FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Clarify your doubts!
HOW MUCH TIME DO I HAVE TO FILE A PERSONAL INJURY CLAIM?
The State of Virginia provides personal injury victims a term of two years to file a compensation claim. If you wait to file a claim until two years, you may lose your right to a financial agreement.
WHAT IF I DON'T HAVE ENOUGH MONEY TO PAY THE SERVICES OF AN ATTORNEY TO ATTEND MY CASE OF PERSONAL INJURY ?
You can still get the legal help that you need! Personal injury attorneys work on a base of a contingency fee. That means that the fees of your attorney come from the amount of the final agreement. If you don’t get an agreement, you don’t pay.
WHICH ARE THE "NON-FINANCIAL DAMAGES" IN THE CASES OF PERSONAL INJURY?
Even though the financial damages are obvious, the non-financial damages reflect how your injuries have changed the quality of your life for the worse. These damages include damages to your marriage, emotional distress, disfigurement, loss of life enjoyment, and pain and suffering.
DO I HAVE A CASE IF THE ACCIDENT WAS IN PART MY FAULT?
Unlike most states, Virginia is still taking into account what is known as “contributory negligence.” According to this law, if you were responsible for causing the accident, you will not be allowed to file a claim for personal injuries. This applies even if your responsibility was minimum.
IS IT POSSIBLE THAT MY CASE OF PERSONAL INJURY HAS TO GO TO THE COURT?
Not necessarily. Most of the cases can be solved through negotiations if the guilty party and his insurance company are willing to cooperate. Usually, this depends on how solid is your case, because they will want to avoid paying the Tribunal’s fee and the agreement if it is improbable that the verdict is in their favor.
CAN I SEEK COMPENSATION IF THE GOVERNMENT WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR MY INJURY?
Yes, although special rules apply in the cases against governmental entities in Virginia. In particular, the amount of time that you have to file a claim is much shorter. The claim against towns or cities must be filed within the six months after the injury occurred; while a claim against the state must be filed within a year.
MY CASE WAS DECLARED AS IT DOES NOT DISPUTE THE CHARGE OR ALLEGATIONS. CAN I EXPUNGE MY HISTORY OF ARRESTS?
No. Although a statement of Nolo Contendere or No Contest is not technically a guilty confession, it is an expression of willingness to be convicted by the judge to enforce the judgment and to issue a sentence.
After filling a statement of Nolo Contendere, a judge convicts the defendant. Therefore, this motive is not consistent with an innocence claim, which is necessary when you request the expungement.
CAN I MAKE THAT AN OLD CRIME COMMITTED IS EXPUNGED FROM MY HISTORY OF ARRESTS?
No. If you plead guilty to a criminal charge, you are excluded from a possible subsequent claim of innocence. It does not matter if it was a misdemeanor, a felony, or how much time has passed since your conviction. A conviction in the State of Virginia is permanent unless you obtain an Absolute Pardon from the Governor (which is highly unlikely.)
MY CHARGE WAS DISMISSED. CAN I REQUEST THE EXPUNGEMENT OF MY CRIMINAL RECORD?
Maybe. But having been dismissed does not automatically qualify it for expungement from the record. Remember that the rule is innocence. Some charges are “expunged” after meeting some requirements. For example, a person accused of marijuana possession (first offense) can complete a program, and at the end of the probation, if the accused has met the requirements, the charge is “dismissed.” However, generally, there is a stipulation of facts enough to convict the Defendant, and the judge usually indicates in the citation, or he guarantees a judgment of guilt retained until the end of the program. These types of “dismiss” are not chosen for expungement.
IF I AM ACQUITTED, CAN I EXPUNGE MY CRIMINAL RECORD?
Yes. If an Applicant does not have a prior registry, and is looking for the expungement of a misdemeanor charge, then he will have the right to clean his record unless the Commonwealth Prosecutor’s Office presents a justified cause in the hearing of a petition to demonstrate to the tribunal why this action should not be granted. Virginia’s Code, section 19.2-392.2
WHAT DO I NEED TO EXPUNGE MY CRIMINAL RECORD?
The Tribunal will require clean proofs that demonstrate that keeping this charge/ arrest in your record “causes or may cause circumstances which constitute a manifest injustice.” Virginia’s Code, Section 19.2-392.2(F). An example of this injustice may include a letter from a prospective employer, which indicates that the criminal record is required for a job offer.
WHICH ARE THE BENEFITS OF THE EXPUNGEMENT OF MY CRIMINAL RECORD?
According to the law of the State of Virginia, a person does not need to reveal in any request, information about an arrest or criminal charge that has been expunged. Code of Virginia, section 19.2-392.4 (A). In other words, if you are asked in any job or school application if you ever were arrested or accused of a crime, you can lawfully answer “No.”
CAN I WORK TEMPORARILY OR PERMANENTLY IN THE UNITED STATES?
Yes. Who came to work in the United States can do it temporarily or permanently. A permanent worker enters the country with a specific purpose and only for a defined period.
Once in the country, these individuals have restrictions, been able to perform only the activity for which the visa was issued. If they are not able to fulfill these requirements, of working in a specific industry, for example, they may face deportation.
A permanent worker is a person that is authorized to live and work in the United States permanently. However, this does not assure citizenship.
If you wish to become a temporary or permanent worker, or you need help with your naturalization process, one of our immigration attorneys of North Virginia can help you.
CAN I APPLY FOR AMERICAN CITIZENSHIP?
Yes. To apply for citizenship of the United States, you must be at least 18 years old. Also, you must have a green card or have been a legal resident for at least 5 years. When you get married or live with an American citizen, this period shortens to 3 years.
Sometimes, this residence is hard to obtain. For example, if you left the country for 6 months or more, you may risk your citizenship.
Our immigration attorneys will refute the arguments that oppose your residence. We can help you to provide evidence that you maintain your residence in the USA, even if you left the country.
To become a citizen, you will have to demonstrate that you had good behavior. Also, you have to be able to read, write, and speak basic English. Finally, you will have to prove your knowledge of American history.
We will help you with all the aspects of your citizen application, and we will advise you with every aspect of the naturalization process.
HOW DO I CONTACT PRIALE & RACINE?
If you want to immigrate to the United States, become a citizen, or you are facing a deportation process, do not navigate alone in the troubled waters of the United States’ immigration system.
In Priale & Racine PLLC, we have expert immigration attorneys of the North of Virginia that are ready to help you.
We will help you by telling you everything about the immigration process and what comes next with your case.
We will teach you how to fill any application or request or construct a solid defense that will help you to stay in the country.
If you have immigration problems, we want to solve them for you. Call today to (703) 546-9649 or contact us online for your free consultation.
IS THERE ANY MECHANISMS OF DEFENSE IN CASE OF DEPORTATION?
Yes. Many people do not understand that there are mechanisms of defense available for deportation. We can use these defenses to give you the best opportunity to stay in the country.
We will also help you and your family if you have received a Notice to Appear, explaining to you the different alternatives of dismissal that will allow you to stay in the country.
IF I HAVE AN E-2 VISA, CAN I BRING MY FAMILY WITH ME?
Yes, if you have an E-2 Visa, you are allowed to bring your wife, as well as any single child under 21 years old. They will be allowed to stay in the United States the time that your visa is valid.