New Virginia Laws That May Affect You!
I mentioned in a previous blog that new Virginia Laws were coming your way and would go into effect on July 1, 2020. I apologize for this update coming 2 weeks after the new laws were enacted. Like most lawyers in Virginia, I had to do the research and see how this would affect my current clients and how my representation of their interests might change or be affected. It takes some tinkering around and diligence to sometimes recraft strategies and implement legal assertions based on old and new law. So that kept me busy, but here are some new laws that may affect you.
Obviously some will be more relevant but here are several that will affect us in my capacity as a Traffic & Criminal Defense, Bankruptcy and Personal Injury Lawyer:
Marijuana – Possession of under 1 ounce is decriminalized and is punishable by only a $25 civil fine. There is no possibility of jail.
Firearms – People subject to a restraining order may not possess firearms. Background check on all firearm sales and limits on purchases to one handgun a month. A lost or stolen firearm must be reported within 48 hours.
Voting – No photo ID is required to vote and no-excuse absentee voting is allowed during the entire 45-day absentee voting period which includes both in-person and by-mail voting.
Pedestrian Safety – Drivers must stop (not just yield) to pedestrians (people walking not in a car) in marked and unmarked crosswalks until the pedestrian has cleared the road.
Confederate Monuments – Local cities, counties and towns are permitted to remove, relocate, or cover any monument, or memorial to war veterans on the locality’s public property. This does not include private property.
Virginia Homestead Exemption – In bankruptcy cases, a debtor (individual who is filing for bankruptcy) can now deduct an additional $25,000 of real or personal property used as a residence.
Of course, there are many more laws that you can bring yourself up to speed on. Click here: http://dls.virginia.gov/pubs/idc/idc20.pdf. And a sneak peek for next year, minimum wage increase to $9.50 per hour on May 1, 2021 and banning holding a cellphone while driving will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2021.
As always, be safe and stay vigilant.