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Old 11-26-2010, 03:52 PM
 
Location: Virginia
4,114 posts, read 4,970,666 times
Reputation: 2538
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigTurkey2010 View Post
That sounds like a good way to go about it. If they don't have a CA, then who else could I talk to if I can't get a hold of the officer who stopped me? Also, if I can't find either prior to the trial, would pleading not guilty and trying to convince the judge into lessening the sentence be a good idea?
If there is no CA then it'll be just the officers and judge. Try talking to the officer and see if he's agreeable to Improper Driving before court starts. If you plead not guilty then you'll be called to the stand to testify after the officer is done. Of course you can refuse to testify and the judge will go only by the officers testimony meaning you're screwed. I think what you're asking if you should plead guilty with an explanation then ask for this leniency once the judge asks you to speak. Of course this is risky as you can explain and ask for a reduced charge and there is no guarantee the judge will accept it. Of course there is no guarantee hiring a lawyer will help either. Just a chance you'll have to take either way.
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Old 12-09-2010, 05:07 PM
 
2,594 posts, read 2,269,612 times
Reputation: 3808
Default low-down on Fairfax City District Court

So we went to Fairfax City General District Court today for reckless driving and here is what happened.

First, we sat through a bunch of speeding cases with no lawyers, where they were all reduced to "failure to obey posted sign." Even in cases where the person had a terrible driving record. People with plus 5 points (best driving record possible) basically walked away with the most minimal fine (30) possible, and sometimes with a no-point conviction. Plus 2 points was considered good and also given pretty low fines (like 60 dollars). Below zero got a stern warning and a fine around 100.

People had the choice to plead no contest or guilty or guilty with explanation. If they said anything except "not guilty," the judge gave them a chance to explain what happened ("I was in a hurry" was the most common excuse), and then the judge reduced the charge.

How to plea was explained at the beginning of court, as well as the rules for a continuance, getting a lawyer, etc. It was very important to be there on time in order to hear the instructions. People who missed them got screwed and pled the wrong way sometimes. Or discovered they were in the wrong court house.

If someone pled not guilty, they could have a trial set for later in the day. We were one of those.

After the speeding cases, they moved on to people with lawyers. It seemed all the reckless cases had lawyers. Our lawyer had already spoken to the prosecutor and discovered that the cop was "fired up" about our case and refused to reduce the charge from reckless. They offered a "deal" of reckless plus a 100 fine. We refused. Our "trial" consisted of the cop telling his side and the prosecutor asking some questions of the cop and defendant, and our lawyer asking some questions of them.

Here was the scary part. The cop totally misrepresented the facts. He wasn't even close. Thank god we had a lawyer. We would have wasted our breath trying to convince the judge of our side of the story, but it turned out that the judge didn't care. They always accept the cop's story as fact. That sucks, but our lawyer did make a brief argument pointing out my husband's good driving record and some flaws in the cop's timeline. It was actually really close - the judge, who was so lenient with everyone else all day - seemed to have a hard time deciding, but in the end reduced it to improper. Maybe we could have gotten that without a lawyer, maybe not. I'm actually glad we had one given that otherwise we would have been completely surprised by the cop's story.

So I guess the lesson is, you never know what will happen. I don't know why this cop had it in for us, but he really did.

Some things I learned while at court:

1.It is easy to get a continuance for any reason on the day of court. They tell you how to do it at the beginning of the day.

2. You MUST be on time to hear the important instructions.

3. THEY TAKE YOUR CELL PHONE AWAY AT THE DOOR AND GIVE IT BACK TO YOU LATER.

4. A good driving record counts for a lot. It seemed to determine the amount of the fine. You can even get a regular speeding ticket fine reduced if you have a really good driving record.

5. If you don't have a lawyer and there is a possibility that you could get jail time, they automatically give you a continuance and tell you to go and get a lawyer.

6. You can't make a deal if you don't have a lawyer, but having a lawyer doesn't guarantee getting a deal. It's sort of up to the cop (the prosecutor just does what the cop says).

7. Fairfax County General District Court is NOT the same as Fairfax City General District Court.

8. There is no point in disputing the evidence given by the cop, no matter how far from the truth it is.

9. Bring a copy of your driving record. The cops usually had VA records, but not always, and they never have out of state records.

I hope this information helps someone else. Our lawyer was a former Fairfax prosecutor, Faraji Rosenthall (703-934-0101). We liked him.

Last edited by marie5v; 12-09-2010 at 05:26 PM..
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Old 12-10-2010, 07:33 AM
 
7,287 posts, read 9,117,610 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marie5v View Post
8. There is no point in disputing the evidence given by the cop, no matter how far from the truth it is.
Great post! The above quoted portion is very disturbing... I better stop before I get in trouble.
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Old 12-11-2010, 05:58 AM
 
2,594 posts, read 2,269,612 times
Reputation: 3808
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkf747 View Post
Great post! The above quoted portion is very disturbing... I better stop before I get in trouble.
I wasn't being sarcastic or anything - the judge wouldn't even entertain a counter-argument about the facts of the case. She totally accepted everything the officer said as absolute fact. Trying to say differently only made it look like we were lying. It was, as you said, disturbing. But she did in the end reduce the charge.
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Old 01-25-2011, 07:46 AM
 
1 posts, read 3,739 times
Reputation: 11
Default Out of state reckless driving transfer?

