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Old 01-17-2014, 12:50 PM   #1
Infern0
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Hefty Moving Violation Advice

So, just wondering what you might do in this completely non-real, hypothetical situation if you were in these shoes.

Say there's a good guy, helps old ladies cross the road, never hurt a fly kind of guy. Has a very clean driving record. He's +5 or +6 on his license even. Happened to be caught in a rare occurrence for him, traveling on 95N doing 83 in a 55. Good guy State Trooper, doing his job, writes up the citation/summons, to include the "reckless +20MPH over" clause.

Now, this good guy doesn't want to try to be a victim, or blame the LE Officer. He knows what he did, but doesn't necessarily want to take it in the @$$ for this one time occurrence either.

Any recommendations for Mr. Nice Guy?
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Old 01-17-2014, 12:54 PM   #2
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Move from va to another state with a more realistic traffic system so you can go 83 and not worry about being raped during a weekend in jail
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Old 01-17-2014, 12:57 PM   #3
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Get a traffic lawyer.
Whatever the fine, usually they charge about 10-15% more, but you cannot put a price on freedom, and a clean driving record.
When it goes to court, if the officer is a no show, you win automatically.

If the officer shows up, see if your traffic attorney can find a mistake in the ticket or the officers story, if so the case gets bounced by the judge.

If not, plead GUILTY WITH AN EXPLANATION. Judges love that, and they already assume (In traffic cases) that you are guilty because the state (officer) has presented the facts.

Be humble and contrite, tell the judge you drive a muscle car, but that you have a perfect record, and it just got away from you, etc etc.

Usually, if you dress nice, have a good attitude, and plead GWE, the judge will reduce the fine and or points.

If you were in fact charged with Reckless, that is a criminal offense as well as traffic, so you really need to consult an attorney.
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Old 01-17-2014, 02:54 PM   #4
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You really dont need a lawyer since it is your first offense. Just plead quilty and request driving school instead. The judge will take the fact you have a clean record and no previous moving violations. If you havent been to driving school in the past couple of years for anything I think you should be fine.
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Old 01-17-2014, 03:15 PM   #5
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Get a traffic lawyer.
Whatever the fine, usually they charge about 10-15% more, but you cannot put a price on freedome, and a clean driving record.
When it goes to court, if the officer is a no show, you win automatically.

If the officer shows up, see if your traffic attorney can find a mistake in the ticket or the officers story, if so the case gets bounced by the judge.

If not, plead GUILTY WITH AN EXPLANATION. Judges love that, and they already assume (In traffic cases) that you are guilty because the state (officer) has presented the facts.

Be humble and contrite, tell the judge you drive a muscle car, but that you have a perfect record, and it just got away from you, etc etc.

Usually, if you dress nice, have a good attitude, and plead GWE, the judge will reduce the fine and or points.

If you were in fact charged with Reckless, that is a criminal offense as well as traffic, so you really need to consult an attorney.
This is very wrong. Very, very wrong. The officer wrote a ticket on behalf of the state. He does not need to be present for the state to press charges.
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Old 01-17-2014, 03:16 PM   #6
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I got one in a small local town a couple years ago in my wife's MINIVAN for 20 over.

I was driving distracted and had 3-4 excuses why I did this, including the fact that the speed zone had changed from 45 to 25 in the past year in a zone I'd travelled for 25 years.

I did not use any of them. I went to the court date, dressed normally, but respectfully. I then threw myself on the mercy of the court and apologized. I took responsibility and admitted fault and driving while distracted. I asked him to accept my apology coupled with the fact that I had a spotless record for 20 years, worked hard, had a family, and simply made a mistake. I implored on him that my intention was not to speed, I just wasn't paying close enough attention. I said I understood there was a fine to pay and I had no problem paying that penalty for my actions, but I asked if he could reduce the points to spare me the added costs of outragous insurance premuims for the next five years for ten seconds of making a mistake?

He responded by thanking me for owning it, kept the fine as-is, and reduced the mph to 16 over, which dropped the points from 6 to 4.

What they really want is the $. If you have the leverage of a good track record they will usually help you out.
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Old 01-17-2014, 07:43 PM   #7
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This is very wrong. Very, very wrong. The officer wrote a ticket on behalf of the state. He does not need to be present for the state to press charges.
Actually he isn't wrong at all. It depends soley on the State and the presiding judge. I know in MD, if you're contesting a traffic ticket and the LEO does not show, the case gets dismissed. I've never personally had one dimissed but I've been in the court where many people did.
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Old 01-17-2014, 07:50 PM   #8
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Hahaha, this is obviously fictional. Traffic is to bad to travel at 83 mph on 95 north. This guys tells great stories
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Old 01-17-2014, 08:42 PM   #9
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If you contest the ticket the Officer has to be present, If not the judge will dismiss it or continue the case.
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Old 01-17-2014, 09:35 PM   #10
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I am an Army recruiter in Virginia. With the nature of what I do, I deal with applicants daily with numerous traffic violations. I would say about 95% of them with an otherwise clean driving record, go to court, and it's almost always dismissed or at the least reduced. I'd say roll the dice in court.
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Old 01-17-2014, 09:45 PM   #11
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This is very wrong. Very, very wrong. The officer wrote a ticket on behalf of the state. He does not need to be present for the state to press charges.
that is not true, depends on the State..

in CA the ticket will be dismissed if the officer fails to show, because he is the primary State witness.. No witness, no case.

