Free Online Legal Resources
As a Virginian, you will at some point probably find yourself dealing with the Virginia court system, so understanding the state's court system is essential. Often the first step in the court process, the magistrate system of Virginia provides unbiased reviews of criminal complaints from law enforcement and the general public. They also handle probable cause hearings, arrest warrants and other processes.
Most small court cases in Virginia start in one of the district courts. The 32 juvenile and domestic relations district courts hear only children and family cases, and the 32 general district courts hear civil cases involving up to $25,000 and criminal cases involving traffic violations and misdemeanors.
At the next level, the 31 Virginia circuit courts try all types of civil and criminal cases. The Court of Appeals reviews the decisions of the circuit and district courts. It handles appeals from all of the lower courts, except for those involving the death penalty. The Supreme Court of Virginia exists mainly to review the decisions of the lower courts. It hears appeals only in cases involving the State Corporation Commission, the disbarment of lawyers and the death penalty.
When faced with a legal issue, contacting an experienced attorney is always the best bet. At LawInfo you can search for a skilled, Lead Counsel Rated Virginia attorney by location and by practice area. We have Virginia attorneys who dedicate their practice to specific areas of the law, so you will not only find an attorney, but an attorney who is knowledgeable to help you with your particular legal issue.
LawInfo offers free Virginia legal forms and documents to help resolve many of your issues on your own. Whether you need a power of attorney or you want to complete your will, we have you covered. You can click on our most popular forms located in the right column of this page. A user account is required to use the service, but it’s completely free.
Whether you are a landlord or a tenant, a Residential Lease Agreement can help you protect your interests during a rental period. Available as a free download from LawInfo, this form spells out the rules, time period and costs involved in the rental of a house, apartment or other domestic property.
Another important personal document is the Last Will and Testament. With LawInfo's free form, you can decide whom you wish to leave your belongings and money to and how you wish them to be transferred. If you have minor children, you can also use your last will and testament to let the state know who you wish to take custody of them when you die. If you die without a will in Virginia, it will be up to the state to decide these matters for you.
Also available from LawInfo is the very useful general Power of Attorney form. With this document, you can give permission to another person to perform certain business or legal actions on your behalf. This can include actions such as selling property or paying bills. You have the right to revoke this power at any time. A durable power of attorney form is more comprehensive and long-lasting. It allows you to designate another person to handle your legal and medical decisions if you become incapacitated or disabled.
If you are thinking about starting a business in Virginia, you have a lot of information to process and many decisions to make. There are some wonderful free resources available, including Virginia's own Business One Stop and the Virginia Small Business Development Center. These sites can guide you through many of the steps of starting a business, including getting educated, writing a business plan and choosing your type of business and corporate structure.
Ranked the 2013 best state for business by Forbes, Virginia is a great place for business. There are more than 145,000 small employers and 3,200 large employers in Virginia along with more than 510,000 no-employee businesses. The workforce is almost 3 million strong in the private sector alone.
Virginia's strong incentives and business-friendly policies make it an ideal place to start a business. It is home to more than a few of the Fortune 500, including Freddie Mac (FMCC.OB), Northrop Grumman (NOC.N) and Capital One Financial (COF.N).