Our Virginia Personal Injury Attorneys Have the Answers You Seek

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  • Despite the complaints I have filed, my homeowner's association has not taken care of my noisy neighbors. What can I do?

    Many communities in Norfolk have homeowners’ associations (HOAs), and belonging to one has many advantages. When you pay good money every month to the HOA, you expect it to take care of you if you have concerns.

    Living with a noisy neighbor is difficult and can even affect your quality of life. Most HOAs have rules regarding noise levels, including noise curfews. In fact, even the city of Norfolk has a noise ordinance that citizens are supposed to follow. But when your neighbor is defiant and disturbs you and your neighborhood, you want help.

    When Your HOA Won’t Help

    If you’ve filed numerous complaints with your HOA regarding your neighbor and haven’t received any help, you may still be able to get the results you seek in the following ways:

    • Talk to your other neighbors. Chances are, if you’re having problems with a particular neighbor, others are as well. Compose a formal complaint and ask your other neighbors to sign it, then turn it into your HOA. Seeing that several residents are a united front against those making the noise may prompt your HOA to take action.
    • Talk to the authorities. You’ve probably already called the cops several times to report your neighbors, but if you haven’t, do so the next time they are rowdy. You may also be able to request that a test is conducted to measure exactly how much noise your neighbor is making. If the level is high enough, the noise enforcement officer may issue a citation.

    Take Matters Into Your Own Hands

    When you feel that no one is on your side and willing to help, it’s time to take legal action. The attorneys of Tavss Fletcher believe you should be able to enjoy yourself in your own home, and we want to make that happen. Contact us to find out how we can help.

  • What are the safety concerns surrounding Palcohol?

    Drinkers who are looking for an easy and convenient way to knock back a few may look into using Palcohol, a powdered alcohol substance that is set to hit the stores in the summer of 2015.

    This freeze-dried alcohol, which is available in five different flavors, turns into a mixed drink when water is added. Although this may sound like a dream come true for those who wish to consume alcohol on hiking or camping trips, others are doubtful of its safety.

    Palcohol: It is Safe to Use?

    The makers of Palcohol praise its convenience and claim it is just as safe as conventional liquid alcohol. Others, however, are more critical of the product and its safety for consumers, and here’s why:

    • The potential for overdose is high. Since the alcohol is in powder form, critics worry that consumers will inhale the powder, which can offer an immediate high. Additionally, they fear that youngsters and others will eat the powder itself, which could end up in overdose. In fact, the company claims consumers can sprinkle the powder on their food for an “extra kick.”
    • Palcohol is easily accessible. A child may know not to drink alcohol, but what about eating it? A youngster could easily confuse the powder with sugar or another edible substance and ingest the product. Although the company claims ingesting the powder isn’t pleasurable because it turns gummy when mixed with saliva, the child could still feel the effects of the alcohol even if he stops eating it after a few bites.
    • Drinking and driving is now easier. Some critics fear that drivers will be able to get away with drinking alcohol when behind the wheel more easily with Palcohol, which could result in more deadly crashes.

    Do You Have Questions About Your Rights?

    If the driver who hit you and caused injuries was under the influence of Palcohol or other alcohol, you may have a claim. The attorneys of Tavss Fletcher want to help you find out. Contact us today to speak with a legal professional about your situation.

     

  • Why do emergency room mistakes happen?

    A hospital emergency room is the last place anyone wants to be. They are often overcrowded and understaffed. Patients are scared and stressed out, and staff members are tired and short-tempered. With long waits, rushed examinations, and quick diagnoses, it’s no wonder mistakes are made.

    Why Your Condition May Become Worse in an Emergency Room

    When you go into the emergency room, you expect to have your condition resolved. You don’t expect to come out worse than when you went in, but, unfortunately, that could happen. In the name of efficiency and cost-effectiveness, hospitals often make cuts that harm the patient. The following are common occurrences in busy emergency rooms and could lead to harm to patients:

    • Inadequate staff
    • Lack of hospital beds
    • Not obtaining medical history
    • Deviating from standard protocol
    • Staff that is stressed and fatigued
    • Overcrowding
    • Lack of equipment or resources
    • Rushing from one patient to another

    As a result, patients can endure a variety of painful and difficult events, including receiving the wrong medications, being injured by rough and unsympathetic staff, having the wrong tests performed, and even undergoing unnecessary surgery.

