DUI’s and Prescription Drugs

We see and hear ads that tell us, “Don’t drink and drive.” It’s well known that you can be arrested for drinking enough to impair your driving. However, many people don’t realize that it is also illegal to drive while under the influence of drugs – even drugs which have been prescribed by your doctor — or to have an over-amount of certain drugs in your body. Boone Beale, your DUI attorneys in Northern Virginia, wants to remind you that it’s illegal to take some medications and drive.

More and more, Virginia drivers are being arrested for DUI due to prescription medicines. Doctors are prescribing medications to help with anxiety, depression, chronic pain, sleeplessness, and a host of other conditions. Many patients mistakenly assume that it’s legal and safe to continue to engage in normal everyday activities –such as driving – while taking prescription drugs. That assumption is a huge mistake which can have devastating and long–lasting consequences for drivers, their families, and others.

According to Virginia law:

“It shall be unlawful for any person to drive or operate any motor vehicle… while such person is under the influence of any narcotic drug or any other self-administered intoxicant or drug of whatsoever nature, or any combination of such drugs, to a degree which impairs his ability to drive or operate any motor vehicle… safely”

As you can see, this law covers any drug or medication – legal, illegal, prescription, over-the- counter – it doesn’t matter. If your ability to drive safely is impaired by any drug, you can be arrested for DUI in Virginia.

To limit your risk of being arrested for a DUI in Virginia:

  • Read the warning labels, instructions and literature that come with medications. Many of them will say not to drive or operate machinery while using the medication.
  • If you see no warning label, but think this medicine could impair your ability to drive, ask your doctor or pharmacist if it’s safe to take this medicine and drive.
  • If you feel impaired (and that includes feeling sleepy) after taking a medicine – even if there’s no warning label – don’t drive.

If you or someone you love has been arrested for a DUI, Boone Beale, your DUI attorneys in Northern Virginia, stand ready to help. At Boone Beale, we have some of the most highly qualified DUI attorneys in Virginia, who have more than thirty years of legal experience in this complex area of the law. Please let us help you: call 1-888-384-8946.

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Ask a DUI Attorney in Norfolk VA: What is a Reasonable Suspicion for a Traffic Stop?

The police may stop and interact with a driver during the following situations:

  • Automobile accidents;
  • Sobriety checkpoints, AKA roadblocks;
  • Reports from other drivers that car is being driven erratically;
  • An officer has observed erratic or suspicious driving, or traffic infractions indicating the possibility that the driver may be impaired; and
  • A police officer has stopped a vehicle for a lesser traffic offense (dead license plates or stickers, broken equipment, etc.) then notices the signs of driver intoxication, and begins a DUI investigation.

Police officers are trained to detect drunk drivers by observing how drivers are operating their vehicles. The following list, as determined by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), estimates the chances that a driver making these errors is driving under the influence. If a police officer observes the actions below, they have a reasonable suspicion to legally justify a traffic stop, detention, and further investigation.

  • Straddling center or lane marker – 65%
  • Appearing to be drunk – 60%
  • Almost striking object or vehicle – 60%
  • Weaving – 60%
  • Driving on other than designated roadway – 55%
  • Swerving – 55%
  • Slow speed (more than 10 mph below limit) – 50%
  • Stopping (without cause) in traffic lane – 50%
  • Drifting – 50%
  • Following too closely – 45%
  • Tires on center or land marker – 45%
  • Braking erratically – 45%
  • Driving into opposing or crossing traffic – 45%
  • Signaling inconsistent with driving actions – 40%
  • Stopping inappropriately (other than in lane)- 35%
  • Turning abruptly or illegally – 35%
  • Accelerating or decelerating rapidly – 30%
  • Headlights off – 30%

When you are faced with DUI charges in Norfolk, VA, call Boone Beale, the DUI Attorneys in Norfolk, VA. With office locations throughout all of Virginia, we have the presence and experience to help you win your DUI case. Please call your DUI attorneys, Boone Beale, as soon as possible at 1-888-384-8946.

Posted in Breath test, Criminal, DUI Attorneys Norfolk, DUI Lawyer Fairfax VA, Fairfax VA DUI, Virginia DUI, Virginia DUI Attorneys, Virginia DUI Lawyer | Leave a comment

F-1 Visa for Students

The F-1 Visa allows international students to pursue their education in the United States as a full-time students at an accredited college, university, high school or other academic institution. According to the immigration regulations, the foreign student must be enrolled in a full course of study that ends with the conferral of a degree, diploma or certificate.

