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Warrenton Law Blog

What is the difference between license suspension and revocation?

You are probably aware that if you commit a traffic violation of relative seriousness in Virginia, you could lose your driving privileges. This occurs because of either a license suspension or revocation.

Both are similar in that they both take away your legal driving privileges. However, each has its own legal implications. Therefore, it is important to understand the difference between the two.

More drunk driving deaths in Virginia

If you are like most people who live in Virginia, your heart sinks every time you hear or read a report about someone being hit by a drunk driver, especially if the person died in the crash. These accidents are not really accidents in the true sense of the word as they are completely preventable - if only drivers would make responsible choices. Sadly, many drivers refuse to do this.

Records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that the number of drunk driving deaths in the state jumped in 2017 from 223 to 246. This was after three consecutive years of declines in the number of these fatalities. The 246 impaired vehicular deaths in 2017 represents nearly 30% of all accident fatalities statewide that year.

What is a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO)?

The year you turn 60, your spouse comes to you and asks for a divorce. It's your second marriage; you got married when you were 40. You felt like things were not exactly going well for the last few years, so you are not shocked by the request.

However, you do wonder if things are going to play out differently the second time around. One major issue that you want to keep in mind is your own looming retirement. Is this going to change when you can retire? What legal obligations do you have? What does it mean for the division of assets?

Detailing intestate succession in Virginia

Estate planning is often a hot-button issue for many in Warrenton. Perhaps it is the reality of dealing with one's own mortality that prompts many to put off the process. There also may be more practical concerns as to why so many have yet to draft a will (indeed, information shared by the American Association of Retired Persons shows that only four in 10 American adults have a will). No one wants to cause contention amongst those they leave behind. Instead, many may think that by not having a will, their heirs will be able to decide how to divide up their assets. 

Unfortunately, that is not the case. When one dies intestate (the legal term assigned to those who die without a will), the state determines how their estates are to be divided. The guidelines governing intestate succession in Virginia can be found in Section 64.2-200 of the state's Wills, Trusts and Fiduciaries Code. According to this law, one's spouse inherits their entire intestate estate if they leave behind no surviving issue (direct descendants) that are not also the issue of the surviving spouse. If there are, then that issue receives two-thirds of the estate, and the remaining third goes to the surviving spouse. 

What can you do about your neighbor's obnoxious tree?

Trees are beautiful and serve as a cornerstone for all life by capturing CO2 and producing clean oxygen. From a homeowner's perspective, trees provide shade during the hot summer, beauty year-round and curb appeal when you want to sell. Trees can also provide practical items, such as nuts or fruit. You may also want to grow a tree for its flowers or showy foliage in the fall.

Unfortunately, a tree planted on one person's property can quickly become someone else's problem. If your neighbor doesn't properly maintain their trees, you may already be painfully aware of how obnoxious a poorly maintained tree can be. Maybe it spits sap or drops leaves into your yard. If it produces fruits or nuts that you don't want, those can also be very obnoxious.

Can summer heat trip you up?

Virginian residents know harsh winters well. The ice and snow can easily create hazards for you to slip on or trip over. But what about the summer? When there isn't any ice on the road, does that mean you're free from the potential of slip-and-fall incidents? Unfortunately, no. Today, we'll examine some of the most common slip and tripping hazards found in summer.

First of all, we have heat-related road damage. Summers are getting hotter and hotter every year for many places. With this, the roads and sidewalks are taking a beating. When overheated for a long period of time, asphalt can become compromised. It can crack, split, form an uneven or bumpy surface, and even pit. Sidewalks can also crack or become uneven through prolonged heat exposure, causing pedestrians to trip.

Changing a child support order

After divorcing, Virginian residents will likely have some sort of child support order in place, allowing both parents to continue financially supporting their child together. However, financial situations are not unchanging. If a parent needs to request an adjustment, they should understand the steps that must be taken.

FindLaw discusses the situations in which a support order may need to be modified, as well as the steps that must be taken to modify it. In some cases, if both parents agree that a change needs to be made, they can have their request approved by a child support agency. The agency will then forward the request to the court after both parties sign off on it, at which point the court will approve or deny it. Sometimes, if parents cannot agree on a change, the court may take a more active role.

What should you do if you’re pulled over?

If you see police lights in your rearview mirror, you can expect your stomach to drop and your hands to sweat. This is a nerve-racking experience, even if you've been in this position in the past.

Knowing what to do when pulled over by police can help you prevent trouble, while protecting your legal rights. Here are five steps to take:

  • Immediately pull over: Even if the officer isn't coming after you, it's important to pull to the side of the road once you see police lights. If you continue to drive, the officer may get the impression that you're trying to escape.
  • Roll down your window: As the officer approaches your vehicle, stay where you are and roll down your window so you can communicate. Keep your hands on the wheel and follow instructions.
  • Provide the officer with the requested documents: This typically includes license, registration and proof of insurance. Knowing in advance where these documents are located will speed up the process.
  • Don't lie: It's okay to say that you don't know what you did wrong, but don't concoct a story about why you broke the law. Most officers have heard every story under the sun, so lying will only make things worse.
  • Ask questions: Don't hesitate to ask questions to clarify the charges and understand your legal rights. As long as you remain respectful, it's okay to ask any questions that are on your mind.

Estate planning for millennials

It is all too easy for someone who is still in their twenties or even in their thirties to put off creating a will, a trust or outlining other important matters. Generally speaking, estate planning has been thought of as something only needed by someone much older. However, the reality is that estate planning is very important for people of all generations.

As explained by Think Advisor, our current culture and societal challenges with mass shootings and other things show that death can happen to anyone, anytime. Some younger millennials may not think that they have enough assets to worry about making a will for but an estate plan can address a great many other topics that are likely pertinent to them.

How can whiplash from a crash impact your life?

Virginian residents who get involved in car crashes may suffer from whiplash. Though this is often considered one of the milder injuries a person can get from a crash, it can actually impact your health for a long time to come, especially if you don't get speedy treatment.

Whiplash is much more than a sore neck or headache. It can affect your mental state and many parts of your physical capabilities and health. Mayo Clinic examines the different physical and mental impact whiplash has on a victim. More severe and lesser-known physical symptoms include:

  • Numbness in the limbs
  • A loss of sensation, burning, or tingling
  • Dizziness and fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Ringing in the ears
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