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Firm Assisting Clients with Reckless Driving, Drunk Driving, Divorce & Child Custody, and Criminal Cases


Divorce is potentially a long, complicated, and confusing process for all parties involved; however, pursuing a divorce without regard to who is at fault can speed up the process and eliminate some of the complications. A divorce order establishes the new relations between the parties including their duties and obligations related to property they own, support responsibilities of either or both of them, and requirements for any children. Before you file for divorce on your own, you need to talk to your spouse, if possible, and find out how he or she feels about the divorce and about the issues mentioned above. This will give you an indication on how to proceed with the divorce.

In any case where a decree of divorce from bed and board has been approved, and the court shall determine that one year has passed since the event which gave rise to such divorce, or in any case where the parties have entered into a separation agreement and there are no minor children either born of the parties.

Although Virginia courts do not grant legal separations, it is a requirement for a no-fault divorce that a divorcing couple exhibit that they have lived apart, both continuously and intentionally, for a period of at least one year, except where there are no minor children involved and the spouses have entered into a property settlement agreement, in which case the required period of separation is 6 months.

The fault-based grounds for divorce are adultery, abandonment for 6 months, conviction of a felony, cruel, and inhuman treatment including false allegations of adultery or homosexuality, drug addiction or habitual drunkenness, confinement for incurable insanity for 3 years, or neglect or abuse of a child or the other party. However, in most cases, there is no reason to use any of these since they add complexity to the process by requiring proof. While proceeding on a fault-ground is more complex than proceeding on the ground of separation only, there may be some cases where the proof of fault will have an effect on the division of marital property or award of support.

In Maryland, a divorce decree can and usually will cover alimony, child support, custody, division of property, and the use of last names. When the judge issues your absolute divorce decree, you will be required to follow it; violating a court order can lead to fines and potential jail time.

If you need help with this type of case in Fairfax, Prince William (Manassas), Fauquier (Warrenton), Loudoun (Leesburg), Caroline, Stafford, Spotsylvania (Fredericksburg), Chesterfield, Henrico, Arlington, Richmond, Alexandria, call our law firm immediately for help and speak to a lawyer about your options. In Maryland, if you need help with this type of an issue in Montgomery County, Rockville, Bethesda, Howard County, Ellicott City or Frederick, do not hesitate to call us for a consultation.

Issues concerning divorce and child custody are usually the most emotional of all.

Child Custody

It is common for the parent who has custody to try to isolate the children from the other parent. Some parents who have custody try to exclude the other parent from the children’s lives completely. Sometimes, they do so with good reason such as when the other spouse is dangerous or engaged in criminal activity. Custody means the physical and legal control and responsibility for a minor child. Physical custody means that the child will live in the residence of the custodial parent.

Child custody can be, essentially, divided into two types: legal and physical. Legal custody deals with control of the child, care for them, and decisions about the child’s well-being. Typically, these decisions are made in important areas such as medical care, education, and religious training. Legal custody may be joint or sole.

On the other hand, physical custody primarily concerns the child’s day-to-day life and living situation. Physical custody determines where the children will live following the divorce. In your divorce agreement, you will decide who will be the “custodial” parent and who will be the “noncustodial” parent. The custodial parent is the primary caretaker with whom the children live, while the noncustodial parent will retain visitation privileges with his or her children.

A child custody agreement is typically part of the general divorce proceeding. The custody agreement will be concluded through a signed document called a parenting plan. These signed contracts allow parents to enforce their rights to visit the children, if one parent behaves in a way contrary to what they agreed to. Parenting plan records are maintained with the divorce records and can therefore be found in the courts where divorce proceedings are heard.

Parties commonly argue about what kind of access they have to the children when the children are in the other parent’s care. For example, how often the parents get to call the children if they are in possession of the other parent can become an issue during a child custody case in Virginia.

Custody disputes arise most often when parents decide to separate or when the parents never married. In these cases, courts are called upon to award custody, based upon the law and the facts as presented in court. Court proceedings are frequently long, emotionally draining, and expensive.

Many judges in Virginia encourage parents to work together to create a custody and visitation schedule that is in the best interests of their child. Parents can do this together or with the help of a mediator and then submit the plan to the judge. The judge will often adopt the parents’ schedule if they agree on everything and the schedule is good for the child.

