Reckless driving ticket in VA-Help!

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
andyandyandy
Posts: 288
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2014 11:36 am

Reckless driving ticket in VA-Help!

Post by andyandyandy » Fri Aug 17, 2018 4:00 pm

Bogleheads,

Today morning while going to office I got a speeding ticket (46) on speed limit of 25.
Speed limit suddenly changes at that place and I was in previous speed flow.

It says to go to court. Internet seem to say scary things about reckless driving.

I talked to some attorneys and they are charging from $800 to $1500 , some claiming I don't even need to go to court and they will take care.
Overall suggestions seem to be:
1) Get re-calibration done of the vehicle speedometer
2) Take some driving course before course appearance

I wanted to get your input for Northern VA area. Should I go on my own by taking course or hire any attorney.
If yes any recommendations on attorney?

Thank you very much in advance!

PS: I live in Northern VA only.

User avatar
vineviz
Posts: 1244
Joined: Tue May 15, 2018 1:55 pm

Re: Reckless driving ticket in VA-Help!

Post by vineviz » Fri Aug 17, 2018 4:06 pm

It's been a lot of years since I got a ticket like that in Virginia, but I definitely showed up in court and did not hire an attorney.

Once the officer failed to show up, so the whole thing was dismissed.

The other time I was polite and contrite to the judge. He reduced the speed to 44, just under the reckless driving limit IIRC. I took my lumps: paid the fine, and drove carefully until the penalty points on my license wore off.

Like I said, it was many years ago so things might have changed. But if you don't have a history of speeding violations, I don't think I'd bother to hire an attorney: I doubt they can do anything you can do on your own.
Last edited by vineviz on Fri Aug 17, 2018 4:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"Far more money has been lost by investors preparing for corrections than has been lost in corrections themselves." ~~ Peter Lynch

lightheir
Posts: 2291
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:43 pm

Re: Reckless driving ticket in VA-Help!

Post by lightheir » Fri Aug 17, 2018 4:07 pm

Not specific to your situation, but was I was younger I got a speeding ticket for going 36 in a 25 zone in a rural part of New York.

When I was updating my car insurance a year later, the insurance agent asked me to confirm the ticket, which I was said to admit I incurred. He said "don't worry, at that speed it doesn't even affect your insurance, we just ignore it'

I did have to pay the fine, but was happy I didn't get docked insurance for it

MotoTrojan
Posts: 2103
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2017 8:39 pm

Re: Reckless driving ticket in VA-Help!

Post by MotoTrojan » Fri Aug 17, 2018 4:10 pm

Record clean otherwise? I’d probably go and politely request eligibility for taking a drivers ed course to eliminate a point on your record.

I did once use a lawyer in NV. $250 fee turned it into a $100 non-moving violation. I had some other record dings so I was concerned with insurance hit.

amindu
Posts: 52
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2016 11:59 am

Re: Reckless driving ticket in VA-Help!

Post by amindu » Fri Aug 17, 2018 4:12 pm

A few years ago i received the same ticket for reckless driving in NOVA area, the judge dropped it down to speeding, took 3 demerits on the ID paid the fine and that was it. I have a lawyer because my firm had the legal perk through a vendor where we paid $10/month, and the lawyer was useless. The judge gave me the exact same punishment as the others in my situation got. So really no benefit. This was my first traffic violation though, so if you have priors ymmv.

User avatar
Tamarind
Posts: 1136
Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2015 2:38 pm

Re: Reckless driving ticket in VA-Help!

Post by Tamarind » Fri Aug 17, 2018 4:18 pm

I cannot comment directly on VA. In my state (NC) the "faulty speedometer" defense has gone the way of the dodo at last.

If this is your first ticket in many years, you should be able to reduce it to something with no major impact on your insurance rates. You do not have to appear in court yourself. The attorney will cost more than just paying the ticket, but maybe less than paying the ticket plus the bump in your insurance premium plus lost time in traffic court. Or you can go in yourself and be contrite as suggested above and take your chances.

User avatar
VictoriaF
Posts: 18521
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:27 am
Location: Black Swan Lake

Re: Reckless driving ticket in VA-Help!

