Car Accident and Estate Legal Services in Woodbridge, VA
If you’ve found yourself in legal trouble, no matter the circumstances, it’s vital to find an experienced lawyer right away. The sooner you get an attorney on your side, the better your chances are of getting out of the troublesome situation. I have the knowledge, expertise, and willingness to push your case to obtain the best possible result.
Being injured because of another individual’s negligent actions can be very stressful and upsetting. From car accidents to slip-and-falls, if you were harmed under these types of circumstances, I may be able to help.
The foundation of every DUI case is: 1) your performance on the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs), and 2) the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) Certificate results. Make sure that you hire an attorney who is specifically trained in these unique areas of DUI law.
Police officers testify about what they observed and how you performed on the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests. As a NHTSA approved SFST Instructor, I am qualified to train Police Officers on how to administer and evaluate SFST performance by drivers. I know where officers make mistakes and exploit those mistakes at trial. Call our office today to request an evaluation of the SFSTs in your case. If you have been accused of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, I can assist you. There are serious legal repercussions if you are found guilty in a DUI/DWI case, including fines, loss of license, and possible jail time. While you may not be incarcerated for a first offense, you will start with a fine of $250, with fees increasing by $500 if a minor is present. A first time DUI offense in Virginia will also result in an administrative license suspension of one year, and reinstatement of your license will require completing an alcohol safety and education program.
Reckless Driving, aka Criminal Speeding, is a Misdemeanor criminal offense in Virginia. As a Misdemeanor, a Reckless Driving conviction will appear on your official criminal record, as well as your driving record, forever! The three most common Reckless Driving conditions are: 1) driving more than 80+ mph, 2) driving more than 20+ mph OVER the posted speed limit, and 3) driving recklessly or in a manner so as to endanger the life, limb, or property of any person. If you have been charged with Reckless Driving, call our office to speak with an experienced attorney who can assist you in court.
There are many legal situations that require a criminal law attorney. We represent cases that may include being charged with assault & battery, domestic violence, larceny, drug possession, or drug distribution.
Some common criminal defenses include:
- Domestic Violence: Couples often have arguments that escalate due to emotions and alcohol. During that argument, Police are usually called by a neighbor or upset family member. Although the police officer’s primary goal is to de-escalate the issue, they often end up charging one of the participants (usually the man) with Domestic Assault & Battery (Virginia Code 18.2-57.2). These cases are often a defensible case of Mutual Combat. Don’t let the police or a prosecutor convince you to plead guilty to Assault & Battery without speaking with an experienced criminal defense attorney first.
- Drug Possession: Possession charges often result from an encounter with a police officer for some unrelated reason that caused the defendant to be searched. This can be the result of a traffic stop and the drugs are in plain sight in the vehicle, or from a consensual encounter and there is leftover material in your jacket pocket. Either way, in order for you to be convicted of Drug Possession, they must prove that you 1) knowledge/awareness of the substance, and 2) you exhibited dominion and control over the substance. Contact an experienced drug defense lawyer who knows how to argue against these legal requirements and can win your case even if the drugs are found on you.
- Drug Distribution (Possession with Intent to Distribute): Officers love to over charge typical possession cases as distribution cases. In order for police to secure a distribution conviction, they must prove Possession (see above) as well as an Intent to sale OR distribute the drug. Distribution does not require actual sale of the drugs. Intent to distribute includes sharing your drugs with friends. Intent can be proven through your statements (so be quiet) or your texts (so delete old texts). Intent can also be inferred by the presence of indicia of distribution. Indicia includes unused baggies to break larger quantities of drugs into sale-able units, scales, large amounts of cash in small bills, etc. Contact an experienced drug defense lawyer who knows how to argue against these legal requirements and can win your case.
Estate Planning is not only for the financially wealthy. Estate Planning is the timely and cost-efficient passing of assets from parents to their children and grandchildren. This process is now accomplished through the use of Trusts instead of a Will. A properly planned and executed Estate Plan can save the children thousands of dollars in fees and months of paperwork and anguish. Estate Planning is most commonly used blue-collar and middle-class Americans in the following three ways:
- Young Families
Parents with minor children should all have some planning documents in place. Most parents are aware that they need to designate Guardians for their children, should something happen to the parents. Parents also need to prepare financially through Trusts and life insurance to secure their children’s financial future and emotional well-being. Contact our office to learn how you can prevent your children from screwing up their futures through proper estate and legacy planning.
- Blended Families
It is all too common today for families to become blended prior to the passing of assets to children. Blended families occur when parents remarry and the joining of two families occurs without an adoption process. This is increasingly common among adults in their 60’s after the death of the first spouse. Parents must be careful in how they plan for the succession of their assets in these cases since the law defaults to splitting their assets in half between the new spouse and the children from the first spouse. There are countless stories of family strife that has occurred as a result of lack of planning for Blended Families. Contact our office to see how you can easily avoid that family strife while still protecting your surviving spouse.
- Probate Avoidance
Most parents want to the process of their passing as easy on their children as possible. This includes the leaving of their life-long accumulation of assets to their children. Last century, parents would simply leave a Will naming their children and the assets would eventually pass through probate to the natural offspring of the decedent. We also used the U.S. postal service to mail documents to each other and called on landlines to speak with clients. Today, we use Trusts as the modern vehicle to transfer assets to the children on the death of the final parent. Trusts are significantly more efficient and cost effective than Wills when it comes to transferring assets. Contact our office to see how we can create a Trust specific to your family’s needs and circumstances.
As families grow, or get older or deal with serious medical conditions, there comes a time to make a plan and draw up your trust and estate documents. It’s very important to do this while you are still healthy and able to make sound decisions about your health and wealth.
Some common questions that we see about wills include:
Q: Who can make a will?
A: Anyone deemed mentally competent and at least 18 years of age may make a will.
Q: Why should I make a will?
A: Some of the common reasons you may want to have a will for your assets include providing a guardian for your children, choosing how to divide your wealth, and being able to transition your business assets smoothly.
Q: How many people need to witness my will?
A: In the state of Virginia, a will signing mist by witnessed by two persons that can sign in front of the testator.
Q: How can I change my will?
A: Your testator may be able to change your will by preparing a new one or creating an addition known as a codicil (something that will explain, modify, or revoke part or all of your will).
Q: How long can a will be valid?
A: A will may be valid until it is revoked by being destroyed or having a written revocation.
Shock and disbelief dominate your life after the loss of a family member or loved one. No one wants to deal with the hard decisions and paperwork that exist during those early months. I handle all legal documents for our clients so that they can focus on healing during this period.
Q: What is a probate?
A: A probate is the official recording of the last will and testament of the deceased.
Q: Does Virginia have a probate court?
A: No. It is generally recommended, however, that you probate your will in the circuit court of the city or county where the deceased resided.
Q: How long may the probate process take?
A: The probate process can be expected to take anywhere from 6 months to a year.
Q: Why do I want a probate?
A: Probates are a way of making sure that the estate pays the appropriate taxes and that the asset goes to the right recipients.