Contact our law firm today to speak with a lawyer about the consequences of moving out of state with your child in a child custody case in Virginia. An attorney from our firm will do his best to help you.

Consideration of Child Custody in Virginia

  • The child’s wishes or preferences as to custody, provided that he or she is mature enough to make such claims;
  • The child’s age and mental health, in order for the court to assess his or her developmental needs;
  • The nature of the parent–child relationship;
  • The parents’ familiarity of the child’s need and ability to provide for those needs;
  • Education, training, and/or career opportunities of the parties and/or ability to pursue those opportunities; and
  • The parents’ willingness and ability to work together to resolve disputes;
  • A written agreement between the parties on the amount of child support, if any such agreement exists.


A defendant who pleads guilty or is found guilty by a jury in a criminal trial faces sentencing for the crime by the judge. If you are guilty of a crime, you will face punishment for your actions, but that punishment can vary widely from crime to crime.

When police or detectives question you, their sole objective is to acquire facts they believe will be relevant to making a potential felony criminal case against you. In many cases, they do not have much to impose a charge until a suspect begins talking. By talking, they get more information, which they will attempt to use against you. They will make an effort to confuse you or trip you up, and anything you say could possibly be used against you in a court of law.

Crimes are generally categorized as felonies or misdemeanors based on their nature and the maximum punishment that can be enforced. A felony, called a “high crime,” involves serious misconduct that is punishable by death or by imprisonment of over one year. Felonies are the most serious classification of crimes punishable by incarceration of more than a year in prison and in some cases, life in prison without parole and even capital punishment.

Lesser crimes are classified as misdemeanors. A misdemeanor is misbehavior punishable by up to one year in prison and/or a fine. Instances of misdemeanors include petty theft, simple assault and battery, traffic violations, public intoxication, and trespass.

Organized crime is committed by structured groups typically involving the distribution and sale of illegal goods and amenities. Many people think of the Mafia when they think of an organized crime, but the term can refer to any group that maneuvers control over large illegal enterprises such as the drug trade, prostitution, illegal gambling, weapons smuggling or money laundering. A criminal attorney studies the case and helps identify ways to introduce doubt into the question of a defendant’s guilt.

Reckless Driving

Reckless driving is often defined as a mental state, in which the driver displays a wanton disregard for the rules of the road; the driver misjudges common driving procedures, often causing accidents and other damages. Reckless driving has been studied by psychologists who found that reckless drivers score high in risk-taking personality traits; however, no one cause can be assigned to this state.

Bryan W. Block

Bryan W. Block

Reckless driving in Virginia is a Class 1 misdemeanor. Reckless driving is a special class of moving violations. First and foremost, it is a Class 1 misdemeanor. Secondly, it may provoke you to lose your license, lose your job, and may even cause you to lose your security clearance. The maximum jail sentence for reckless driving in Virginia Beach is 1 year in jail. Additionally, it carries a maximum penalty of a 6-month loss of your license.

This is more common in the cities and counties. When the judge suspends your license, he can grant you a restricted license, so that you can drive for work, school, medical appointments, church, and childcare. This requires petitioning the court or asking the judge at your sentencing to grant you these specific exceptions, and explaining why they are necessary.

Commonly Applied Statutes for Reckless Driving

In enacting Va. Code Ann. § 46.2-920, the legislature balanced the need for prompt, effective action by law enforcement officers and other emergency vehicle operators with the safety of the motoring public. Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-371.1(B) (1) does not require a showing of actual injury or death. Rather, it proscribes conduct that is so “gross, wanton, and culpable” as to demonstrate a “reckless disregard” for the child’s life.

If you need help with this type of case in Fairfax, Prince William (Manassas), Fauquier (Warrenton), Loudoun (Leesburg), Caroline, Stafford, Spotsylvania (Fredericksburg), Chesterfield, Henrico, Arlington, Richmond, Alexandria, call our law firm immediately for help and speak to a lawyer about your options. In Maryland, if you need help with this type of an issue in Montgomery County, Rockville, Bethesda, Howard County, Ellicott City or Frederick, do not hesitate to call us for a consultation.

If you wish to consult an SRIS Law Group, P.C. attorney, call us at 888-437-7747.

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