Post by VictoriaF » Fri Aug 17, 2018 4:24 pm

Here is an excellent 22-point advice on defending your case in Virginia traffic courts:
http://nicholsgreen.com/2016/04/how-to- ... ic-ticket/

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

andyandyandy
Posts: 288
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2014 11:36 am

Re: Reckless driving ticket in VA-Help!

Post by andyandyandy » Fri Aug 17, 2018 4:29 pm

Thank you for the quick replies!

Yes- Clean record otherwise. First ticket in Virginia and no tickets since last 5.5 years!
No DUI.

My main worry is 'reckless driving' seems to be crime in VA - which may affect any job changes or Secret Clearance needed for Govt jobs here!

Thanks for any further inputs!

NotWhoYouThink
Posts: 2028
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2014 4:19 pm

Re: Reckless driving ticket in VA-Help!

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Fri Aug 17, 2018 4:36 pm

Item 20 on the list above is "Go to Traffic Court and Listen." Doing that, on the courtroom of the judge assigned to your case, might be a good idea.

But for reckless driving in Virginia with possible criminal exposure, I'd lawyer up.

(In other states of for tickets short of reckless driving I probably wouldn't)

InvisibleAerobar
Posts: 163
Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:33 pm

Re: Reckless driving ticket in VA-Help!

Post by InvisibleAerobar » Fri Aug 17, 2018 4:45 pm

andyandyandy wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 4:29 pm
Thank you for the quick replies!

Yes- Clean record otherwise. First ticket in Virginia and no tickets since last 5.5 years!
No DUI.

My main worry is 'reckless driving' seems to be crime in VA - which may affect any job changes or Secret Clearance needed for Govt jobs here!

Thanks for any further inputs!
Wouldnt worry about that, and there’s nothing you could do other than to be contrite and see if the charges could be made less serious. More than anything, if you are indeed adjudged to have driven recklessly, the investigator is more interested that you report such an event happened. Only when you try to pretend it’s not there do they ding you for it. Also, some traffic citations/violations arent even considered when you fill out the box for have you been arrested, et .

On a unrelated note, now that you’ve been caught, drive carefully around the region, especially in DC. The District has many places where the speed limit abruptly changes. Driving on the eastbound K-Street underpass from Watergate is one such area,
And it apparently is a major cash cow for the MPD

Jack FFR1846
Posts: 7628
Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:05 am

Re: Reckless driving ticket in VA-Help!

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Fri Aug 17, 2018 4:57 pm

NotWhoYouThink wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 4:36 pm
Item 20 on the list above is "Go to Traffic Court and Listen." Doing that, on the courtroom of the judge assigned to your case, might be a good idea.

But for reckless driving in Virginia with possible criminal exposure, I'd lawyer up.

(In other states of for tickets short of reckless driving I probably wouldn't)
^ this

Don't know about your state, but in mine, a ticket penalty on insurance of the next many years is far more expensive than a lawyer. Add possible criminal exposure, yah, no question. I don't care if 75 Bogleheads come forward and say they did this or that and got off......what if you become the example for the judge to show he's tough on lawbreakers. No thanks.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

Cheyenne
Posts: 404
Joined: Sun Jun 14, 2015 6:46 am

Re: Reckless driving ticket in VA-Help!

Post by Cheyenne » Fri Aug 17, 2018 5:01 pm

andyandyandy wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 4:29 pm

My main worry is 'reckless driving' seems to be crime in VA - which may affect any job changes or Secret Clearance needed for Govt jobs here!
A Reckless Driving conviction in some circumstances can also deny one entry to Canada. A DUI definitely will.

User avatar
slayed
Posts: 263
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2012 3:07 pm

Re: Reckless driving ticket in VA-Help!

Post by slayed » Fri Aug 17, 2018 5:07 pm

I had a similar ticket in 1999 in Va (89 in a 65 or something like that). Ignored it for a few years. Ended up just paying a fine online and that was it. It was 2003 when I had to settle the ticket because I was applying for my license in MA.

Minty
Posts: 154
Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2013 3:19 pm
Location: NorCal

Re: Reckless driving ticket in VA-Help!