    You Don’t Have to Suffer in Silence

    Emergency room mistakes are inexcusable. Not only can they harm you, they can end up costing you thousands of dollars. You shouldn’t have to pay for someone else’s mistakes, and the attorneys of Tavss Fletcher want to help you receive the compensation you deserve. Fill out or online form or call us at 757.625.1214 to get the justice you seek. 

  • I can’t seem to get over losing my baby in a car crash. Is it normal to feel this way?

    You were 21 weeks along in your first pregnancy when you were t-boned by a drunk driver on Chesapeake Blvd. The collision left you unconscious, and when you woke up you were lying in a bed at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.

    Naturally, your first thoughts were of the safety of your unborn baby. The doctors told you that the accident caused a placental abruption, where the placenta tears away from the uterus. If you were further along, the doctors would consider delivering the baby now, but since they can’t, you are to stay on bed rest.

    The Aftermath of a Miscarriage

    Despite your best efforts, your baby was not able to survive the trauma. Experiencing a miscarriage is devastating enough, but particularly when it is at the hands of a negligent driver. Many moms who lose their unborn children experience a range of emotion, including:

    • Guilt. Even though the accident and subsequent miscarriage weren’t your fault whatsoever, you may still feel like there was something you could have done to prevent it. The guilt can become crippling and affect your quality of life.
    • Anger. Feeling anger towards the negligent driver, and even at the medical team and yourself after the miscarriage is common. Visiting a therapist to learn how to cope with the anger is often a viable solution.
    • Depression. Perhaps the most common psychological effect mothers feel after miscarriage is depression. The overwhelming sadness can cause physical and emotional symptoms, and taking anti-depressant drugs or speaking with a counselor can help.

    Having to Pay for Someone Else’s Negligence

    You’ve already suffered enough because of someone else’s mistake; don’t allow yourself to pay for the negligence, as well. Medical bills from your current treatment, as well as treatment you may need in the future because of the miscarriage, will end up costing you thousands of dollars. Unless you have the help of an experienced attorney on your side, you may end up footing the bill, which isn’t right.

    The attorneys of Tavss Fletcher don’t think you should have to pay for expenses related to another driver’s error. Contact us today to learn how we may be able to help.

  • Who doesn’t have to buckle up behind the wheel in Virginia?

    After an officer pulled you over for speeding on Rte. 60, he issued you two tickets: one for speeding and the other for your 16-year-old daughter who was riding in the front passenger seat without a belt. Although you know the importance of wearing the safety gear, you didn’t think to check that your daughter was buckled up. Now you’re facing fines.

    Who Isn’t Required to Wear a Seat Belt?

    This has left you wondering: is every driver required to wear a seatbelt in Virginia? As a driver, are you responsible for your passengers buckling up?  Virginia law says that, while you are liable for underage passengers who are not wearing seatbelts, passengers over age 17 are responsible for themselves and could be ticketed for not wearing a seatbelt. While it is always safer to be bucked up, the truth is, not every driver is required to wear a seatbelt. Some exceptions to the law are:

    • People with medical reasons aren’t obliged to buckle up. Those for whom a licensed physician determines that they are medically incapable of wearing seatbelts are pardoned from doing so.
    • Law-enforcement officers. When law enforcement officers are transporting people in custody or are traveling in circumstances in which wearing a safety belt is impractical, they aren’t required to buckle up.
    • Certain professional deliverers. Those who are actively delivering mail for the United States Postal Service and those who are performing duties as newspaper route carriers, newspaper bundle haulers, or newspaper rack carriers are exempt from wearing seat belts.
    • Other drivers and passengers. Taxi cab drivers and passengers, along with certain personnel of public works, don’t have to wear seatbelts when driving or being transported in such vehicles.

    Do You Need Help With an Alleged Driving Infraction?

    If you’ve been wrongly accused of driving without wearing a seatbelt or are facing another driving infraction, the legal team of Tavss Fletcher may be able to help.  Contact us today to speak with an experienced attorney about your situation and find out if we can help.

  • Do I really need to hire a lawyer for my work zone accident? What will one do for me?

    The construction work on N. Shore Rd. seems like it has gone on forever, and it doesn’t look like it will stop anytime soon. You’ve passed by the work zone hundreds of times to and from your job and never had any problems with it, until today, that is.