In the wake of the closure of the California-based Tri-Valley University (TVU) for immigration fraud, it is extremely important that students beware of the parameters of this visa classification in order to avoid any adverse immigration-related consequences.

Student Exchange & Visitor Information System (SEVIS) Form I-20:

Upon enrolling in an educational institution that you have been accepted to, you will receive a form I-20, which you will need to present to the U.S. Embassy in your country to apply for your F-1 student visa. The Form I-20 contains information pertaining to your academic course of study in the United States educational institution like degree start and end dates, academic major etc.

Employment while on F-1 status:

F-1 students cannot work off-campus, but can work on-campus subject to approval by USCIS and only for a certain number of hours per week. F-1 students may engage in three types of off-campus employment pursuant to certain conditions and restrictions:

  • Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
  • Optional Practical Training (OPT)
  • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Optional Practical Training Extension (OPT)

Extensions:

If you are unable to complete your academic degree program by the end date listed on your Form I-20, you must seek an extension at least one month before expiry of your I-20 in order to avoid falling our of status.

Reinstatements:

Reinstatement is the manner in which the foreign student regains his or her status after having fallen out of lawful immigration status. The student must apply for reinstatement no later than five months after being out of status. Making a convincing case for reinstatement requires the student to demonstrate either that:

  1. The violation of the status relates to a reduction in a student’s course load, and that failure to approve reinstatement would result in extreme hardship to the student, or
  2. Violation of status resulted from circumstances beyond the student’s control

Grace Periods:

The SEVIS regulations provide an F-1 student a certain amount of time in order to maintain lawful immigration status in the United States. After completion of his or her studies and/or training, the student is given a grace period of 60 days to leave the United States. On the other hand, if the student withdraws from his or her school, the grace period is reduced to 15 days.

REQUIRED DOCUMENTS:

  • Valid passport for at least 6 months after the student’s proposed date of entry into the United States;
  • Form I-94;
  • Form I-20 Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status
  • Form DS-156, Nonimmigrant Visa Applicant, together with Form DS-158 (some may be required to submit Form DS-157);
  • Form I-134, Affidavit of Support, from a financial sponsor for the educational and other expenses listed in the I-20;
  • Transcripts, diplomas, resume and standardized test scores (SAT, GRE etc)
  • A MRV fee receipt to show payment of the visa application fee, a visa issuance fee if applicable and a separate SEVIS I-901 fee receipt;
  • One recent passport style photograph.

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Boone Beale’s talented team of immigration attorneys can assist you with the application process. Please contact us at the following numbers:
NORTHERN VIRGINIA :703-690-1222
CENTRAL VIRGINIA: 804-780-1111
TIDEWATER AREA: 757-351-0808

 

CALL US, WE CAN HELP!

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Immigration Law News: The Deferred Action Program

Immigration law is complex, and until recently, dealt harshly with young adult immigrants. The new Deferred Action Program recently enacted by President Obama is intended to help undocumented young people who were brought to the United States as infants or children gain a reprieve.

The Deferred Action Program is in response to the concern for the 1.8 million young adults who would otherwise have no legal status. The young people can apply to receive a two-year reprieve from being deported, and their status may be renewed every two years. Benefits of the program include the ability to work legally in the US, as well get a driver’s license, and Social Security number.

To qualify for the Deferred Action Program, you must have arrived here while under the age of 16 and you must have been under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012. You also must have continuously resided in the U.S. since June 15, 2007 to present. If you do not have a high school diploma or G.E.D., you must be currently enrolled in school. If you have a criminal record you may not be eligible for the program.

The government will begin accepting applications online on August 15. The fee to apply is $465 and covers the costs of getting the employment authorization document and biometrics (fingerprinting) fee.

The specific instructions for the deferred action program will be released on August 15. If you have any questions or concerns about the program, the immigration attorneys at Boone Beale stand ready to answer your immigration questions and concerns about the new Deferred Action Program.

 

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Criminal Attorney in Alexandria Advises that Flawed Forensics in Convictions Are Under Review

In early July, the Justice Department and the FBI launched a review of thousands of criminal cases across the country, to determine whether any defendants were wrongly convicted or deserve a new trial, because of flawed forensic evidence.

According to media reports, Justice Department officials had known for years that flawed forensics might have led to the convictions of potentially innocent people. However, the department had not performed a thorough review of the cases. Neither defendants nor their attorneys were notified by prosecutors about those flawed results.

This new review includes cases conducted by all FBI Laboratory hair and fiber examiners since at least 1985, and maybe even earlier. The possibly flawed forensics results have been used in federal and local cases nationwide – and often in violent crimes, such as rape, murder and robbery.

