1. Dos and Don’ts in a Home Renovation

    Getting your home renovated can be an exhilarating experience. But be cautious and enter the situation with care because when things go wrong, they can often go very wrong. Follow this advice to avoid problems in the first place: Always Set Clear Expectations Lay out clear expectations for the contractor of what you want as your end goal. You likely have a vision in your head of how you want thing…Read More

  2. Can I Persuade the Government to Drop My Charges?

    Is it possible to persuade the prosecutor to change his or her mind and not prosecute you after you have been charged with a crime? If you suspect that you may be charged, is it possible to persuade the prosecutor not to bring charges? The answer is "yes" to both questions, but don't count on it. However, I am convinced that in many cases a major effort to convince the prosecutor not to proceed is…Read More

  3. Your Law Firm in Fairfax and Bankruptcy

    Over the last century, the number of bankruptcy filings in the United States had steadily increased. The majority of these bankruptcies, by a rather large number, are filed by consumers and not businesses. There are a variety of reasons why people file for bankruptcy. Whatever the reason you are filing for bankruptcy, it is a good idea to hire an attorney from the law firm of Tate Bywater in Fairf…Read More

  4. Is It Hers Or Is It Ours?

    Clients in a divorce proceeding have a lot to deal with, child support, custody, visitation, and the division of all the real and personal property that the parties own. I often receive the question, "how will the property be divided when we go to court?" In Virginia, the division of property in a divorce depends upon what kind of property must be divided as defined by Va. Code § 20-107.3. There …Read More

  5. How To Choose An Attorney

    TATE BYWATER is the law firm of choice for folks in Fairfax County, Vienna, Prince William County, and beyond. Since 1972 the firm has expanded from a single-office in Vienna, Virginia to become a well-oiled machine, being a multi-office, full-service law firm that provides legal services to the entire Washington D.C. metropolitan area. Whether prospective clients find themselves in Maryland, the …Read More

  6. Is Malice Really That Bad?

    All criminal charges have elements the prosecutor must prove before they can secure a conviction. In Virginia, for example, first degree murder is defined in Virginia Code §18.2-32 as any "willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing." This means that in any charge for first degree murder, the prosecutor (Commonwealth Attorney) must prove the killing was 1) willful, 2) deliberate, and 3) premedi…Read More

  7. Death Tattoo

    One day I received a phone call from an FBI agent that had worked with me when I was a Federal Prosecutor. The agent's son had been charged in state court with malicious wounding after a fight outside a bar. The young man had beaten one of his adversaries so severely that he required a hospital stay of about one month to recover. The family was very concerned that their son was in grave danger of …Read More

  8. Obtaining Temporary Support in Virginia

    Separating from a spouse or partner can be one of the most stressful experiences in a person's life. If there are children involved, that stress is often intensified – custody and child support are usually some of the biggest concerns in a divorce. Many people turn to the court system with the expectation that their case will be handled in a swift manner. Unfortunately, in the absence of an emer…Read More

  9. You Want the Kids and My Life Insurance?

    After an unfortunate decline in the marriage relationship, you and your spouse have agreed that a divorce would be best for both of you. Despite agreeing you both need a divorce, you can't seem to agree on anything else. After weeks or months of back-and-forth negotiation you have finally settled on everything from child custody, spousal support, and who will get the set of decorative silver butte…Read More

  10. It stinks in here Dad, hang up the tree!

    They're everywhere, air freshener trees in varied scents and themes.  You pick it up after your car wash to freshen up the interior but where are you supposed to hang that thing?  If you drive in Virginia and are tempted to hang it from your rear-view mirror, think again, unless you want to be stopped by police and given a ticket (or worse). In Virginia, according to Virginia Code 46.2-1054 "[i]…Read More