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      12-14-2010, 01:40 PM   #1
maj47
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Pls help... Back to back speed / reckless ticket...

The first was 3 weeks ago, on 66 near Centerville, VA. I was going 72 in a 55.
A regular speeding ticket.

But the second one was 2 weeks ago, I got caught doing 82 in 60 zone, on Rt 29 in Amherst, VA (i think it's near Lynchburg).
So this was a reckless driving ticket. But what was weird when I got caught was that I saw the cop and slowed down, the cop started to follow me, then drove up next to me and looked at us, and then moved back behind me and pulled me over.

Both has the same court date.
For the speeding, it is pre-payable and I don't have to go to the court but I would like to go if it helps.
So I will have to move one or both court date. Which one do you think I should attend first?

Last time I had a speeding ticket was back in 2006. I have a clean record since then.

How likely do you think I have a chance to get it dropped or at least reduced if I get an attorney?

The reckless case I think I need one but do I need an attorney for the first case?

Both times I was driving a rental car, if it matters.

And if you know of a good attorney in Amherst area, please let me know.

Sorry about asking so many questions.
I will appreciate any advice.


Thanks in advance.
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      12-14-2010, 03:04 PM   #2
belal242
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My cousin just went up to the judge and asked if they could reduce his reckless down to a speeding and the judge did. He paid a $100 fine and left happy.
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      12-14-2010, 03:13 PM   #3
maj47
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Thanks for your reply.
Do you know what your cousin told the judge when he asked if they can reduce the charge?
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      12-14-2010, 04:38 PM   #4
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i had my reckless (52/25) reduced to speeding
paid 140 fine and 62 court costs
the judge was in a good mood that day
but speeding AND reckless is a problem
an attorney will probably cost you a lot more than both tickets
the cheapest i could find was $1500
and i think the chances of taking reckless off completely are slim
the max they can do is to take it down to speeding
so you pay the attorney $1500 and you still end up paying $200 in fines
the only time i'd get an attorney is if you need top security clearance
since reckless is a misdemeanor, meaning you have a criminal record

on my court date
the judge changed reckless to failure to obey a traffic sign (no points) for anyone who had plus points
i had 0 points so he took it down to speeding.
your only defense could be that they were both rentals.
you could claim the speedo might be faulty and there is no way to check that since the cars have gone back to hertz/avis etc
check your driving record from the DMV va website
its good to know how it looks before your court date

you will get about 300 letters soon from lawyers/parasites
all saying you could go to jail and you could have your testicles removed etc
i've had reckless twice
both times no attorney
both times reduced to speeding


good luck
and please slow down, at least till your court dates
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      12-15-2010, 10:16 AM   #5
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If I was in your situation, this is what I'd do:

1. Call the Virginia State Bar Association and get a lawyer referral for the Amherst area of Virginia. See more here: http://www.vsb.org/site/public/lawyer-referral-service/. This will cost $35, but is well worth it. You will get a local attorney that specializes in your area of defense, and will be guaranteed a few minutes with him/her to go over your case.

Note: As a general rule, judges in Northern VA are DIFFERENT than judges in other parts of the state. So what one person says a judge in Fairfax does for them - it will NOT likely equate to judges in other parts of the state. Rural judges are typically more strict than suburban, urban judges. Amherst is not NoVa. Period.

2. When you talk with the attorney, tell him the whole story about having two tickets, same court date, etc. He or she will likely have good advice on how to handle it (for example: just pay the first fine and fight the second;ask for a continuance on the first and fight that one at a later date pro se, etc.).

3. Be prepared to repent! Be humble, admit your mistake(s) and be ready to apologize. Lawyers, judges, cops - all of us - are human, and we all make mistakes. But people generally don't take well to excuses or inflated values of self-worth. You don't sound like you fit in this category - so you should be good there.

But no matter what anyone says, I'd spend at least the $35 and get a referral and talk to a lawyer.
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      12-15-2010, 01:51 PM   #6
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Thanks for your reply.

A question though, if I show up without a lawyer and try my luck, would I be able to appeal if I don't like the outcome?
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      12-15-2010, 02:26 PM   #7
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I recieved a reckless driving charge in VA Beach, probably one of the worst places to get one. Paid $750 for a lawyer and he got it dismissed completely. The way I look at it: he paid for himself considering the fines and jail time you face with a class 1 misdemeanor.

lkw15 had solid advice. Retain a lawyer for the reckless driving charge and he can tell you what to do about the other speeding ticket. He'll probably have you take a safe-driving course to get some points back on your license, costs around 70 bucks (do a class or online course). As long as you were cooperative at the traffic stop, you stand a good chance.

Bottom line: Regardless of your friends stories (and ours), it's risky to throw yourself in front of a judge who might not be sympathetic. The safe thing to do is have a lawyer break it down for you and deal with the system.
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      12-15-2010, 02:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maj47 View Post
Thanks for your reply.

A question though, if I show up without a lawyer and try my luck, would I be able to appeal if I don't like the outcome?
I'm not all that familiar with VA's traffic laws, but if I'm not mistaken the first case is a civil matter and the second (reckless driving) would be a criminal matter. A criminal conviction will appear on your - you got it - criminal record. This will affect your insurance and might possibly affect job prospects in the future. I'll have to look up the statute, but I'm sure it's a misdemeanor and may even be a class 1 misdemeanor.

As for an appeal, it is my understanding that in VA you have 10 days from the date of your conviction to appeal to the circuit court. Unlike other appeals, in this case you would get the opportunity for a completely new trial; however, the penalty could be far worse the second time around - and the fees for circuit courts are normally higher than district courts.

Last edited by lkw15; 12-15-2010 at 02:56 PM.
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      12-15-2010, 03:03 PM   #9
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I don't know how it works when you a resient of the state of VA but a few years back while I lived in MD I got pulled doing 87 in a 65. I had a clean record at the time, went to court no lawyer no driving school and paid $140 in fines. This was after the judge reduced it $100 because I was polite to the officer. The next summer I pulled a copy of my record and there was no sign of the reckless ticket and my insurance never went up. I've heard that if you pay for a lawyer they will take care of you but in some cases like mine it works out without it. Good luck.
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      12-15-2010, 04:46 PM   #10
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You don't HAVE to have a lawyer for the RD, but it is generally recommended. It carries 6 points and stays on your record for I think 11 years. It's also not going to look good that you got a speeding and a RD within a month. I don't know if it matters which one you do first, the officer may have a copy of your driving transcript with him at court and it's going to show both offenses anyway if the judge wants to look at it. Some do, some don't. 82 in a 60 isn't too far over the RD threshold so getting a reduction to speeding shouldn't be too much of a problem. Get a lawyer, he will have a better feel for the judge and what their general course of action is. And have your wallet ready for a workout.

And he was most likely looking for seatbelts, number of occupants, and other violations when he pulled beside you.
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