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Thread: Need Advice and Manassas Attorney

                  
   
  1. #1

    Need Advice and Manassas Attorney

    While driving to Florida a couple of weeks ago, my wife got a ticket for 82 in a 60 in one of the "highway safety corridors" on I-95. Horrors, that's an automatic reckless driving charge!

    We're not too concerned about driving down there for the hearing, but we really don't want to risk a criminal conviction, so we've got to plead this down.

    Questions:

    1. When you get a hearing date on a VA ticket like this, can you enter a plea and tell the judge you'll be retaining an attorney, or do they expect you to contest the case then and there?

    2. How likely are they to let you plead down in Manassas? I expect to pay a hefty fine and get probation, but we've got to get that charge reduced. My wife has had no moving violations in the last three years. Anybody have personal experience? I have some idea what an attorney's fee would be for this kind of case, and know that I would get good value in return, but of course would rather spend that money on a set of Bilstein Sports, or something. On the other hand, if there's any risk of having that (ridiculous) charge stick, we'll retain counsel without a second thought.

    3. Anybody know a good attorney in Manassas that could represent Her in this case? (Please PM if you can make a referral)

    I'm a Delaware Valley chapter CCA member, and have thankfully never been in this kind of pickle before (well, I've represented myself in one very minor speeding ticket). I realize that noone can give me "real" legal advice on this board, but any advice or personal experience would be greatly appreciated and might make me feel better.

    Thanks for looking.

  2. #2
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    Reckless driving in VA is not a traffic citation but a criminal charge. It is a Class 1 misdemeanor. Either you or your attorney needs to talk to the Commonwealth Attorney handling your wife's case to see what type of mutual agreement you can come to since from reading your post your wife is willing to plead guilty to speeding or some lesser charge like failure to obey a traffic sign.

    Only problem I see is your wife is from out of state and if she was driving a BMW that can count against her. It also depends on the on whether or not the ticket was part of enforcement crack down on speeding to reduce traffic deaths. I am kind of remembering there was crackdown on 95 back a couple of weeks ago. How old is your wife approx? Under 30 may work against her but over 40 is in her favor.

    Hire an attorney. Realize it may not be her lucky day and they may decide to make an example of her since she is from out of state. How many tickets has she had in the last 5 years? Not 3 years?

    BTW 20mph+ over the speed limit anywhere in VA is Reckless Driving!

    Dave Apker

  3. #3
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    Over 80 in Virginia is automatically classified as Reckless Driving; regardless of the posted limit.
    Tom Buchanan
    BMW CCA Instructor
    ============================================
    1999 M3 (Track Rat)
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  4. #4
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    82 on 60 is not bad at all.
    it IS a reckless driving charge by default. but it's really not bad.
    especially in Manassas. regardless of your wife's record (unless it is HORRIBLY bad), a good attorney should be able to work some magic.
    and the fact that she has out of state license will work for her. the county will be more likely to just collect fines and not make big deal out of it.

    contact Bill Pickette (703-591-2448). He is my attorney and he practices out of Manassas. He got me out of a lot of serious charges with some ridiculous deals. ^^ Tell him that you got your referral from "Dae Kim". He'll take good care of your wife.

    D.J.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member SMOODY's Avatar
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    I don't think that the Florida court will let your wife plead her case in Manassas. You usually need to plead your case in person or have an attorney represent you. Preferably both.

    I am not sure how much a Virginia attorney would be able to help you. You need an attorney that is on the Florida Bar and is familiar with the laws and case law in the state of Florida. It would also help to have an attorney that knows the Judge, State's Attorney, and the officers in the jurisdiction where you were charged.
    2001 330i (my car)
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  6. #6
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    i thought he was a delaware chapter member on his way to florida and got the ticket in manassas, no?

    anyway SMOODY is obviously right. his wife would need a representation in violating jurisdiction. if it is in counties in northern VA, mr. pickette is a magician. ^^

    D.J.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member SMOODY's Avatar
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    My bad. I did not read carefully enough.
    2001 330i (my car)
    2004 Audi Allroad (wife's car and family truckster)

  8. #8
    Also, from recent experience, VA is good about recognizing a good driving record and attending a Driver Improvment Program. But talk to an attourney.

