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March 2012 Archives

In the Future, DNA Samples May Be Required For All Crimes

The justice system has many tools to convict criminals, but only one has seen great advances over the past decade and identifies criminals with "incredible accuracy," according to The United States Department of Justice. Although the use of DNA samples is clearly a valuable tool, particularly in exonerating the falsely accused, using it for minor criminal infractions presents questions of privacy violations.

Understanding the Basics of Homeowners' Rights, Rules, and Regulations

In recent years, property owners' associations in Virginia (commonly called "homeowners' associations") have come to wield significant powers to regulate, control, and even punish members for violating rules. While associations' powers have expanded significantly, property owners' associations are NOT fully self-governing communities or self-governing democracies. Rather, they have limited powers which they acquire from the consent of their members, and similarly, homeowners have important rights. Understanding your rights and responsibilities as a homeowner is crucial to avoid conflicts which would be detrimental to your use and enjoyment of your home.

Driving With Friends Can be Hazardous to a Teen's Health

According to a recent study, the biggest danger to a teen driver's life may occur while he or she is giving a friend a lift. The study concluded that a teen driving with a couple of friends in the car can triple a teen's risk for a fatal auto accident.

Expansion of Virginia Protective Order Laws

As of July 1, 2011, significant modifications went into effect governing the law of protective orders in Virginia. The Virginia General Assembly has now made protective orders available to a wider class of victims and has also expanded the conduct that may result in a protective order being issued. The changes to the law were implemented after Virginia faced criticism of its domestic violence prevention laws following the widely publicized death of Yeardley Love, a former student and lacrosse player at the University of Virginia.

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