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Old 04-18-2011, 11:47 AM
 
1 posts, read 3,287 times
Reputation: 11

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Last Friday I was driving on I-66 going east in-between Gainesville and Manassas, the speed limit here is 65mph. After passing the exit of Manassas I saw an undercover police car (ford fusion) driving about four cars behind me. I was driving on the right lane then when I changed lanes “the second lane from right to left” I saw he turned his lights on. I kept driving assuming he was on an emergency. I was driving at the same speed along with the pickup truck that was behind me and two other cars that were driving to my right. The pickup truck moved to the right, giving him the right to way, I saw him on my rear view mirror making me signs to move and I did. I moved back to the right lane and then he pulled behind me making the same signs that he did before. Then I assumed he was trying to pull me over. He pulled me over on I-66 about a mile away from the exit of Centreville. When he came to my car he asked do you know why did I pull you over? “I said no”. He asked me again do you know why did I pull you over? “I said again no. Then he said you were driving like 85. I told him I was driving in between 70 and 65. Then he said “you passed me really fast and close that you almost hit me by Manassas”. This is 5 miles away where he pulled me over. Then he asked me for my license and registration I gave it to him. Then I realized he was not an undercover police, he was a detective or something. He called a police officer from Fairfax to get the ticket form to field it up. When he gave it to me I saw he put reckless driving. I did not say anything I was just very polite, and sign it. My question is should I get a Lawyer what should I do?
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Old 04-18-2011, 11:54 AM
 
Location: Virginia
18,717 posts, read 26,831,493 times
Reputation: 42860
You will find lots of helpful info in this thread:

Official Reckless Driving Thread
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Old 04-18-2011, 02:50 PM
 
Location: Virginia-Shenandoah Valley
6,555 posts, read 10,842,297 times
Reputation: 5563
You are maintaining you are innocent so if it were me I'd hire a lawyer. I find it hard to believe though that a detective picked you out for a RD ticket. Hell, detectives never write tickets.
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Old 04-18-2011, 04:35 PM
 
19,183 posts, read 28,320,304 times
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Basically, you should always get a lawyer for reckless driving. The potential penalties are severe and long-lasting. Get a lawyer with experience in the court where your case will be heard. You may well win under the circumstances, but it will still be expensive. The best case scenario is that you will end up out a couple of thousand dollars but otheriwse free and clear about six months from now. All the alternatives are worse.
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Old 04-18-2011, 05:06 PM
 
885 posts, read 1,264,534 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saganista View Post
The best case scenario is that you will end up out a couple of thousand dollars but otheriwse free and clear about six months from now. All the alternatives are worse.
Thousands of dollars is the best case scenario?

What are the penalties of reckless driving? Few points off your records and your insurance increased a little?
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Old 04-18-2011, 05:11 PM
 
Location: Virginia-Shenandoah Valley
6,555 posts, read 10,842,297 times
Reputation: 5563
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter2010 View Post
Thousands of dollars is the best case scenario?

What are the penalties of reckless driving? Few points off your records and your insurance increased a little?

If convicted of reckless driving it's 6 points. People panic when they see class I misdemeanor but it's only punished as a class I unless a warrant is served on you for reckless. If you receive a ticket then it is only reported to DMV and only goes on a driving record. Very few people ever see the severe penalty for reckless. The offense must be serious and or the person has a horrible record. The majority of reckless driving charges are reduced to improper driving charges.
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Old 04-18-2011, 06:41 PM
 
Location: Manassas, VA
7 posts, read 12,289 times
Reputation: 15
It sounds like the offense occurred in Prince William County. If, like you say, the officer was a Fairfax County Police Officer, he may not have had jurisdiction to right you the ticket. Fairfax Police only have jurisdiction within the county and 300 feet into an adjacent jurisdiction. This being said, the offense must have occurred no more than 300 feet west of Bill Run on I-66. Based upon your story, the officer told you the offense occurred further away from that. I'm guessing that the officer got your speed by "pacing" you. Being a Detective in an unmarked car, I'm guessing the speedometer was not calibrated.

BTW- Reckless Driving in Virginia can be a number of things. One of which is driving faster than 80 mph regardless of the posted limit.

I'd hire an attorney, I'm guessing you can easily beat this one.
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Old 04-18-2011, 08:41 PM
 
437 posts, read 1,072,079 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzzy Monkey View Post
It sounds like the offense occurred in Prince William County. If, like you say, the officer was a Fairfax County Police Officer, he may not have had jurisdiction to right you the ticket. Fairfax Police only have jurisdiction within the county and 300 feet into an adjacent jurisdiction. This being said, the offense must have occurred no more than 300 feet west of Bill Run on I-66. Based upon your story, the officer told you the offense occurred further away from that. I'm guessing that the officer got your speed by "pacing" you. Being a Detective in an unmarked car, I'm guessing the speedometer was not calibrated.
It's my understanding that the jurisdiction extends one mile as per VA Code 19.2-250, but maybe that just applies to cities and not counties(?). At any rate, it does sound like the OP has some grounds for a defense of the case. As stated, it is unlikely the PW detective's car speedometer was calibrated as required and if the detective doesn't show up in court the Fairfax officer may have trouble proving guilt. I would certainly contest it if it happened to me.
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Old 04-19-2011, 07:02 AM
 
Location: Manassas, VA
7 posts, read 12,289 times
Reputation: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by bornindc View Post
It's my understanding that the jurisdiction extends one mile as per VA Code 19.2-250, but maybe that just applies to cities and not counties(?). At any rate, it does sound like the OP has some grounds for a defense of the case. As stated, it is unlikely the PW detective's car speedometer was calibrated as required and if the detective doesn't show up in court the Fairfax officer may have trouble proving guilt. I would certainly contest it if it happened to me.
County officers have 300 feet outside of their jurisdiction while city officers, Alexandria, Fairfax City, Herndon etc., have 1 mile.

After re-reading the post, the OP does not say where the officer in the unmarked car was working, only that he called for a Fairfax officer. If the officer was PW, he could write a PW summons and it would be fine. But if he was from Fairfax or somewhere else, it's another story.

I still believe that he should contest this summons.
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Old 04-19-2011, 07:51 AM
 
19,183 posts, read 28,320,304 times
Reputation: 4002
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter2010 View Post
Thousands of dollars is the best case scenario? What are the penalties of reckless driving? Few points off your records and your insurance increased a little?
Well, that plus up to a year in jail, $2500 in fines, and a six-month loss of license. Plus court costs, of course. A court appearance is, by the way, mandatory. There is no mail-it-in option. If you fail to appear, a bench warrant will be issued for your arrest, officers will come looking for you, and they will handcuff you on the spot the next time they have any contact with you. Reckless driving is in the same class as a DUI and needs to be taken very seriously. Most people facing the charge do not ultimately receive the maximum penalties. That is because an able and experienced attorney is often able to use mitigating factors to work out a plea to a reduced charge. Defendants in Virginia courts are often prohibited from engaging in such negotiations with either the judge or the prosecutor. So you can just be the chump who stands there and tries to go it alone, or you can pay a lawyer to try to minimize the damage for you. It's going to hit you for a couple of thousand bucks either way.
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