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These New Changes in Virginia Law Are Already in Effect

Some big new changes have come to Virginia law and went into effect on July 1st. These include upcoming alcohol delivery, changes to Marijuana laws, and cracking down on various areas of criminal law. Here are all of the important changes to watch out for in Virginia law:

Police Ticketing Quotas

Already in effect, a new piece of legislation restricting police departments from setting quotas for ticketing has been passed. The new law not only prevents departments from setting goals that officers must hit in order to remain in good standing but also prevents the number of tickets written or arrests from being used as criteria to evaluate the job performance of an officer. Hopefully, both of these requirements will be effective in preventing unnecessary ticketing by police.

Alcohol Delivery

Businesses must now recieve a new third-party license before conducting alcohol deliveries, which come with more stringent requirements for those businesses. In an attempt to improve the safety of to-go alcohol orders and ensure age verification, the third-party delivery license requires that delivery personnel take an alcohol delivery safety training course and re-certify annually. The legislation also extended the existing policies which permit alcohol delivery.

Reporting Requirements for Principals

Returning to a prior standard, school principals in Virginia will now have to report misdemeanors to law enforcement if a student commits certain acts. If a principal gains knowledge of an assault or threat against another person on school grounds, or the use of alcohol and drugs, they are now required to report the incident. Prior to this change, principals had their own discretion in reporting but must report any felony actions.

Marijuana Changes

Similar to many other states, Virginia is still in the process of sorting out its own laws surrounding medical marijuana. As of July 1st, citizens no longer have to register with the state in order to receive a medical marijuana license. Instead, Virginians can register with any of the state-approved medical marijuana practitioners, effectively cutting down on the month-long wait time that patients would face when applying through the Virginia Board of Pharmacy.

Virginia has also expanded the laws surrounding marijuana possession. Prior to July 1st, Virginians over the age of 21 could carry up to an ounce of marijuana, and be given a fine of $25 if they were caught carrying more. Now, those caught with over four ounces and less than a pound on their person will be faced with a class 3 misdemeanor on their first offense, as well as a $500 fine. Subsequent offenses would carry a charge of a class 2 misdemeanor and a $1000 fine, as well as up to six months in jail.

At Norton Pelt, we want our clients to be up-to-date on the legal issues that matter. If you’re in need of an experienced team of attorneys, contact us today to schedule your consultation.


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