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Old 04-16-2011, 12:10 AM
5 posts, read 74,858 times
Reputation: 12


First time ever for a speeding ticket. I have a clear driving history.

Scared and can't sleep over this.

Hired attorney to appear in District Court. He appeared and I was found guilty 91/65 via radar.

I appealed and now I will appear in Circuit Court. Is it worth it to hire an attorney this time?

Attorney initally offered me $750 but I negotiated to $500.
I wonder if $750 would've covered the first court appearance and the appeal.
Too late now, he will charge another $500 if I want him to appeal for me.

I'm very worried about my insurance, as the company I'm assuming would charge me astronomical rates or even drop my policy.

I've never had this happen before. It wasn't intentional. I was driving a moving van and there were a lot of semi's on the road. I was tired and had to get to the bathroom.

Reckless driving is a misdemeanor.

I do present myself well and can speak clearly. I'm afraid that a judge won't listen to anything I say other than hearing a plea.

My court date is Tuesday. Is it too late to try and find another attorney or should I just pay the one I have that represented me the first time? Even though I live out of state, I will drive to appear at this Court hearing.

1) What more can an attorney say that I can't say for myself?

2) How can an attorney defend me on this: [*]46.2-862. A person shall be guilty of reckless driving who drives a motor vehicle on the highways in the Commonwealth (i) at a speed of twenty miles per hour or more in excess of the applicable maximum speed limit or (ii) in excess of eighty miles per hour regardless of the applicable maximum speed limit.As long as the prosecution can prove that my speed was either of the two elements of the statute isn't my speed prima facie evidence of strict statutory reckless driving?
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Old 04-16-2011, 03:12 AM
Location: Virginia-Shenandoah Valley
6,294 posts, read 9,880,718 times
Reputation: 5053
It wasn't "intentional"? Are you serious. You can't do 91 in a Lexus without knowing it, much less in a moving van. You'd better take that lawyer with you although it doesn't sound like he/she did much for you the first time. If you fight this charge in circuit court and lose I can almost guarantee the penalty will be more severe. The judges won't admit it but you're basically wasting their time with a bs case that should have stayed in district court. There is no listening to reason from you no matter how well you speak. It's hard for anyone to justify why they were doing 91 mph. Your lawyer needs to work out a deal for you. And the misdemeanor is not a true misd conviction. If you were released on a summons this conviction will only go on your driving record but not a criminal record. It can carry the punishment of a misdemeanor though.
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Old 04-16-2011, 05:23 AM
Location: Virginia
18,717 posts, read 25,258,562 times
Reputation: 42788
You will find a lot of helpful info in this thread

Official Reckless Driving Thread
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Old 04-16-2011, 07:02 AM
Location: charleston
1,515 posts, read 3,767,863 times
Reputation: 595
Im surprised moving vans go that fast
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Old 04-16-2011, 07:41 AM
5,293 posts, read 5,713,633 times
Reputation: 2560
While there are a good number of speeding ticket questions here on this subforum, Hanover is not in Northern Virginia so I don't know why OP posted here. Unless there is a different Hanover that is not just outside of Richmond.

EDIT: ah, I see, out of state driver, explains not knowing the area. I still think post should be moved.
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Old 04-16-2011, 07:57 AM
5 posts, read 74,858 times
Reputation: 12
Default follow up from Anne

I am not from Virginia, sorry. The location is Hanover. What part of VA is it?

Caladium thank you for the link.

I was driving a moving van not truck. I'm over 35 y/o.

Never had a driving infraction. I was fatigued and was driving with semi-trucks on the road, I was in the r-lane and trucks were in l-lane.

Regardless....if I am guilty based on RADAR

Is it possible for a lawyer to have a favorable "once in a lifetime time" outcome?

I will appear in Circuit Court. I fear for a larger fine than the first court. I had no idea that a larger fine could be imposed.

It didn't seem like the first lawyer did anything, but in reality he said he appeared in court for me. Whether he assigned it to someone else, I'll never know. The law firm emailed me an outcome letter that explained the decision of the judge.

In the letter it states: "When going over 90 mph it is very difficult with this judge to get it taken out of reckless driving. In the Circuit Court there is a good chance of getting this matter resolved as something other than reckless driving."

I'm already beating myself up over this, I know it is a horrendous thing. Others who post may continue to admonish me.

I am still deciding whether or not to pay another $500 to the attorney. I will appear regardless. It sounds like such a black and white issue. I can't imagine the attorney who doesn't know me personally actually "debating" to have this changed.

Any more feedback? Thanks so much for reading my post.
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Old 04-16-2011, 08:05 AM
Location: Metro Washington DC
12,082 posts, read 18,096,633 times
Reputation: 6640
Why appeal if you are guilty? 91 in a moving van is most definitely reckless. Doing it while fatigued is even worse! What do you think appealing this is going to do?
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Old 04-16-2011, 09:22 AM
5 posts, read 74,858 times
Reputation: 12
It is already in appeal status.

I can elect not to appear in Court and pay the fine OR I can go to Court and see what the judge says.

I hear what you are saying. Why then do others pay attorneys in similar situations to represent them in court? And why has their outcomes "in some instances" been changed/reduced?

I'm just wondering....

If it is all black and white, then why do people pay attorneys and "some" have favorable outcomes?

This is so upsetting. I made a mistake. I never had a DUI, never had an accident. I pay my bills on time.

Sad to say, there are people out there who get DUI's have at-fault accidnts and other life events and it seems like some get breaks.

If it wasn't for this crappy economy, and my income loss, I wouldn't be contemplating this - that's the other part of my story. Job loss and ability to pay this fine plus the risk of losing my insurance and not even getting another job. I use the car most of the time for work.

Oh, I wish there was an attorney I here or someone that knows one in Hanover, VA that I could get a 2nd opinion.

You guys are great for reading my posts !
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Old 04-16-2011, 01:21 PM
Location: Virginia-Shenandoah Valley
6,294 posts, read 9,880,718 times
Reputation: 5053
When you appeal the decision of the general district court you are basically receiving a new trial. The circuit court judge, or jury, will hear the evidence unless a deal can be made ahead of time. Without an attorney I'm not sure you have much of a chance for a sweet deal but you never know. I don't know the Hanover County courts like I do others. You have the right to speak with the commonwealth attorney before court or you can let the lawyer do that.
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Old 04-16-2011, 04:12 PM
5 posts, read 74,858 times
Reputation: 12
Oh okay, Hey Bigfoot, is that commonwealth attorney the Prosecutor that people talk about ..... the one we can try to talk to before the judge?

I appreciate your feedback very much.

What a horrendous experience
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