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Fairfax County Legal Blog

Factors known to impact Breathalyzer accuracy

Seeing those blue lights come on in your review mirror can prove incredibly unnerving, and so, too, can undergoing a breath test after a law enforcement official stops you on suspicion of drunk driving. Conducted using devices known as Breathalyzers, breath tests give authorities an idea of your level of impairment behind the wheel. Depending on the results of your breath test and whether authorities formally charge you with drinking and driving, you may face harsh penalties, if convicted.

Because the repercussions of drinking and driving in Virginia can prove considerable, it is critical that the results produced by your breath test are completely accurate. Unfortunately, however, this is not always the case, as there are a number of outside factors that can affect Breathalyzer accuracy. These factors can include the following:

FAQs about criminal record expungement in Virginia

A few months ago, law enforcement arrested you on criminal charges. You were innocent, though, and the judge acquitted you of all charges. You believed the whole experience was over and done, but now, an employer has run a background check and the hiring manager says there's a problem: You have a criminal record.

This is an unfortunate outcome of an arrest, but in Virginia, you may file a petition to have your record expunged.

4 mistakes to avoid with a slip-and-fall claim

As a result of building owners' negligence, people slip and fall all the time. While most people end up feeling fine after an incident, the National Floor Safety Institute estimates that approximately 8,000,000 emergency room visits occur annually as a result of slip and falls. 

One action to always take after a slip and fall is to consult with an attorney. However, you want to make sure you do not jeopardize your claim by failing to take specific actions in the aftermath of the accident.

What to do if a car hits you as a pedestrian

Drivers need to learn to share the road with pedestrians when they have the right-of-way. According to a report from NPR, the number of pedestrian fatalities in the United States increased by 11 percent between 2016 and 2017. 

Hopefully, you will never find yourself in a situation where a vehicle strikes you as you cross the street. However, it is important to remain informed so you know how to react if this awful event happens to you. 

Some techniques for dealing with un/underinsured drivers

In Virginia, all someone has to do to drive uninsured is pay the $500 uninsured motorist fee. It usually lets motorists drive for one year uninsured, and they acknowledge they will be personally liable in the case of a car crash. Of course, some drivers skip this step altogether and drive uninsured without paying $500. On the other hand, there are underinsured drivers, those who carry the minimally required amounts of insurance. They are known as underinsured motorists because in many situations, these minimum amounts do not cover actual costs.

For example, say that Driver A hits you, is at fault and has an insurance policy that gives you $25,000 in compensation for bodily injury. However, it could be that your injuries total more than $25,000. They could even run into the hundreds of thousands. Such a driver would be called underinsured. Many experts recommend that drivers have at least $100,000 worth of bodily injury coverage. If you find yourself in a situation with an uninsured or underinsured driver, there may be a few things you can do.

Importance of following doctor orders after personal injury

Following a personal injury of any kind, whether it is a car accident or slip and fall, you need to see a doctor immediately. An official doctor's report will help a lot as you begin working with your insurance agency to receive a payout. 

The insurance company will look for any reason to deny coverage or at least limit it. When your doctor gives you instructions to see a specialist or take medication, you need to follow those orders precisely. Otherwise, you seriously jeopardize your personal injury case. 

How to talk to parents about aging and driving

As people get older, the less capable they become of safely driving on busy roadways. Decreased vision and reduced cognitive functions increase the likelihood of a senior citizen becoming involved in an accident. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 260,000 older adults had to visit the emergency room in 2015 as a result of an injury sustained while driving. 

If you are the child of an elderly parent, then you do not want to wait until he or she is too impaired to safely drive. It is important to have a conversation with your parent, but you want to go about this process carefully. Make it clear you come from a place of love and concern and that the last thing you want is for your loved one to end up in a motor vehicle accident

Why you should be mindful of how you drive near trucks

Every day you drive on the streets in Fairfax, you encounter various hazards. One of those dangers involves large commercial vehicles. Because of their size, trucks are much more likely to cause serious injury to victims in crashes. You may think that truck accidents are not very common, but actually, the chances of you being involved in one are increasing as the number of commercial vehicles on the roads rises to meet consumer demands. 

If you are in a crash, it is possible for you to improve the outcome. Review the following ways you can avoid serious injury and death in truck accidents

Essential first step if you have been charged with a crime

If law enforcement authorities have charged you with a crime, you are inevitably now part of the complex legal system of your state. Especially if this is your first arrest, there will likely be many procedures that you have never faced before, as well as responsibilities and requirements that you may not be aware of. 

Seeking an aggressive criminal defense attorney is likely one of the essential first steps you should take if you face criminal charges. It is not advisable to face the criminal justice and legal system on your own.

The importance of Double Jeopardy protections

Virginia defendants have the valuable benefit of a state codified Double Jeopardy Clause. They also enjoy the Constitutional right found in the Fifth Amendment of the US Constitution.

Generally, these protections guarantee they cannot be the subject of a criminal trial twice for the same criminal conduct. However, it is not as simple as that.

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Fairfax, VA 22030-7528

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