    Misplaced cones caused you to drive into the guardrail. As a result, your airbags deployed and you suffered injuries. You were taken to Sentara Leigh Hospital where you received treatment for your injuries and underwent lots of expensive testing.

    Thinking of Fighting Alone? You May Want to Think Again

    The insurance company will attempt to nickel and dime you when it comes to a settlement. Not only will a representative not give you the compensation you deserve now, but you likely won’t get enough to cover problems that happen in the future because of your injuries. When you hire a law firm, however, they will go the extra mile to help you, by:

    • Dealing with your medical bills and paperwork so you can focus on recovery, not fighting with an insurance company that doesn’t have your best interests in mind.
    • Collect evidence, work with experts, interview witnesses, and speak with investigators to help build your case and present compelling evidence to the judge and jury so that you have a better chance of winning.
    • Answer your legal questions and track your deadlines so that you have one less thing on your mind and feel confident in your case.

    Don’t Trust the Insurance Company to Give You What You Deserve

    The insurance company doesn’t have your best interests in mind, but the legal team of Tavss Fletcher does. Contact us today to learn what we can do so that you can get over your injury and on with your life again.

  • Can I file a dispute against my homeowners’ association?

    You’re not sure what you’ve done, but you feel like your homeowners association (HOA) is attacking you personally. It seems to you that the HOA goes out of its way to make accusations against you that are false, or it allows other residents to get away with the very things it accuses you of. Most recently, you received a violation notice for unauthorized trash can placement, but you know the person across the street from you places her cans in the same spot and isn’t targeted for it.

    When Your Dispute Turns Major

    You believe your HOA’s latest accusations and demands against you are in violation of your contract and you want to take action. Fortunately, you can, with the help of an attorney. You should be aware of the following:

    • The law may be on your side. HOA members have certain rights under the Virginia Property Owners’ Association Act and the Virginia Condominium Owners’ Association Act. If you feel your HOA is going against its contract, these acts may protect you.
    • File a dispute. Contact the president of your HOA to discuss your problem. The association may schedule mediation or arbitration to resolve the issue. However, this may take some time and is often stressful. If your complaint is minor, you may not feel the time and effort you have to put into it is worth it.
    • Hire a lawyer. If you don’t think the HOA will take you seriously or you’re not satisfied with the results, hiring a real estate attorney is your best option. You can then make a legal claim against the HOA that will make them take notice and possibly comply, or take your case to court and let a judge decide.

    Don’t Allow Your HOA to Take Advantage of You

    Homeowners associations are legal entities, which means you can take legal action against them. Real estate law is complex, and having an attorney on your side will increase your chances of success.

    The lawyers of Tavss Fletcher may be able to help you get the justice you deserve. Contact us today to learn how.

  • Am I jeopardizing my financial future by keeping my house for the wrong reasons after divorce?

    You moved into your home right after you married. It’s the home you brought your children to from the hospital and you have hundreds of happy memories associated with it. As a result, it was only natural for you to tell your spouse that you wanted the home when you decided to divorce.

    Unfortunately, some spouses hold onto their homes for all the wrong reasons, and doing so can cause financial troubles down the road.

    Are You Holding on to Something You Shouldn’t?

    Before you decide to go through the process of becoming the sole owner of your home, evaluate your reasons for doing so. If you find you are wanting to keep the home for any of the following reasons, you should reconsider:

    • You are keeping the home out of spite. Some spouses want to make the divorce process difficult for their exes every step of the way. If you didn’t want the divorce or have ill feelings towards your spouse, you may fight for the home just because you know he wants it. If so, you’ll likely regret your decision down the road, especially if it causes you financial hardship.
    • You want to hold on to the marriage. Feeling a sense of loss is understandable after a divorce. After all, you are losing someone who used to be a major part of your life. Keeping your home because of all of the memories you have, however, may not be such a good idea, as it won’t allow you to move on, which you’ll need to do eventually.
    •  You don’t want to uproot the children. Although this is a valid reason, keeping the kids there can cause problems down the road if you can’t afford your home. You’ll need to ask yourself if keeping the children comfortable is more important than staying on top of your finances.

    We Can Help

    The divorce process is beyond stressful and is full of fears and doubt. The good news is you don’t have to go through this alone. The attorneys of Tavss Fletcher are here to help. Contact us today to learn how and to begin moving on with your new life.

  • I’ve been told that the drug Spice is safe, natural, and legal—is it?

