Immigrating to a new country alone can be challenging. Many immigrants to the United States do not speak English as their primary language, and their loved ones often must wait for them to obtain the correct documentation before they can be reunited as a family on U.S. soil. However, this process might have been exhilarated by a recent workflow digitization.
“Helping a relative immigrate to the United States can be a challenging and stressful process,” immigration attorney James Hacking of Hacking Law Practice, LLC explained. “There are several in-depth forms that can be disorienting to people who are not familiar with the process. Any mistake on the forms or process can result in significant delays for an individual attempting to gain permanent resident status.”
The first step to sponsor a relative that one must complete is called Form I-130, the Petition for Alien Relative. Petitioners must be U.S. citizens and can file a petition for only a select number of family members, such as a spouse, their child or children (subject to certain age restrictions), or parents or siblings (subject to certain age restrictions).
An individual hoping to obtain their permanent resident status, also known as a “green card,” must first wait for the U.S. government to approve this petition. Previously, this process had to be completed on paper forms and mailed to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Now, however, this process has been made electronic for the first time in history. As the immigration process transitions from a hardcopy form to an electronic one, petitioners are afforded the convenience of electronic filing.
Now, the first step for an individual to obtain a green card for a qualifying relative is to create an account online through the USCIS website. Although online filing is not yet available for all forms, it has been made available for eight different forms, including the Petition for Alien Relative Form I-130, which will potentially provide an expedient alternative to paper filing. Additionally, petitioners will also be able to pay the necessary fees online, track the status of their case, communicate with USCIS officials, and respond to requests for evidence.
Reckless Driving in the State of Virginia
The state of Virginia is strict in its enforcement of laws against reckless driving. According to section 46.2-852 of the Virginia Code, reckless driving is listed as a criminal offense. In addition, the Virginia Code categorizes all driving that endangers the life and property of others as reckless.
Several behaviors that motorists exhibit while behind the wheels can qualify as reckless driving in Virginia. “Reckless driving causes nearly a third of all deaths involving major car accidents, which are more than 13,000 each year,” explains attorney Karin Riley Porter. As a result, you can be charged by an officer and can be found guilty or not guilty by a judge.
Types of Reckless Driving
Reckless driving is in different forms and includes:
1. Driving a vehicle with a mechanical fault
Va. Code § 46.2-853 considers driving a vehicle with faulty brakes as a reckless driving offense. Therefore, if a driver cannot maintain proper vehicle control, the driver will be held liable for reckless driving. However, if a driver could prove that they didn’t have prior knowledge that the vehicle was faulty, it would be possible to avoid conviction.
2. Not giving out the right signals when required
Not giving out a signal while driving on Virginia road is an offense under section 46.2-860 of the Virginia Code. Motorists are required to start signaling 50 feet away from the place they would be turning where the speed limit is not above 35 mph. In situations where the speed limit is above 35 mph, drivers are required to signal 100 feet away from where they would take a turn.
3. Driving alongside another vehicle on a single lane road
In Virginia, driving two vehicles abreast on a one-lane road is considered a reckless driving offense. This rule, however, only applies to vehicles and has no implications on motorcycles and bikes. If found liable, the offender will face charges.
Different Virginia roads are subject to variable speed limits. A driver can face charges for reckless driving if they exceed the speed limit specified by law on each road network. According to the Va. Code §46.2-862, a driver can face convictions for reckless driving if they exceed the specified speed limit by 20 mph or drive above 80 mph.
5. Driving with an impaired view
Some drivers overload their cars or carry passengers who prevent them from seeing all sides of the road. Overloading is most common in trucks. If the passenger’s sitting position in any way obstructs the driver’s view, then the driver can be charged for reckless driving.
6. Racing on Public Property
Section 46.2-865 of the Virginia Code considers car racing on any property that is open to the members of the public without authorization as reckless driving. If found guilty, the state can withdraw the license of the driver for up to six months.
Penalties for Reckless Driving in Virginia
A reckless driving conviction may attract different penalties to the offender, some of which may include:
- A suspension of the driver’s license for six months or more
- Up to one-year jail term
- Fine amounting to $2,500
- Increase in auto insurance
- Ineligibility for car rentals
- Possibility of permanent seizure of vehicle if found guilty of unauthorized car racing
Reckless driving is a severe offense in Virginia. If you are charged with the crime and convicted, it can stay in your driving records for up to 11 years. However, with the help of an experienced Virginia traffic attorney, you can get a lesser charge for the offense.
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