Post by Minty » Fri Aug 17, 2018 5:10 pm

This is a lot like the question of whether you need homeowners insurance. Get a lawyer. See if the lawyer can get the charge reduced to improper driving.
Core Four with nominal bonds and TIPS.

eucalyptus
Posts: 585
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2007 1:24 pm

Re: Reckless driving ticket in VA-Help!

Post by eucalyptus » Fri Aug 17, 2018 5:20 pm

20 over is a lot in Virginia. My daughter went through a well known southern Virginia I95 speed trap at 20 over. I hired a reputable local lawyer who specializes in traffic law and got the charge reduced.

I was once clocked at 95 in a 55 in Maryland (exuberance in a brand new sportscar). Hired a lawyer, went to a full day traffic school pre trial, appeared with counsel and had the charge reduced. No doubt would have been arrested in VA.

Based on my own experience, I’d consider hiring a lawyer a potentially worthwhile investment.

Good luck.

chevca
Posts: 1874
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:22 am

Re: Reckless driving ticket in VA-Help!

Post by chevca » Fri Aug 17, 2018 5:40 pm

andyandyandy wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 4:00 pm
Today morning while going to office I got a speeding ticket (46) on speed limit of 25.
Speed limit suddenly changes at that place and I was in previous speed flow.
"Suddenly changes", huh? No speed change ahead signs to warn of the new speed limit or anything? I don't know how roads and signs work in VA, but... :wink:

With a clean record, you should be able to represent yourself, meet with the attorney before the judge gets in, and get it reduced pretty easily. Be nice, polite, and say sorry. Going from recklesss to a tail light ticket is probably unlikely. But, they will likely give you a lesser speeding charge instead of the reckless.

KlangFool
Posts: 9945
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Reckless driving ticket in VA-Help!

Post by KlangFool » Fri Aug 17, 2018 5:58 pm

chevca wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 5:40 pm
andyandyandy wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 4:00 pm
Today morning while going to office I got a speeding ticket (46) on speed limit of 25.
Speed limit suddenly changes at that place and I was in previous speed flow.
"Suddenly changes", huh? No speed change ahead signs to warn of the new speed limit or anything? I don't know how roads and signs work in VA, but... :wink:

With a clean record, you should be able to represent yourself, meet with the attorney before the judge gets in, and get it reduced pretty easily. Be nice, polite, and say sorry. Going from recklesss to a tail light ticket is probably unlikely. But, they will likely give you a lesser speeding charge instead of the reckless.
chevca,

Yes, there are a few speed traps like this in NoVA. In this case, the 25 miles speed limit is right after the traffic light. The other side of the traffic light is 35 miles speed limit. Once, I was trying to beat a red light. I could not slow down in time for the 25 miles speed limit section. Then, I received a speeding ticket at 45 miles. So, it is considered reckless driving. This was when I started working at that new job location. I avoid that section of road at all cost from now on.

I have a good driving record. And, that section is famous for that speed trap. It funds the police department. I paid my fine and took the defensive driving course. All is well.

It had been so long that I forgot what happened. I think that they will mail you an official summons. Then, you have the option to pay the fine and take the defensive driving course. I do not remember that I ever have to show up in court.

OP should talk to folks that work around that area. It might be an intentionally created speed trap to fund the police department. Then, they would not be so tough on you. They just want your money.

KlangFool

User avatar
snackdog
Posts: 312
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2014 4:57 am

Re: Reckless driving ticket in VA-Help!

Post by snackdog » Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:15 pm

If you think it could cost you a cushy government job then by all means hire a smart lawyer.

And quit driving recklessly before you kill someone.

gundlached
Posts: 117
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2015 12:45 pm

Re: Reckless driving ticket in VA-Help!

Post by gundlached » Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:45 pm

A quick google search indicates reckless driving carries criminal liability in VA. Retain counsel.

User avatar
hornet96
Posts: 426
Joined: Sun Nov 25, 2012 6:45 pm

Re: Reckless driving ticket in VA-Help!

Post by hornet96 » Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:58 pm

What court are you to appear in - Federal or County? The reason I ask is because if it was in a “national park” area, it will be in federal court. Also, is reckless driving actually stated as a charge on your ticket?