    More and more often you hear of “safer drugs” that are supposedly legal and still offer a pleasurable high. However, not only are these drugs typically not safer, they are actually quite dangerous and using them can get you into trouble.

    Spice is a substance that is showing up in schools and on the streets, and is being used recreationally by teenagers and adults alike. Because it’s not well-known as a conventional drug, many wrongly think it is safe and legal to use.

    The Truth About Spice

    Before you use or possess Spice, you should know a few things about the substance, including:

    • It is a synthetic cannabinoid. Also called “JWH,” Spice is a synthetic cannabinoid that is sold as incense. Labeled as an herbal product, it gives off a high that is similar to what marijuana produces.
    • It is potentially dangerous. Those who have taken Spice have reported experiencing tremors, anxiety, vomiting, seizures, agitation, and psychotic episodes.
    • It is illegal. Synthetic cannabinoids are considered Schedule I drugs, which means it has a high potential for abuse and has no accepted medical use. Possessing, giving, or selling the drug is a Class 1 misdemeanor and is punishable by imprisonment for up to 12 months and/or a fine of up to $2,500. Sale, distribution, gift, or possession with intent to sell, give, or distribute is a Class Six felony, which can result in imprisonment for one to 10 years and a fine of up to $2,500.

    We Are Here to Help

    When you’re facing charges of this nature, you’ll need the help of an expert legal team. Attempting to defend yourself or settling with a substandard attorney can result in disaster.

    The legal team of Tavss Fletcher can answer your questions regarding your charges and may be able to help. Contact us today by filling out our online form or by calling us at 757.625.1214 and find out how we have helped many people in Norfolk with their drug charges and how we may be able to do the same for you.

  • Which patients should doctors check for gestational diabetes?

    As just about any expectant mother can tell you, pregnancy is scary. Along with the dramatic changes your body goes through, there’s also the unknown of how the baby is doing. So many problems can occur, it’s enough to make any mother-to-be a bundle of nerves.

    Gestational diabetes is just one of the many complications that can occur during pregnancy. This potentially life-threatening disorder occurs as the result of hormone changes during pregnancy. Over time, the changes lead to progressive glucose intolerance, which can result in gestational diabetes.

    Are You Predisposed to Gestational Diabetes?

    Although doctors should check all pregnant women for gestational diabetes, some patients should be considered high-risk for the condition. Your chances of having the disorder are increased if:

    • Your parents or siblings have diabetes
    • You are 20 percent or more over your ideal body weight prior to becoming pregnant
    • You have had gestational diabetes in previous pregnancies
    • You are African-American, Hispanic, Native American, or Asian
    • You have previously given birth to a baby who weighed nine pounds or more
    • You have given birth to a stillborn baby in the past

    Did Your Doctor Fail to Diagnose You?

    Women who have gestational diabetes typically don’t exhibit any symptoms of the condition, except those found through urine and blood testing, and may not know about it until it is too late. Untreated gestational diabetes can cause life-long problems for your unborn child, including diabetes, Erb’s palsy, and cerebral palsy.

    It is your doctor’s responsibility to take care of you and your child, and when that doesn’t happen, you can take action. The legal team of Tavss Fletcher may be able to help you receive the compensation you deserve to help pay for current and future medical treatments that are needed because of the undiagnosed condition. Contact us today to learn how we have helped others in the Norfolk area and how we may be able to do the same for you.

  • What complications can occur from a fractured pelvis?

    While severe pelvic fractures are relatively rare, when they do occur, they are most commonly caused by high-speed motor vehicle accidents or falls from great heights. The pelvis is a butterfly-shaped group of bones that is held together by tough ligaments. Because of the construction of these bones, it is quite common for more than one to break when experiencing trauma.

    Pelvic fractures can become life-threatening when damage to the surrounding blood vessels and ligaments causes massive blood loss. These types of emergencies require surgery to stop the bleeding and repair the fracture.

