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Fairfax/Manassas Criminal & Personal Injury Blog

Woman faces criminal charges in Virginia for alleged fraud scheme

When a person is accused of deceiving a person or entity for their own personal gain, they may face fraud charges. A Virginia woman was charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud for her role in a $5 million fraud scheme. The woman apparently told multiple alleged victims that she needed money to pay for healthcare software, supposedly bought out of escrow in Austria. Prosecutors say the woman used the money to buy luxury items and travel. She is accused of spending about $1 million on shopping at stores like Chanel and Gucci, and another $1 million on luxury travel.

One of the alleged victims was a 71-year-old woman with cancer who made two wire payments for a total of $95,000. The woman facing charges apparently got an attorney to create documents to make the payments seem legal.

Senate passes bill legalizing drunk driving on private property

Driving under the influence of alcohol can result in drunk driving charges. If you are convicted of a DUI, you may lose your license, as well as face jail time, probation and fines. However, according to a bill recently passed in the Virginia Senate, you may be legally allowed to drive while intoxicated on your own property.

The current law prohibits drinking and driving, but does not differentiate between public and private property. However, Senator Richard Stuart presented SB 308, which states that the current law should only applies to public roadways. In other words, people who are driving under the influence while on their own private property or are drinking in their vehicles on their own private property cannot be charged with a DUI.

Sexting may no longer be a felony charge for Virginia juveniles

According to Virginia law, anyone who sends or receives sexually explicit photos or videos of a minor may be charged with a felony. As the law currently stands, even teenagers who willingly send and receive "sexts" from other teenagers, could be charged with dissemination and possession of child pornography. Currently, in cases involving "sexting" amongst minors, prosecutors only have two options: do nothing or bring felony charges against a minor, who will be permanently labeled as a felony sex offender if convicted.

However, a new bill that passed in the Virginia Senate gives prosecutors a third option: to charge minors who send sexual images to another minor with a Class 1 misdemeanor, as long as the minor did not intend to harass or intimidate or extort money. If convicted, the minor could face up to a year in jail and up to $2,500 in fines.

Virginia bill addresses penalties for marijuana possession

Marijuana has been legalized in many states for both medicinal and recreational use. While the state of Virginia has yet to pull the trigger on decriminalizing marijuana, some lawmakers are trying to reduce the penalties for people who have been charged with marijuana possession for the first time.

Senate Majority Leader Thomas Norment Jr., has proposed legislation that would apply deferred disposition to first-time offenders. This essentially means that those who have been charged with marijuana possession for the first time may have their charges dismissed if they meet certain conditions. Once the alleged offenders go through the process, the bill may also allow them to have their arrest expunged from their criminal records. Deferred disposition decisions will be recorded in a separate database to make sure that only first-time offenders are benefitting from these new laws.

When do juveniles get prosecuted as adults in Virginia?

If you are accused of a crime as a juvenile in Virginia, you may be tried as a juvenile or adult. If a juvenile is tried and convicted as an adult, they could face the same consequences as someone over the age of 18, even if they are still a minor.

In order to be tried as an adult in court, the juvenile must have been 14 years of age or older at the time of the alleged crime. The alleged juvenile criminal offense must also qualify as a felony if an adult had committed the same crime. Felonies generally fall into six classes, with a Class 1 felony being the most serious and a Class 6 felony being the least serious.

Virginia Uber driver charged after alleged sexual assault

A woman recently claimed that she was sexually assaulted by her Uber driver in Virginia. The woman asserted that the male driver picked her up in Herndon and stopped the vehicle while on the way to the woman's destination, a residence in Sterling. Once stopped, the woman said the driver got into the backseat of the vehicle and sexually assaulted the woman.

The 44-year-old driver is now facing charges of aggravated sexual battery and forcible sodomy. He was held at a local detention center without bond.

Teen facing felony charges after violent 'hoax' in Virginia

Social media has become a main part of teenagers' lives, especially with the popularity of photo-share apps like Snapchat. However, when a teen uses these apps to make threats or encourage violence towards others, they may face criminal charges. A Virginia teen recently was taken into custody for a hoax involving school violence at a Virginia high school.

A number of minors were sharing a Snapchat story about a possible armed attack at a high school. The photo showed a number of hunting rifles and a quiver of hunting arrows, with a caption warning students at "MHS" not to go to school the next day. A minor's mother contacted police when her son showed her the post. Schools across the country with the initials "MHS" became concerned and took precautions.

What happens if I refuse to take a Breathalyzer test?

Many DUI cases rest on the results of the driver's Breathalyzer test. If the Breathalyzer test determines that a driver's blood alcohol concentration is above the legal limit of .08, the prosecution may have a much easier time proving that the driver is guilty of a DUI. Because of this, many drivers wonder whether they can simply refuse to take the test. The short answer to this is, yes, but there will be serious consequences.

Virginia's implied consent law states that if your arresting officer has probable cause to believe that you were driving under the influence, you consent to taking a test to determine your blood alcohol level. This typically means a Breathalyzer, but can also mean a blood test. If you refuse to submit to a Breathalyzer, you have violated Virginia's implied consent law. As a result of this violation, your license will be immediately suspended for one year, if this is your first refusal. If you refuse to submit to a test a second time within 10 years of the first refusal, your license will be suspended for three years. You may also have to pay a fine of up to $1,000 and face up to six months in jail. If it is your third or subsequent refusal in 10 years, you may face up to a year in jail, up to a $2,500 fine and a three-year license suspension.

Virginia man allegedly commits fraud by pretending to be a doctor

Doctors must meet all legal requirements before treating patients or promoting themselves as a medical professional. One Virginia man allegedly committed fraud when he used physicians' personal information when applying for jobs with medical staffing companies. The man claimed to be a doctor licensed to practice medicine in Virginia. As a result, these staffing companies were fraudulently induced to hire him as an independent contractor.

The man allegedly created false diplomas and certificates to support his claim. He apparently accessed the physicians' information by calling the Drug Enforcement Administration and other oversight entities, all while posing as them. He also asked these entities to alter the licensing records to show that they were associated with him.

Assistance in navigating drug charges

Children and teenagers facing criminal charges have a lot at stake. With their whole futures ahead of them, a juvenile criminal offense can have a major impact on their lives for years to come. A 17-year-old boy was charged with attempted capital murder of a police officer after an altercation in Virginia Beach.

The incident occurred when officers were called to respond to a domestic violence situation. When officers arrived at the home, the 17-year-old boy apparently refused to cooperate. As the officers attempted to detain him, the boy reportedly stabbed one of the officers with a knife. The boy was arrested on-site. The injured officer was recently released from the hospital and is continuing his recovery at home.

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