The reason I bring this up is because I was in a similar situation about 10 years ago, ticketed for right at 20mph over in one of the many revenue hubs speed traps in the area (going with the flow of the rest of traffic around me, mind you). Before I went to the federal district court for my hearing (with another one of those useless company- benefit lawyers), I proactively took a safe driving course to take some positive evidence with me to help amend the ticket down, in case it might boost my chances of success.

On my hearing date, I never went into the courtroom. Someone from the federal court came out to meet with me and my lawyer, spent 30 seconds reviewing my case, and amended the ticket down to like 7mph over with a small increase in the fine.

Afterwards, I was expecting to see something from the court show up on my driving record at some point - but it never did. The only thing that was ever reported was my safe driving course, which earned me a bonus of 5 safe driving points on my record.

My suspicion is that because it was a federal ticket, for some reason the federal court never reported it to the state DMV. Thus, my insurance rate was never affected by that ticket.

Obviously there is no guarantee that the same result would happen in your case; however, like you, my #1 concern was that I might get dinged with reckless driving. Those words were never uttered in the 30 second conversation with the court, and it was surprisingly easy to get the violation amended down.

YMMV

chevca
Posts: 1874
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:22 am

Re: Reckless driving ticket in VA-Help!

Post by chevca » Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:33 am

I have to say I find it funny so many of these posts and stories mention well known speed traps, going to the office, and even avoiding the area. If these speed traps are so well known, why are you, or relatives getting tickets there and why avoid the area?? :confused :wink:

KlangFool
Posts: 9945
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Reckless driving ticket in VA-Help!

Post by KlangFool » Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:45 am

chevca wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:33 am
I have to say I find it funny so many of these posts and stories mention well known speed traps, going to the office, and even avoiding the area. If these speed traps are so well known, why are you, or relatives getting tickets there and why avoid the area?? :confused :wink:
In my case, I was new to that part of the town. My job location was changed. After I was ticketed, I Google and found that it was a well known speed trap.

KlangFool

User avatar
Wildebeest
Posts: 1140
Joined: Fri Dec 27, 2013 2:36 pm

Re: Reckless driving ticket in VA-Help!

Post by Wildebeest » Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:12 am

chevca wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:33 am
I have to say I find it funny so many of these posts and stories mention well known speed traps, going to the office, and even avoiding the area. If these speed traps are so well known, why are you, or relatives getting tickets there and why avoid the area?? :confused :wink:
I am aware of speed traps on my way to work ( less than 20 miles). I try every morning and every evening to slow down on those sections. I have not gotten gotten stopped for a possible speeding ticket in 20 years on way to and from work. However if I keep up with traffic, and do not watch actively for where the traps may be laid, I would at least have a ticket of going over the speed limit of 20 miles/hour or more a year (I typically travel at 7 miles over the speed limit on the highway and 5 miles in town unless I am distracted).

In regions where I do not know the lay of the land I have been stopped for driving over 25 + miles the speed limit while keeping up with traffic and have been lucky that I typically get warnings by following Life hacker's rule 1-7: I have never needed to resort to applying 8-10. I have not gotten a moving violation in 20 years, and I hope my luck holds.

https://lifehacker.com/208611/how-to-be ... ur-chances

Blue lights... you’re getting pulled over
1. Get your attitude right.

Fighting with the police officer never increases your chances of leniency. You want him to like you. Prepare to achieve this goal.

2. Turn your car off, and turn the interior lights of your car on.

Place your hands at 10 and 2 on the steering wheel and remove your sunglasses or hat. Some people even advise you to place your keys on the roof of your car as a sign of total submission. Never, ever get out of the car.

The whole point of this is to take any unnecessary tension out of the encounter. You want the officer to be comfortable. Imagine the types of people and the dangers that most officers have had to deal with. Be just the opposite.

3. Be very polite and do exactly what the nice cop with the big gun says.

Save your pleas until after the basics are finished. Many officers will never speak to you until after they’ve done the basics. It’s almost a litmus test for jerk drivers.

4. Once the officer has gotten your information, ask him politely if you may speak to him about your violation.

If you know you broke the law, admit it vehemently and tell the officer that he was completely right for pulling you over. Honest officers will admit that there is a lot of pride in police work, and, if you can sufficiently satisfy the pride factor, sometimes officers don’t feel it necessary to punish you any further. The better you make the officer feel; the more likely he’s going to like you enough to let you go.