    Complications You May Face

    Although mild pelvic fractures, such as those caused by a trip and fall or sports-related impact, can heal without difficulty, severe fractures cause more trouble. Some possible complications are merely a nuisance while others are extremely dangerous. Either way, they add to your recovery time and medical expenses. Possible complications include:

    • Bed rest problems. Bed rest is often part of the treatment plan, but lying around for extended periods of time creates the potential for problems. Deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, and pneumonia are just a few of the issues that can occur, and all can be life-threatening.
    • Infection. All surgeries and breaks are susceptible to infections, but pelvic fractures are extremely so when the bone pierces through the skin. Additionally, some patients with pelvic fractures require colostomy bags during the healing process, which are also prone to infection.
    • Medication issues. Those who experience pelvic fractures often take a variety of different medications during treatment. Antibiotics and pain medicine are likely obvious, but they are also typically given blood thinners to prevent clots from forming. All medications run the risk for allergic reactions, and many can affect the gastrointestinal system, which can cause extreme discomfort.

    Should You Have to Pay for These Treatments?

    Current and future treatment for your injury can cost thousands of dollars. If your pelvic fracture was due to someone else’s negligence, such as a car crash on I-664 or a fall from an unsafe worksite, you may be able to seek financial compensation that can help pay for the treatments.

    The attorneys of Tavss Fletcher will work hard to try and get you the justice you seek. Contact us today to learn how we have helped other victims in the Norfolk area, and how we may be able to do the same for you.

  • Is there a link between Daylight Savings Time and road rage?

    The saying “fall back, spring forward,” was created as a way for folks to remember the rules of Daylight Savings Time: in the fall, we turn out timepieces back an hour, and in the spring, we change the clocks forward by an hour. However, most people would agree they don’t necessarily feel very “springy” after losing an hour of sleep.

    Studies conducted over the years have revealed that Daylight Savings Time affects people in a variety of different ways. Folks tend to have more heart attacks during the first three days after the spring time change, and an increase of car accidents typically occurs.

    Does Daylight Savings Time Cause Road Rage?

    Daylight Savings Time can also alter motorists’ personalities. People respond to lack of sleep in different ways, and sometimes, it brings out the worst in them:

    • Irritability. You were traveling along SR 168 when a driver cut you off. You’re already feeling tired because of the time change, and this person almost caused you to get into an accident. Because you lost an hour’s worth of sleep last night, you’re on edge and this motorist is about to take you all the way over it. Daylight Savings Time triggers this type of reaction in many drivers, and when their tempers take the best of them, the result is road-rage-fueled accidents.
    • Loss of focus. No one is perfect and on this day you proved it. You accidentally ran through a stop sign and almost caused a serious accident. The time change has left you drowsy and groggy, which is likely why you missed seeing the sign. The driver you almost struck was livid, and decided to follow you for a few miles while honking his horn. Both the cause and the effect of this situation were likely the result of the time change.

    We Can Help

    If you were injured in an accident in the Virginia Beach area caused by an irresponsible or angry driver, you may be eligible to receive compensation that can cover your vehicle repairs, medical expenses, and time away from work. The legal team of Tavss Fletcher wants to help. Contact us today to learn what we can do for you.

  • Can I get myself into trouble if I stay silent during a traffic stop?

    You were about to go through the Midtown Tunnel when an officer pulled you over. It was a Friday night, and you were coming home from a friend’s house. Although you weren’t intoxicated, you did have a few drinks and were concerned the officer may smell the alcohol on you.

    As the officer approached your vehicle, you remembered hearing that you should stay silent during such traffic stops. However, you wonder if you really should.

    Do You Really Have the Right to Remain Silent?

    You can’t imagine not answering any of the police officer’s questions, but you know that what you say will be used against you. Will your plan of silence backfire? Here, we take a look.

    • Silence is often perceived as guilt. If you fail to talk to a police officer, you may give off suspicion that you are guilty, especially if you are asked to participate in a field sobriety test. The officer may believe that you are too intoxicated to talk in the tests and may then arrest you on suspicion of driving while under the influence.
    • Not speaking may anger the officer. Failing to answer the officer may come off as ignoring him and that could make him angry. This anger may cause him to find a reason to arrest you.

    What Should You Do?

    If you believe that answering an officer’s question will lead to an admission of guilt, you can simply say you don’t think it is an appropriate time to talk about the matter and that you wish to speak with your attorney first. Staying polite is important, and so is not saying anything that can be used to indicate guilt.

    Having an experienced attorney on your side is your best bet in a criminal law situation. The legal team of Tavss Fletcher may be able to help you with your matter. Contact us today to learn how.

  • How do I know when it’s time to put my parent into a nursing home?

    Up until recently, your father was feisty, independent, and in good health. A recent illness, however, has left him weak and in constant need of care. You fear it’s time to make a decision about whether or not he should enter a nursing home.