There will be more than 10,000 cases reviewed; however, it’s not clear if government officials will notify defense attorneys or the Innocence Project. In the past, only prosecutors were given review results, and it was up to the prosecutor to notify the defense.

If you or someone you know needs a criminal attorney in Alexandria, please contact Boone Beale – and the sooner, the better. Don’t let memories fade, witnesses disappear, or evidence get lost over time! The more time we have to prepare your defense, the stronger it will be when we go to court.

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DUI Lawyer from Fairfax, VA Warns Against Tampering with Interlock Device

If you are convicted of DUI in Virginia after July 1, 2012 – even if you are a first time offender – you will be required to have an ignition interlock installed in your vehicle. Boone Beale, the DUI lawyers in Fairfax, VA warns against tampering with the interlock device.

When the interlock is installed in your car, you — and any other drivers of that vehicle – will be trained in how to use the device, and you are responsible for ensuring that any other users of the vehicle comply with all program rules.

You might be tempted to try to trick or otherwise get around the proper usage of the interlock device: don’t. According to Virginia code § 18.2-270.1, it’s against the law to tamper with or circumvent the proper use of the interlock device:

“No person shall start or attempt to start a motor vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock system for the purpose of providing an operable motor vehicle to a person who is prohibited under this section from operating a motor vehicle that is not equipped with an ignition interlock system. No person shall tamper with, or in any way attempt to circumvent the operation of, an ignition interlock system that has been installed in the motor vehicle of a person under this section. Except as authorized in subsection G, no person shall knowingly furnish a motor vehicle not equipped with a functioning ignition interlock system to any person prohibited under subsection B from operating any motor vehicle which is not equipped with such system. A violation of this subsection is punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor. “

You should not get someone else to blow into the interlock device to start your car. The interlock unit requires rolling retests, which the other person would have to take, and the company monitoring the interlock can detect that pattern of behavior.

You also can’t use the excuse that someone else drove your car, and didn’t know the rules. On the interlock device, there is a warning label stating that “A person tampering with, or attempting to circumvent the ignition interlock system shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be subject to a fine or incarceration or both.”

The interlock device is meant to punish and deter drivers from drinking and driving again. This device alters many aspects of your life, and you have a right to a vigorous defense against a Fairfax Va DUI conviction. If you or someone you love has been arrested for a DUI, please contact Boone Beale, your DUI Lawyer in Fairfax, VA.

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Costs Associated with the New DUI Interlock Program

Virginians convicted of DUI after July 1, 2012 will be required to have ignition interlocks installed in their vehicles.  The Virginia DUI lawyers at Boone Beale want you to know the one time and monthly costs associated with interlocks.

The Interlock program requires the DUI offender to pay all costs.  Initially, the DUI offender will have to pay for are the fees to have their license reinstated. Then there is a $50.00 installation fee for the Interlock device, and a $55.00 per month lease fee and tax. The service provider also collects an additional $5.00 per month from participants in the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program (VASAP) to help defray the costs of monitoring the DUI offenders. As one Interlock advocate says, “The cost of the interlock is $2.00 per day, or about the cost of one drink.”

If there is any good news, it’s that the Virginia Insurance Commission has authorized insurance carriers in Virginia to offer discounted assigned risk insurance premiums for offenders participating in the interlock program. Cost comparisons show that many offenders could lower their high-risk insurance rates, nearly as much as the interlock costs the participants to lease. If an offender truly cannot afford the interlock, there is an indigent program established by law that allows the waiver of some, or all of the program costs by the court ordering the ignition interlock device. In addition, courts can suspend or reduce any fines imposed to offset the cost of the interlock program.

If you or someone you love has been arrested for a DUI, please contact the Virginia DUI Lawyers at Boone Beale.

 

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How Does the New Virginia Interlock Work?

Beginning July 1, all Virginians convicted of DUI will have to have ignition interlocks installed in their vehicles. There are a lot of questions about how this Interlock device will work, and the Virginia DUI lawyers at Boone Beale are here to help. Here’s what you need to know:

In order to start their car, the driver blows into the Interlock, which measures his or her breath alcohol content to determine if it is above or below a certain set point. If alcohol is detected at, or above the set point, the unit will not allow the vehicle to start.

After a driver starts a vehicle, the unit will require random rolling breath tests. The first rolling test will be within 10 to 20 minutes. If the first test is successful, the driver will then be subject to rolling retests every 20 to 60 minutes during the operation of the vehicle. If the driver fails a retest, or declines to submit to one when required, the unit will cause the vehicle’s headlights to flash and the horn to honk intermittently until the vehicle is turned off or the driver successfully takes the retest. If the vehicle is turned off, the unit will require the driver to pass a test before the vehicle can be restarted.