5. Ask to see the radar then ask a few questions.

Many jurisdictions require that the officer allow you to see the radar. Don’t press it if the officer says no because that’s what a courtroom is for. But, at least ask, then ask a few more questions to show that you are watching.

You might ask, “When was the last time your radar gun was calibrated?” or “Where were you when you clocked my speed?” or “Were you moving when you clocked my speed?”

Do not ask these in an argumentative tone or sarcastic, know-it-all way. All that will do is make the pride in the officer fight you harder.

6. Plead your case.

Once you’ve gone over some basics with the officer and developed a temporary rapport, ask for mercy. Make it sincere and let the officer know that it’s a big deal to you. Resist all urges to fight and get angry and simply beg as much as your dignity will allow. But, there is no reason to grovel.

7. Leave the scene as a non-memorable, nice person.

If the officer didn’t let you go on the scene, then you want him to never remember you. Your next steps are in a more legal setting, and the less the officer remembers you, the better. Usually, officers only remember you if they want to remember to show you no mercy.

You’ve gotten a ticket, but you still want out
8. Call the officer at work.

Ask politely if you can arrange a time to meet with the officer to talk to him or her about a ticket you got recently. Usually, officers will readily meet with you, the taxpayer, and this meeting has gotten me out of many tickets.

But, don’t go to the meeting and just say, “Will you let me out of this ticket?” You better have a story or some reason to motivate the officer to let you out. That’s just up to you, but just be really nice and try to bridge that officer-civilian gap with a personal story and plead for mercy. The more the officer can identify with you, the more likely he is to want to show you mercy.

Remember always, the officer has full authority to drop your ticket, so remember how important he is in this process. Treat him and pursue him as the gatekeeper to your freedom. Don’t be scared, though. You have a right to try to talk to the officer. You pay his salary.

9. Write a letter to the officer.

Even if you met with the officer, it can’t hurt to write him a letter pleading your case to him. Write it professionally, succinctly, and include complete contact information. I’ve even gone so far as to offer alternative punishment. Although that alternative wasn’t accepted, the officer was pretty surprised at my tenacity, and it motivated him to let me off the hook. He could tell that I really did care about this one ticket.

Make the ticket a bigger deal to you than to him, but you have to carefully do this in a professional, civil way. Anything else, and you’re playing with fire.

10. Repeat calls and letters to the judge and/or the prosecutor.

If the officer won’t listen to you, feel free to contact the judge that will preside over your case. Also, find out who the prosecuting attorney will be and call him at his office. They are just people, and the worst they can say is “no.” You have nothing to lose at this point. Plead your case to either of them, but do not be a pest and be consistently apologetic for the lengths to which you are going to get out of your ticket. You must be sincere, or don’t bother going at all.

In steps 8-10, you stand the risk of being labeled a nuisance or a troublemaker. If you get this impression too much, then bail out with apologies. But, do not be afraid to at least try to talk to the officials face-to-face. They are, after all, public servants, and you are that public.
Last edited by Wildebeest on Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
The Golden Rule: One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself.

User avatar
Wildebeest
Posts: 1140
Joined: Fri Dec 27, 2013 2:36 pm

Re: Reckless driving ticket in VA-Help!

Post by Wildebeest » Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:27 am

Hi Andyandyandy,

Consider step 8-10 of lifehacker's suggestions.

https://lifehacker.com/208611/how-to-be ... ur-chances

Good luck and let us know how it turned out.

W.
The Golden Rule: One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself.

andypanda
Posts: 108
Joined: Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:11 pm
Location: Richmond, Virginia

Re: Reckless driving ticket in VA-Help!

Post by andypanda » Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:42 am

Hire a lawyer. Most folks don't get the maximum penalties, but here they are...

"The maximum penalties for a reckless driving conviction in Virginia are:
Six (6) DMV points
$2,500 fine
6 months driver’s license suspension
12 months jail time"

And a reminder, not only is 20 mph over the limit RD, so is anything over 80 mph. If the speed limit is 70 and you're doing 81 you're at risk of a RD ticket.