    When I went to court those with attourneys and having taekn teh DIP did not even show up in person and got off.
    Terry Carraway
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  9. #9
    Thanks for all the responses.

    Yes, we realise that the reckless driving charge is a misdemeanor, and therefore a criminal offense.

    Yes, we are PA residents and the ticket was written in VA.

    I'll be getting in touch with Mr. Pickette.

    Thanks again for the advice.

  10. #10
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    Uh -- a little late here, but on a related note, can anyone refer an attorney in Wythe, VA? Tagged on the 8th for 90mph in a 65 (S-bound on I-81), same reckless driving charge. Has anyone done the speedo calibration thing as part of their defense?

  11. #11
    Senior Member tgmeyer's Avatar
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    Looks like I get the prize: I got nailed doing 102 in a 65 on Route 50 in Bowie. I hired Thomas V. Mike Miller http://www.thomasvmikemillerjrpa.com/ to represent me. This too, is reckless driving and I did not want to chance losing my car or license. My court date is scheduled for October but I am sure Mike will have it moved.
    You need a VA attorney, but then again, you already figured that one out.
    Good luck--to ALL of us.
    Tom
    "Everyone should believe in something. I believe I'll go fishing."
    --Thoreau--
    2005 330 CiC

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by eadmik View Post
    Has anyone done the speedo calibration thing as part of their defense?
    I think it's likely your speedo reads too high rather than too low.
    Woody
    96 328is, 99 M Coupe, 04 330Ci

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    Speedo calibration only works with mechanical speedos were you change the speedo drive gear and then go get it certified. It isnt going to work with a late model computer controlled speedo and no judge is going to believe your speedo was off 20 to 30mph. back in the good ole days you changed the gear got it certified and pled to defective equipment and then replaced the gear. Usually only worked approx 10mph over. Not sure if VA State Troopers and Fx Cty Police have changed their SOPS in last few years but unless it is a school zone or some other special area the SOP says they dont start writing tickets to you are doing 12mph + over the posted speed limit. Has been this way since about the late 70's when I went to court to fight a ticket. Unless they haven't met theri meet and greet quota. Last time I was in court as a witness is traffic case all the speeding violations on the interstates started at 68mph or greater in 55. That was 4 years ago.

    Dave Apker and the collies

  14. #14
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    even with modern clusters, you can still muck with the speedo needle. and claim the calibraion is off consistantly at x-mph. however, Dave is correct that no judge (or any reasonable person) would buy that the driver couldn't tell the difference of 25+ mph of speed, even without the speedo telling so.

    if it was say~ 10 to 15 off then it is more believable.

    without actually admitting that i've done one, i know for fact that speedo mis-calibration claim for 15 over the limit has been done successfully in court (for a case involving E46).

    D.J.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by tgmeyer View Post
    Looks like I get the prize: I got nailed doing 102 in a 65 on Route 50 in Bowie. I hired Thomas V. Mike Miller http://www.thomasvmikemillerjrpa.com/ to represent me. This too, is reckless driving and I did not want to chance losing my car or license. My court date is scheduled for October but I am sure Mike will have it moved.
    You need a VA attorney, but then again, you already figured that one out.
    Good luck--to ALL of us.
    Tom
    In Va you can also be charged with Racing or An Exhibition of Speed along w/ Reckless Driving. This charge allows the county to seize your car and sell it auction. The sale takes place regardless of the outcome of your trial. A relic from when VA had more moonshiners and ridge runners.

    They still make some fine shine in VA. My herding instructor gets a mason jar or two every now and then. Al Z. and Dave R. its beats Old Granddad and Wild Turkey. Smooth but with a kick.

    Prefer a nice single malt to warm up after a herding lesson on a brisk morning. Collies, sheep and scotch life is good!.

    Dave Apker and the collies.

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