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  • Writer's pictureSam Orlando

Former Virginia Legislator Arrested on Multiple Charges Including Felony Gun and Drug Offenses

Written by: Sam Orlando

LYNCHBURG, VIRGINIA – Matt Fariss, the former Virginia legislator who was recently acquitted of felony charges, was arrested again on Sunday morning, facing a series of charges that include felony gun and drug offenses, alongside a misdemeanor for violating a protective order.

Arrest and Charges

Fariss, who served in the House of Delegates as a Republican from 2012 before his unsuccessful bid as an independent last year, found himself behind bars early Sunday, per the records from a Blue Ridge Regional Jail facility. The ex-lawmaker is accused of possessing a Schedule I or II drug, possessing a Schedule I or II drug while also in possession of a firearm—both felonies—and a misdemeanor violation related to a protective order. These charges were confirmed by Lt. Jarrett Rea of the Campbell County Sheriff's Office, though specifics about the arrest remain under wraps for now.

No Bond for Fariss

In a move that underscores the gravity of the charges, Fariss is being held without the option of bond. In Virginia, the legal system generally favors the release of individuals awaiting trial under certain conditions to ensure they don't flee and pose no danger to the public. The decision to hold Fariss without bond suggests that, in his case, the magistrate saw no set of conditions that would adequately protect the community or guarantee Fariss's appearance in court. This development is particularly noteworthy given Fariss's stature as a former lawmaker and adds a layer of complexity to the ongoing legal proceedings.

Legal Representation and Recent Acquittals

The question of who will represent Fariss remains open, with no attorney listed for him in court or jail records immediately following the arrest. The situation echoes the uncertainty that has surrounded Fariss in the wake of his recent legal challenges, including an acquittal of felony hit-and-run and malicious wounding charges from an incident last year.

Awaiting Further Developments

As the community and Fariss's former constituents await his upcoming court appearance, questions about the circumstances leading to his arrest and the potential implications of his charges loom large. Fariss's case not only highlights the legal challenges facing the former legislator but also raises broader questions about public safety, legal standards for pretrial detention, and the accountability of public figures.

With Fariss’s next court date scheduled for Monday morning, all eyes are on the unfolding case, which promises to add another chapter to the complex story of a public figure’s descent into legal turmoil.

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