    Although Norfolk is filled with reputable nursing homes, you worry about making the right choice. After all, nursing home abuse and neglect are common and you don’t want to expose him to that kind of treatment. The first step, however, is to decide if it is indeed time to start looking into nursing homes.

    Is it Time?

    If your father is not willing to admit he needs help, you may need to look for clues in his surroundings and behavior to confirm your suspicions that it’s time for him to move into a senior facility. Look for the following signs he’s not doing well on his own:

    • He isn’t able to perform daily tasks. Take a look at your parent’s kitchen. Is the fridge filled with take-out containers? Do pot holders carry chars that could reveal the presence of a few past kitchen fires? Is his home a mess? If so, he may not be able to perform the daily and necessary tasks he needs to stay well.
    • His sickness requires constant care. If his health is in such a state that it requires a nurse’s care, he may need to move to a facility. If he can’t administer his medication on his own, monitor his condition, or perform the other tasks his health requires, he could become critically ill if he remains living on his own.
    • He seems depressed. If your father is losing weight, doesn’t participate in the activities he used to, or seems to have a general disregard for life, he could be depressed, which may require constant monitoring. A nursing home may provide the care that prevents him from becoming even more ill.

    We’re Here If You Need Us

    It’s never easy to have to make decisions on behalf of someone you love, especially if he is resistant. You have to trust that you are doing what is best for his health and safety. Take the time to choose a high-quality facility and visit regularly to make sure your parent is safe. If you ever suspect the nursing home you chose is not taking proper care of you parent, Tavss Fletcher is here to help.

  • Who is prone to experiencing compartment syndrome?

    Compartment syndrome is a painful and often life-threatening condition that can occur after a severe injury, such as a fracture. This ailment develops when swelling or bleeding occurs in a muscle compartment, applying pressure to the tough membrane called the fascia covering the muscle compartment.

    Those who suffer from compartment syndrome potentially face damage to their nerves and muscles if not treated quickly or effectively. Additionally, if the pressure is not relieved in a short amount of time, permanent disability and muscle death can occur.

    Are You at Risk?

    Fortunately, not every fracture will have you headed to Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital or another medical center in the area for compartment syndrome, but some patients are more likely than others to develop the syndrome. Conditions that put you at an increased risk for compartment syndrome are:

    • Fractures in arms and legs. Those who experience broken bones in their forearms (the part of the arm below the elbow) or in the part of the leg below the knee are more likely to develop compartment syndrome than those who have fractures in other body parts, such as the clavicle or femur.
    • When you require surgery or antibiotics. Compartment syndrome is more likely to occur when you have surgery to repair a broken bone. Additionally, those who suffer from infections related to the fracture have an increased risk of developing the syndrome.
    • When you take anti-coagulants. If you’re on medication to treat or prevent blood clots from forming, you have a higher chance of getting compartment syndrome than someone who is not.

    Fortunately, the Office of Rare Diseases of the National Institutes of Health has classified compartment syndrome as a “rare” disease, as it affects fewer than 200,000 Americans each year.

    We Want to Help

    If your experience with compartment syndrome was caused by an accident that wasn’t your fault, the legal team of Tavss Fletcher may be able to help you receive compensation for your injuries. Contact us today to learn more.

  • Can I get out of being charged with driving on a suspended license?

    You just enjoyed a wonderful trip with your family to the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk. On your way home, as you were traveling on 460, a police officer pulled you over for speeding. Upon running your license and registration, he informed you that you shouldn’t have been driving to begin with: your license was suspended.

    An acquaintance of yours experienced the same sort of situation and ended up paying large fines and spending time in jail. Will this happen to you?

    Defenses for Driving on a Suspended License

    Before you lose hope, know that some defenses for driving on a suspended license exist, and they include:

    • You didn’t receive a notice of suspension. If you didn’t receive a notice in the mail that your license was suspended, you may not have known that it was. If you moved without informing the Department of Motor Vehicles or the notice was simply lost in the mail, a judge may not convict you because you simply had no way of knowing about the license suspension.
    • You were stopped without probable cause. A police officer can’t pull you over simply because he wants to; he has to have probable cause to do so. You have to perform an action that is unlawful, such as driving through a traffic light or displaying signs of intoxication. If you can prove that the officer didn’t have probable cause to pull you over, the court should not allow evidence related to the suspended status of your license to be admitted into evidence for the state.

