Hybrid Taxes, Legal Ethics, and Sunday Hunting

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In an article posted in Docket Call for young lawyers Summer of 2014, lawyers review updates to laws in the commonwealth of Virginia.

Rules for personal identification were changes to require a government issued ID for voter registration. This includes VA Drivers license, U.S. Passport, Student ID, Employer ID, or any government issued identification. The identification must be valid. Utility bills, pay stubs, and bank statements are no longer acceptable forms of identification when registering to vote.

The Hybrid Vehicle tax of $64 annually was repealed and fuel tax subsequently raised elsewhere to recoup the costs. Fees for all-electric and alternative fuel vehicles remains in effect. This was originally to offset the cost of road repair by vehicles that do not purchase fuel and pay fuel taxes. Hybrid owners petitioned to have the tax removed.

Lawmakers also had a few changes to adhere to in the form of gifts from lobbyists. Under the new laws, lobbyists can only gift up to $250 in value to any single lawmaker. New laws also require gifts to immediate family members be disclosed where previously they were not.

e-Cigarettes are officially considered a tobacco product and purchase requires the same restrictions.

Emergency custody orders also got an update after the death of Gus Deeds. The time to hold someone in custody has been increased from 6 hours to 12 hours. This ruling also increased the involuntary detention order holding from 48 hours to 72 hours. This gives the courts and officials more time to protect from mental health issues.

Criminal law now considers the dissemination or sale of unauthorized nude or sexually explicit images of another person a class 1 misdemeanor. While the penalty for celebratory gunfire was also increased.

It is now banned to establish new Fox pens – used for training dogs to track and kill wild foxes. Established fox pens are grandfathered in for another 40 years. Pet shop owners have to own up to the sale of animals deemed unfit for sale. New laws require the pet shop to not only reimburse for the animal but also cover any medical expenses involved.

The 1930 Sunday hunting law was repealed allowing for hunting of wild birds and animals on private property not within 200 yards of a house of worship. Deer and bear remain illegal when aided by a hunting dog.

To read the article in it’s entirety, Docket Call for young lawyers Summer of 2014