 

The best options for your mortgage in a divorce

If you are like a lot of people in Virginia, your family home represents one of your largest financial marital assets. It is also generally the asset that evokes the most emotions as a home is the heart and soul of a family in many ways. However, when you are considering or in the midst of a divorce, you must remember that your house is a financial asset and divorce is a financial transaction. Thus, it is wise to evaluate your choices regarding the home more like you would a business decision that a personal one.

It is not uncommon for one person to want to keep a family home after a divorce. If your spouse has requested this, Bankrate indicates you should make sure that you can protect yourself against future credit problems or collection efforts. The way to do this is to require your spouse to refinance your existing joint mortgage into a new solo mortgage in their name alone. Removing your name from the mortgage is the only surefire way to eliminate any financial ties or responsibilities to the property.

How do finances affect gray divorcees?

Virginian residents like you may have been married for a long time, but that doesn't mean you are unable to make big life changes. If you feel like it is time to get a divorce, Madigan & Scott, Inc., will be here to help, regardless of what age you are. However, you should know that older divorcees often face problems that younger ones don't. 

One prime example revolves around finances. Naturally, a younger couple will be impacted less by the division of assets. This is because they've had less time to accumulate money, savings, stocks or benefits. They also have more time to continue working in order to regain lost savings, benefits, and other sources of income.

Co-parenting during summer vacation

Once school ends, people may look forward to spending quality time with their kids in Virginia. When parents are divorced, it may take careful planning to make sure they each get plenty of time with the kids.

It is a good idea for parents to start thinking about summer vacation before the school year ends. Divorce magazine says people should put together a summer parenting plan so the entire family is on the same page. This plan should usually include which camps the kids will go to, as well as rules for summer activities. Parents may also want to discuss rules for out-of-state and international travel. It is a good idea to consider how long vacations should be, who will keep the kids' passports and how often the kids should contact the other parent while on vacation. Additionally, if people know they want to travel on certain dates, they should let their ex-spouse know as soon as possible.

The key factors to having a successful divorce

There are numerous factors that can lead to divorce. One report from a Virginia news station showed how student loan debt is typically a significant strain on any relationship. That kind of debt limits opportunities, such as purchasing a house, which creates division within any marriage. 

In the event you have decided your marriage must end, then you should pursue a divorce. While divorces have negative reputations, they do not have to be messy and complicated. In fact, knowing how to proceed can guarantee you have a successful divorce and get out on the other end all right. 

Drunk driving tests not 100% accurate

If you have been arrested for and charged with a suspected driving under the influence of alcohol charge in Virginia, you will want to learn as much as you can about the elements that may be helpful in your defense. One of the things you should educate yourself about is the tests administered by officers prior to placing you under arrest. These are commonly called field sobriety tests.

As explained by FieldSobrietyTests.org, each one of the three standardized tests has a known inaccuracy rate. That means that the results of the tests may not always be correct. In fact, your emotional, mental or physical health conditions may make it all but impossible for you to pass one or all of these tests even if you have not consumed alcohol.

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Madigan and Scott, Inc.
7880 Backlick Road
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Springfield, VA 22150

Phone: 703-455-1800
Fax: 703-451-4121
Springfield Family Law Office