    Tavss Fletcher Can Help

    Attempting to represent yourself in such a matter will likely end in harsh penalties. Instead of taking on the extra stress and pressure, allow an experienced legal professional to do the job for you.

    Tavss Fletcher has helped many drivers in the Norfolk area with their legal matters and may be able to do the same for you.

  • What kind of problems can I face when purchasing a home in probate?

    You saw a home in Norfolk you absolutely fell in love with. It had everything you wanted and is close to the schools you adore. The only catch is that it is in probate. Apparently, the person who lived there before passed away and didn’t leave the home to anyone in a will, so now it is property of the state.

    The price is right and you think you’re ready to buy, but it almost seems too good to be true, and that’s because it very well may be.

    Prepare Yourself for Problems Down the Road

    Buying a probate home means you are taking a chance on the condition of the home and your finances, and here’s why:

    • You may lose money. Those interested in homes in probate must typically have them inspected before they make offers. This means that if the inspector finds major problems with the property and you are no longer interested, you’ll lose the money you paid for the inspection. Additionally, you may also lose the home to another bidder in probate court, and you won’t get the inspection money back.
    • The previous owner probably didn’t take care of the home. The person who lived there before you may have been elderly or sick, which means the home maintenance probably wasn’t taken care of. As a result, the home may need a lot of expensive renovations.
    • The prior owner can’t disclose problems. In a typical home purchase, the person who lived there before you would tell you about any problems with the home. Because the person is now deceased, however, he is unable to, so you may not find out about issues with the home until you move in.

    Tavss Fletcher Wants to Help

    The legal team of Tavss Fletcher is experienced in real estate matters and wants to help you resolve yours. Contact us today to speak with an attorney about your situation and find out what we may be able to do.

     

  • Buyer Beware: What You Need to Know About Homes in Probate

    Because of your growing family and the need for more space, you’ve decided to move out of your apartment and purchase a home. You’ve looked at many different houses in the Norfolk area, including those in communities like Foxhall, Glenrock, and Greenwood. Your favorite so far as been a four bedroom, three bath colonial that has everything you’ve been looking for. The only problem, however, is that the home is in probate.

    Probate Precautions

    You’re not sure what probate is, and if buying a house in such a state is advantageous or even possible. Here, we look at the ins and outs of probate, and what it means for you as the buyer:

    • Probate specifics. A home goes into probate when the previous owner dies intestate, meaning the home wasn’t left to anyone in a will. When this type of situation occurs, the state takes over ownership and attempts to sell it to the right buyer.
    • Probate homes are often affordable. The state and the bank don’t want to hold onto this property because they want money for it. Accordingly, the house is priced to sell so that it moves quickly. Often the house is sold for much cheaper than other houses in the neighborhood, which can bring down the value of homes nearby.
    • Probate homes can have problems. Often, probate homes were previously cared for by those who are elderly or sick. As a result, they often don’t receive the maintenance they require. This means the buyer typically has to put in a good amount of money in order to get the house in a suitable condition.

    Tavss Fletcher Can Help

    Purchasing a home is already stressful, especially when you’re interested in property that is in probate. The legal team of Tavss Fletcher may be able to help you in this process. Contact us today to learn how. 

     

  • When creating a prenup, what types of things should my partner and I be aware of when listing premarital assets and debts?

    When planning a prenuptial agreement, it is imperative that both you and your future spouse disclose all of your financial assets and property at the time of marriage. Prenups are designed to help protect personal property and finances and to make sure property is fairly divided in case of a divorce. When one partner fails to disclose certain premarital assets, it could raise red flags for the divorce judge and potentially cost you more during divorce proceedings.

    Premarital assets are defined as any assets you have acquired before your marriage. These types of assets can include savings, stock options, personal property (car, house, jewelry, etc.), and promised holdings (inheritances, retirement, etc.). In addition to financial securities, debts must also be disclosed within premarital assets (even though a debt isn’t generally considered an asset).

    Identifying Premarital Assets

    In order to ensure that all assets are divulged, the American Bar Association highly recommends that you and your partner create extensive lists of all of your personal property, assets, and debts. While creating your lists, it is important to ask yourselves where you both stand on particular financial issues going forward. This will not only reiterate the need for a prenup, but will also help clarify future financial dependencies.

