Law Offices of Christie A. Leary P.C.
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Across America, laws are constantly created and changed on both the state and federal level. As of July 1, over 800 new laws went into effect in the state of Virginia, some of which impact the state's criminal justice system and juvenile justice system.

One such rule involves the threshold of grand larceny. Generally, the amount of goods and money stolen will effect whether someone is charged with a misdemeanor or felony. In the past, Virginia had one of the lowest threshold with regards to amount of stolen goods or money in the country. For example, stealing $200 or more would constitute grand larceny. Under the new law, this threshold has been lifted to $500, meaning that a person would have to steal a minimum of $500 in goods or money to be charged with felony grand larceny.

Another rule effects juveniles charged with a juvenile crime and sentenced to time in juvenile detention facilities. In the past, these facilities have not always been safe and have resulted in numerous assaults. According to the new law, for the protection of other juveniles in the facility, facilities may put juvenile offenders who are more violent in adult facilities. Juveniles in the adult facility will be separated from the adult population in those facilities.

One other important law, the "Hannah Graham Law," relates to expanding the state's DNA collection to include people that have been charged with misdemeanor assault, battery and trespass. If you are convicted of one of these offenses, you will have to provide a blood, saliva or tissue sample for DNA analysis, with some exceptions.

If you are a young person facing criminal charges, some of the new state laws may affect you. Consider speaking to a criminal defense attorney for an evaluation of your claim and for more information about these new laws.

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