The dismissal will read "unable to prosecute"

been there done that and had 4 tickets in 30 years dismissed because the officer failed to show..
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Old 01-17-2014, 11:15 PM   #12
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My honest opinion is that this is isnt something to take lightly. In VA, if I recall correctly, a reckless ticket could put you in jail - that's a life changing event. Get an attorney so he/she will ensure that everything can be done to protect you, even if you have a super clean driving record.
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Old 01-18-2014, 09:48 AM   #13
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Get an attorney, attend the defensive drivers course, have the speedo calibration checked. Hopefully you will get off with Improper Driving, and a $250 dollar fine. With attorney fee, court costs and fine, you are looking at about $1200 dollars.
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Old 01-19-2014, 11:19 PM   #14
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its your first offense, you can ask for probation before judgement. Just state the fact that you've driven awhile without incident…. say for example you're usually on 95 when there's traffic but if that particular time or day you were on 95 speeding; you can explain that traffic was lighter than usual that day and you were complacent about how fast you were going likely you'll get a PBJ (point waiver). you pay the fine plus court cost no driving points on your record
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Old 01-20-2014, 10:27 AM   #15
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You really dont need a lawyer since it is your first offense. Just plead quilty and request driving school instead. The judge will take the fact you have a clean record and no previous moving violations. If you havent been to driving school in the past couple of years for anything I think you should be fine.

+1 If you have a clean Record
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Old 01-22-2014, 07:57 PM   #16
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There is so much bad advise hear its un real. Unless you live in va, and have experienced it, you shouldn't be offering up advise.

And I am speaking from first hand experience as I have court tomorrow morning for a reckless driving ticket (over 90). My case has previously been continued because of a bad judge/prosecuted combo.

1) what county was this in? It plays a huge factor as some county's allow citizens to speak with prosecutors while others don't.
2) reckless driving is now categorized as the highest misdemeanor in va, you need to treat this as if you got a DUI or assault charge. This is a criminal charge, and if found guilty will never be off your record.
3) do not plea guilty and then ask for a reduction. If you admit guilt the judge will have no choice but to move forward with guilty plea. You can't plea guilty for one thing and hope they reduce it to another.
4) if you don't believe me go to traffic court and watch people get railroaded without lawyers (again, depending in county) You don't have, and are given maybe 10 seconds to say something.
5) if you do go and risk it on your own you can appeal any decision within 10 days. But realize a lawyer will charge 3x or more to handle the appeal because it is in a different court and more prep is required. It's cheaper to get a lawyer up front than hiring one to try and undue things.
6) just because an officer doesn't show up, doesn't mean you're off. A prosecutor can ask for a continuance just like a defendant. Although it is uncommon. But realize the officer is making overtime to be in court....so I wouldn't bet on them not showing.
7) stop worrying about the office, unless you were a dick he's irrelevant. Focus on the prosecutor and judge combo. They will be the ones doing he talking

FYI...my ticket was upper 90's on 66 with zero cars around midnight prior to the holidays. I have a perfect driving record, attended both driver improvement, and aggressive driving classes.

My lawyer (along with every lawyer I spoke to) still said to expect both suspended license and jail time! Likely an 8 day sentence where you serve half. My lawyer cost me 3k, most were around $1500

If this ticket was issued in the larger county's you have zero chance without a lawyer. With a lawyer at 83 I'd imagine you can get it reduced to something other than a criminal offense

It's not your driving, the cop, or the law that's the problem. It's the excessive punishment for first time offenders that's the real crime!