    To help make sure you’re both on the same page, you should ask yourselves the following questions:

    • How will you handle premarital assets and debts during your marriage? How will you handle them in the event of a divorce?
    • Will your personal property become co-mingled with your marital property? Do you wish to have your assets and debts remain separate property so they will go back to the spouse who acquired them before the marriage?
    • If you use your premarital assets to help pay off your fiance’s debts, will you expect to be reimbursed in the event of a divorce or was the payoff a gift?
    • What if you use premarital property to buy a home you’ll own together? Will the paying spouse need to be reimbursed or is it a gift?
    • Would you like to set up a trust in order to keep certain personal property from being declared as premarital assets?

    Prenup Setup

    Once you’ve made the decision to create a prenuptial agreement, setting it up is easier than you may think. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and we’ll walk you through the process. With specialized and diligent representation you will not only have the peace of mind that comes with knowing your agreement is secure, but you’ll also have the support and guidance you need to ensure your prenup is what you and your fiance want.

    No one expects her marriage to end in divorce, but with separation rates being what they are, planning for the future is a wise decision. Let us help you make sure you’re covered. Call us today for a free consultation. Remember, we take our job (and our clients’ futures) very seriously. Take advantage, and let us help you!

     

  • What items are considered weapons under Virginia’s concealed weapons law and what are the penalties if I’m caught carrying such a weapon?

    Gun control and enforcement is a hot-button issue in the United States. As such, the federal government tries to limit its control over gun laws and instead leaves specific gun laws up to each individual state’s government. For example, there is no federal law that prohibits the carrying of concealed weapons.

    However, each state has its own laws regarding rights, enforcement, and punishment for weapon concealment. Although the state of Virginia has slightly more lenient gun laws than some other states, it still has a black-and-white view of concealed weapons.

    Classifying Concealed Weapons in Virginia

    In Virginia, a concealed weapon is defined as any weapon or artifact that is hidden from plain view, or has such a deceptive appearance as to disguise the weapon's true nature, and could potentially cause harm to another person. Although the assumption is that the term weapon refers to a gun or knife, Virginia’s law incorporates a broader sense of what a weapon can be.

    Under the law, weapons are defined as objects that could reasonably cause harm to another person. The law specifically states that the following items can be considered weapons and, if hidden from view, can fall under the concealed weapons mandate: 

    • Guns: any pistol, revolver, or other weapon designed to expel or propel missile-like objects by action of an explosive combustible.
    • Knives: any dirk, bowie, switchblade, or ballistic knife, machete, or razors that are able to cut or impale a human body.
    • Blunt objects designed to inflict harm: blackjacks, nun-chucks, fighting chains, or any instrument designed with rigid parts meant to flail and swing freely.
    • Propelling tools: any instrument designed to propel or shoot objects at high velocity such as potato guns, slingshots, blow darts, etc.
    • Sharp tools: any instrument with sharp edges that could potentially be used to cause harm, for example, makeshift shivs, throwing stars, needles, broken glass, etc. 

    Enforcement

    If you’re found to be concealing or hiding an object which could be considered a weapon under Virginia’s weapons classification, you could be charged with carrying a concealed weapon. Depending on the severity of the offense as well as past convictions, your penalty can range from misdemeanor charges to felony charges. The following is an overview:

    • First violation: you could be ticketed and charged with a class one misdemeanor, which could lead to jail time, fines, or both.
    • Second violation: if you’ve previously been charged with a class one concealment misdemeanor and are found to be illegally carrying again, you could be charged with a class six felony. Conviction can lead to up to five years imprisonment, a $2,500 fine, or both.
    • Third or subsequent violations: when you violate the law more than twice, you could be charged with a class five felony; if convicted you could serve up to 10 years in prison, fined up to $2,500, or both.

    Legal Help

    Being aware of different states’ gun laws can be extremely confusing. Unfortunately, this confusion could potentially land you in the back of a cop car. However, with proper representation, you don’t need to fear punishment. If you were a victim of a concealed weapon misunderstanding and need legal advice and support, contact us today. Our extensive knowledge and experience with Virginia’s laws will help you avoid jail time and keep your record clean. Don’t allow your future to be tarnished because you were unaware of the law. Call us today to get the advice you need.

    Make sure your family and friends are aware of the law before it’s too late. Share this page with them via Facebook, or tell them to contact us directly to discuss any potential questions or concerns they may have about carrying concealed weapons.