An Overview of Social Security

While Social Security was instituted officially for all Americans in 1935 with President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s signing of the Social Security Act, there was an earlier form of a social security program in the North after the Civil War. Payments were issued to disabled Union veterans of the Civil War or the widows of these soldiers. Later on, this program included any disabled men who were Union veterans, whether or not they were injured in the war.

However, this program excluded any Confederate veterans or their families. In 1894, the expansive program of military pensions comprised more than a third of the federal government’s money. In the time of the Great Depression that began in 1929 and lasted a decade, the need to provide for the poor and the elderly became acutely apparent. In 1932, President Franklin D. Roosevelt proposed his concept of social insurance that later became the Social Security System of today. Under Roosevelt’s plan, workers contributed a small percentage of their pay to an aggregate account. After they retired, they could then draw money from this account to meet their expenses each month.

Since its inception, the Social Security Retirement System has been adjusted to deal with changes in the country’s economic situations and population. Widows and surviving dependents of workers are eligible to receive payments. Also, disability provisions have been added to the original program, and there is the Cost of Living Adjustments (COLAs) made to Social Security payments. Before they apply for social security benefits, individuals must meet specific requirements: Applicants must be a certain age and have at least 40 credits earned from paying into Social Security. When these requirements are met, individuals can contact their local offices of the Social Security Administration.

If they choose to do so, they can conveniently open an account online. People can start drawing their Social Security at age 62, although benefits will be reduced. They can also begin at age 65 or even 70. Benefits increase nearly eight percent for every year a person waits to apply for Social Security.

More information on Social Security benefits

For information on Social Security benefits and where to find a Social Security Office visit one of the following websites.

What To Expect From Repeated Reckless Driving Offenses in Virginia

Reckless driving is a severe charge in the state of Virginia. It is prosecuted on the same level as a DUI, and can also carry a similar punishment regarding a license suspension or jail term. Prosecutors do have the latitude to adjust a reckless driving charge, which is a privilege they do not have with a DUI when negotiating a cases settlement. But, they are still just as serious about prosecution because excessive speeding makes the highways unsafe as well. A conviction for reckless driving can have long-term implications for all defendants, and especially for individuals who work in specific industries such as commercial driving or military personnel. A charge is not just a citation but is instead an actual criminal issue that will require representation from an experienced Virginia criminal defense attorney.

Understanding the Threshold

Reckless driving in Virginia is typically associated with speeding. According to Virginia state law, excessive speeding becomes reckless driving when the speed exceeds the limit by 20 mph. Also, a speed of 80 mph is considered speeding in any situation, even when the road is a four-lane highway with a 70 mph speed limit.

Potential Penalties

Judges have significant latitude when ruling on reckless driving cases, as there are no minimums. However, the maximums can be considerable and can include a jail term if the case is particularly egregious. All charges in Virginia that carry potential jail time require the defendant to have an attorney, including a public defender if necessary. This rarely bodes well for a defendant, as fines can be maximized at $2500 with up to 12 months in jail and a six-month license suspension.

Subsequent Charges

Multiple charges for reckless driving is typically where serious criminal problems begin for a defendant. A first charge can often be bargained down or result in a plea diversion when an experienced criminal defense lawyer can convince the court it is a one-time problem for a typically law-abiding defendant. When reckless driving is charged multiple times gives the court reason to review the prior record and rule as it is a pattern of behavior needing serious attention. This is not to mention the impact a criminal conviction has on insurance rates in the future as well as maintaining driving privileges.

Anyone in Virginia who has been charged with reckless driving should contact our offices as soon s possible for a full case evaluation. Reaching out to a reckless driving lawyer is an investment in your future as much as your freedom and your lawyer can matter greatly in the outcome.