FYI...depending where you are I could probably recommend a lawyer because I met with many. Also, some drivig schools are easier to stomach than others. Ic oukd hook you up on this front as well
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Old 01-22-2014, 08:04 PM   #17
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Move from va to another state with a more realistic traffic system so you can go 83 and not worry about being raped during a weekend in jail
What i said in many fewer words!
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Old 01-22-2014, 08:21 PM   #18
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Lawyer up. It's as simple as that. Find a reputable firm that handles traffic violations. I recently got an improper turn ticket, sent my lawyer to court for 150 bucks and he reduced it to a non moving violation (no insurance hikes). Obviously this was a mild violation compared to what's being discussed here, although in this state an improper turn carries quite a bit of heft.
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Old 01-22-2014, 09:21 PM   #19
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Lawyer up. It's as simple as that. Find a reputable firm that handles traffic violations. I recently got an improper turn ticket, sent my lawyer to court for 150 bucks and he reduced it to a non moving violation (no insurance hikes). Obviously this was a mild violation compared to what's being discussed here, although in this state an improper turn carries quite a bit of heft.
Damn $150, in nova you couldn't get an attorney to smile for that!
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Old 01-23-2014, 08:58 AM   #20
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OP, as an LEO I have to give you props for not placing the blame on anyone else, but yourself. Sorry that its VA where you got caught....I've heard a lot of horror stories from down there through law enforcement channels.....so much that I make sure not to press my luck when I travel through the Commonwealth. If it were here I would have knocked it down to 5 over and sent you on you way and that's without showing you any "Camaro Love".

I will also fall short of giving you too much advice here since I am not too familiar with how VA runs their court procedures......best I can tell you is like others have said.....talk to a good attorney.

I can't see placing hope on having the officer not show up for court........while I can't see how any State can prosecute without the officer being there to testify....(first he has to provide details to the encounter that only he can provide....certifications, identify you, etc.....) The problem is ....you run the case all the way to trial and the officer does show up...then any plea offer or mercy they try to show will more than likely get thrown out once they call the officer in to testify or subpoena him for the trial date. Then you are in a world of s---!

Also remember that some departments....like mine for instance....will suspend their officers for not showing up for a court appearance because it is considered a duty assignment. I can tell you that I am not taking money out of my pocket for a missed court appearance.

Good luck dude.......ever think of moving to DE.....LOL......its a lot less strict......I just nailed a guy in a GTO for 85/45 ( I stop reducing at 40 over).....he's looking at about a $300-$350 fine and maybe a year without his driving privileges in DE....he is licensed in TX so I am not sure what they would do....
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Old 01-23-2014, 06:14 PM   #21
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My wife just got nailed in Oct. 78 in a 55 by a VA state trooper. Talked to the trooper in charge of my Inspection station. Best thing to do is take a driver improvement course prior to your court date. She didn't get a lawyer which I told her too but was found guilty. Paid her fines. I told het to appeal, she did got another court date Officer didn't show. Prosecutor wanted to continue, judge asked my wife if she wanted to continue? Wife said no she wanted to proceed. Got reduced to court fees. Got off easy......
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Old 01-23-2014, 06:51 PM   #22
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Reporting back from my court date today in fairfax county...

So best deal I was offered was 90 days in jail, 85 suspended (so 5 days in jail), 60 days suspended license (no option for restricted), and $1000 fine. We continued the case to fight another day.

I feel like I'm getting raped by the system! Yes I sped, but the punishment doesn't fit the crime!

This was with the supporting evidence that
- speedometer was off in my favor
- I require a license to maintain my job
- I am the primary caregiver of my wife
- I attended driving improvement class (8 hour class)
- I attended aggressive driving class (4 hour class)
- 3 letters from coworkers stating I'm of good character
- +5 (perfect) driving record with no previous moving violations
- officer agreed to go along with any deal

This was a reckless driving ticket in the mid to upper 90's on a major highway.

OP- report back what county. Most tickets I saw in the low 80's were reduced to speeding
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Old 01-23-2014, 07:33 PM   #23
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I spent nearly $2000 a year and a half ago in Virginia fighting a reckless driving ticket for my single car accident. Everything about the whole thing is so ****ed up! LAWYER UP... Everyone offering advise who hasn't fought a ticket specifically in Virginia doesn't understand, so politely disregard their advice.
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Old 01-23-2014, 09:11 PM   #24
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I got stopped doing 98 in a 55 in my vette on the 4th of July a few years ago. The LEO ticketed me for:

speeding in excess of 20mph...6 points
Inproper use of a turn signal...2 points
careless driving ...6 points

In Delaware 3 or more moving violations in one stop is automatic aggressive driving so...
aggressive driving ...6 points

I did not get a lawyer. I talked to the ADA and negotiated a plea. All charges dropped except aggressive driving. The fact that I had a terrible driving record played a part in why the ADA would not plea away the aggressive driving. $120 in court cost and away I went. So do you need a lawyer....that would depend on the state and how they view traffic offenders.

Today I have 2 points that go away in May and I cant wait.
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Old 01-23-2014, 09:39 PM   #25
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I spent nearly $2000 a year and a half ago in Virginia fighting a reckless driving ticket for my single car accident. Everything about the whole thing is so ****ed up! LAWYER UP... Everyone offering advise who hasn't fought a ticket specifically in Virginia doesn't understand, so politely disregard their advice.
I'm well over 2k. I spent more than that on the lawyer. It's bs man, and it's on going. Next court date is march
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