I'm a Virginia resident that was stopped late last week in Chazy, NY for speeding 82mph in a 65mph zone. I was doing some initial research on the ticket and wanted to see how it would effect my Virginia driving record. Does anyone have any experience here? Would this be considered reckless driving by VA?
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Old 01-25-2011, 10:16 AM
 
Location: Virginia
4,114 posts, read 4,970,666 times
Reputation: 2538
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trent Walker View Post
I'm a Virginia resident that was stopped late last week in Chazy, NY for speeding 82mph in a 65mph zone. I was doing some initial research on the ticket and wanted to see how it would effect my Virginia driving record. Does anyone have any experience here? Would this be considered reckless driving by VA?
80 and over can be written as Reckless Driving in VA and no, it will not effect your VA license as long as you take care of the NY charge.
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Old 02-01-2011, 10:16 PM
 
3 posts, read 9,476 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by marie5v View Post
I wasn't being sarcastic or anything - the judge wouldn't even entertain a counter-argument about the facts of the case. She totally accepted everything the officer said as absolute fact. Trying to say differently only made it look like we were lying. It was, as you said, disturbing. But she did in the end reduce the charge.
Completely agree. In my case the officer's story was way off and he made outlandish claims about the circumstances. My lawyer didn't bother questioning him at all. He did get the charges dismissed.

Unless you have hard facts or proof to dispute the officer's testimony, don't bother disputing what the officer said. Tell your side of the story in a calm courteous manner. I think it is always a good idea to get a lawyer though. Or ask for continuance if you feel cornered.
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Old 03-01-2011, 04:46 PM
 
5 posts, read 12,937 times
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I'm sorry to say that I am now a "reckless driver". I was stopped in Henrico Co for 91/65 on I265. I wasn't in a hurry and never intended to speed like that. My cruise control isn't working and traffic was really light. If my cruise had worked I would have set it on 75 and never looked back and if traffic had been heavy I would have just settled in with other drivers and it never would have happened. As it is I have been charged with rd and now have a trial date. I am a MD resident. I have hired an atty ($1000) and am still really confused. I have a clean driving record as far back as I can get copies. The atty tried to settle at the arraignment but the commonwealth was unwilling to do so. What is the likelyhood of jail time? And, if my driving priveleges are suspended in VA what does that mean for MD? I have called the MD MVA and get a different answer every time. I'm hoping perhaps someone with experience can help clarify things. For the record, I am 36, stay at home mom with 3 kids, was polite and respectful to the officer although my passenger (my step mom) tried to tell him we were on the way to the airport. He put his hand up, stopped her mid sentence and I took that as a que that he didn't want to hear anything from me either so I said nothing more than yes sir. I wasn't in a rush, we had plenty of time even after being pulled over. I was careless, absolutely. I really, really don't want to go to jail and can't imagine how I could deal with losing my license. Any suggestions are appreciated.
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Old 03-01-2011, 06:34 PM
 
Location: Virginia
4,114 posts, read 4,970,666 times
Reputation: 2538
Quote:
Originally Posted by blwood01 View Post
I'm sorry to say that I am now a "reckless driver". I was stopped in Henrico Co for 91/65 on I265. I wasn't in a hurry and never intended to speed like that. My cruise control isn't working and traffic was really light. If my cruise had worked I would have set it on 75 and never looked back and if traffic had been heavy I would have just settled in with other drivers and it never would have happened. As it is I have been charged with rd and now have a trial date. I am a MD resident. I have hired an atty ($1000) and am still really confused. I have a clean driving record as far back as I can get copies. The atty tried to settle at the arraignment but the commonwealth was unwilling to do so. What is the likelyhood of jail time? And, if my driving priveleges are suspended in VA what does that mean for MD? I have called the MD MVA and get a different answer every time. I'm hoping perhaps someone with experience can help clarify things. For the record, I am 36, stay at home mom with 3 kids, was polite and respectful to the officer although my passenger (my step mom) tried to tell him we were on the way to the airport. He put his hand up, stopped her mid sentence and I took that as a que that he didn't want to hear anything from me either so I said nothing more than yes sir. I wasn't in a rush, we had plenty of time even after being pulled over. I was careless, absolutely. I really, really don't want to go to jail and can't imagine how I could deal with losing my license. Any suggestions are appreciated.
You may want to post this in the RICHMOND area forum as you're in the NOVA forum right now. But as a retired LEO I wouldn't be surprised if the prosecutor doesn't ask for a day or so in jail since it's over 90. And really, no one can do 90 plus without knowing it. That said, it doesn't mean you were a bad person, just a careless one at that moment. I wouldn't even worry too much with the advice on here (even in the Richmond forum) since you have an attorney. Listen to him or her and hope for the best. Please don't take your kids to court unless your attorney ask you.
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Old 03-05-2011, 08:23 PM
 
1 posts, read 3,524 times
Reputation: 10
Hi I am really scared. I got a reckless driving ticket for going 86/65 in Amherst Virginia. I cant afford a lawyer to defend me and my court date is coming up on the 22nd march. What should I do? I only gotten one speeding ticket before and I have never been charge for anything else in my life. I am really scared because I do not want to spend anytime in jail. could you please help me in what should I say and do please
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