At a predetermined time (usually every month) the participant must appear at one of the service centers throughout the state and a technician downloads the recorded data from the interlock into a central computer. The monitoring agency or agent determines the frequency of appearances to a service location. If any violations were committed in the previous month, a report is forwarded to the case manager or probation officer for review. The vehicle’s odometer is checked for total mileage driven and all connections are checked for tampering.

If the participant does not appear as required, the interlock unit is set to “lock out” after a grace period of 5 days if the participant fails to appear for monitoring. If this happens, the vehicle will not start and the participant must tow the vehicle to a service center or a technician must be sent to the vehicle to download the unit and reset it. The participant is charged for this extra service. Additionally, the failure to appear for monitoring is reported to the case manager or probation officer.

The Interlock device is a huge hassle for any participant, and is meant to be a subsequent DUI deterrent. If you or someone you know has been arrested for a DUI, call Virginia’s DUI lawyers at Boone Beale.

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Virginia DUI Refusal

Imagine you’re back in high school. You’re taking a very important test when all of a sudden your pencil breaks. You try to get the teacher’s attention to ask for a new one, but she tells you that were unprepared. You did not get to finish your test and an incomplete test results in failure even though you could have passed it had she assisted you. Well if you are charged with DUI in Virginia, a similar situation may have happened to you – only this time the stakes are much higher than an “F” on a test. The stakes are expensive fines, loss of your driver’s license or even jail time. All because you were charged with unreasonable refusal on your breath test.

Now you are charged with DUI, and an unreasonable refusal to submit to a breath test. However, you remember blowing into the device several times when asked, but it kept giving the officer an error message. How can that be legal? It’s not. In fact, it’s your defense if this happened to you.

In Virginia as in any other state, there is an Implied Consent law in place. When you operate a motor vehicle on any highway in the Commonwealth, you are agreeing to submit to a breath or blood test if properly requested by a Virginia police officer. The penalties for refusal are severe, which is why you don’t want to be charged with refusing a breath test, especially when you didn’t!

If the judge or jury finds that you unreasonably refused a chemical test, your driver’s license will be suspended for an additional year without the possibility of receiving a restricted driver’s permit for going to work. If you have been convicted of a second or subsequent refusal the penalties include a THREE year loss of your driver’s license and a possibility of jail time.  Note that you do not need to have been convicted of refusal previously for a conviction to be considered a subsequent offense.  If you have ever been convicted of a DUI in Virginia or elsewhere and are charged with refusal now, it is likely that it will be considered a second offense.

While you think you may not have a good defense, your DUI attorney may find otherwise! When you work with the Boone Beale Law Firm, we’ll ask you questions about the breath test procedure. Did you in fact try to give a breath test sample? Was the officer not properly trained on how to use the machine? Was the machine working correctly that day? Were you told it is illegal to refuse? We will address all of these issues to build your defense.

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Is There A Difference Between DWI and DUI In Virginia?

Some states differentiate between a DWI charge and a DUI charge, but is that
the case in Virginia? Simply put, no. In Virginia, the drunk driving or
impaired driving laws do not differentiate between DUI and DWI and both refer
to the same crime and charges.

Driving under the influence, or DUI, and driving while
intoxicated, or DWI, are different in many states throughout the United States.
In each state they refer to different crimes, typically distinguished by the
blood alcohol content at the time of arrest. But unfortunately, the drunk
driving acronyms do not stop there, some states call these offenses things like
driving with ability impaired (DWAI) or operating under the influence (OUI).
Luckily for drivers in Woodbridge, VA and Fairfax, VA – as well as throughout
the entire state of Virginia – our laws are rather straightforward and DUI and
DWI mean the same thing.

Knowing what the charges are you face for driving under the
influence in Virginia is as important as calling an experienced DUI attorney. Not
only does understanding the terms and jargon help you understand your DUI
attorney, it also will help you understand what the prosecutor and judge are
referring to when discussing your case. Information is key to knowing what your
rights are and how best to protect them, and working with an expert in Virginia
DUI law (like the attorneys at Boone Beale) is essential to get the best
possible result in your particular case with your particular charges.

For more information on Virginia DUI laws, contact the
experienced team of DUI attorneys at Boone Beale today. With multiple offices
throughout the entire state, our team is close enough to you to be local but
experienced enough to be the best.

 

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