I was born here a long, long time ago. My father was even a state trooper when I was a little kid. I still drive fast, but not that fast.

Remember, judges are lawyers and they like to see you supporting the legal system. :wink:

westie
Posts: 441
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2012 8:00 am

Re: Reckless driving ticket in VA-Help!

Post by westie » Sat Aug 18, 2018 8:11 am

hire an attorney, with or without one, contrition in court will get it reduced to a lesser charge in most all cases. I wouldn't follow the advice from lifehacker here. If you have questions, save them for court. The officer already told you why you were stopped and given a ticket.

cresive
Posts: 171
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 12:12 pm
Location: Virginia, USA
Contact:

Re: Reckless driving ticket in VA-Help!

Post by cresive » Sat Aug 18, 2018 8:14 am

andyandyandy wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 4:00 pm
Bogleheads,

Today morning while going to office I got a speeding ticket (46) on speed limit of 25.
Speed limit suddenly changes at that place and I was in previous speed flow.

It says to go to court. Internet seem to say scary things about reckless driving.

I talked to some attorneys and they are charging from $800 to $1500 , some claiming I don't even need to go to court and they will take care.
Overall suggestions seem to be:
1) Get re-calibration done of the vehicle speedometer
2) Take some driving course before course appearance

I wanted to get your input for Northern VA area. Should I go on my own by taking course or hire any attorney.
If yes any recommendations on attorney?

Thank you very much in advance!

PS: I live in Northern VA only.
Get a Lawyer!!! Reckless is not a simple speeding ticket and will follow you for many years!

ww340
Posts: 142
Joined: Sun Apr 06, 2014 7:33 am

Re: Reckless driving ticket in VA-Help!

Post by ww340 » Sat Aug 18, 2018 8:15 am

I got a really bad ticket in an area far from home. I was doing 21 over the speed limit. I was pretty much in a panic, as I knew it was going to be bad, expensive, and a court nowhere close to home.

All my friends suggested a lawyer, but warned me that would be expensive.

I called the court clerk and asked if there was any way to keep the ticket off my record. She informed me that I could pay an increased fine and be placed on probation for 90 days. If I had no other traffic related offenses during that time, the ticket would not go on my record.

My husband got one in a speed trap area and also called the court clerk. They told him not to worry, as they never report violations on the drivers license.

So I suggest you call the court clerk and see what the suggest. You could ask if you should take a course or get a lawyer and explain your concerns.

tibbitts
Posts: 7934
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:50 pm

Re: Reckless driving ticket in VA-Help!

Post by tibbitts » Sat Aug 18, 2018 8:48 am

Wow. Bogleheads has many valuable posts with helpful advice. And this post, too.

User avatar
Doom&Gloom
Posts: 2155
Joined: Thu May 08, 2014 3:36 pm

Re: Reckless driving ticket in VA-Help!

Post by Doom&Gloom » Sat Aug 18, 2018 11:26 am

ww340 wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 8:15 am
I got a really bad ticket in an area far from home. I was doing 21 over the speed limit. I was pretty much in a panic, as I knew it was going to be bad, expensive, and a court nowhere close to home.

All my friends suggested a lawyer, but warned me that would be expensive.

I called the court clerk and asked if there was any way to keep the ticket off my record. She informed me that I could pay an increased fine and be placed on probation for 90 days. If I had no other traffic related offenses during that time, the ticket would not go on my record.

My husband got one in a speed trap area and also called the court clerk. They told him not to worry, as they never report violations on the drivers license.

So I suggest you call the court clerk and see what the suggest. You could ask if you should take a course or get a lawyer and explain your concerns.
This is the course of action that has helped members of my family most during the past several years. It never resulted in a well-deserved ticket being dismissed, but it did minimize the damages. Good telephone skills are a plus.

j0nnyg1984
Posts: 423
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2016 9:55 am

Re: Reckless driving ticket in VA-Help!

Post by j0nnyg1984 » Sat Aug 18, 2018 3:07 pm

I've heard many tales of the famed reckless driving tickets in Virginia. I've only been there twice, thankfully, but I declined to drive both times. Uber / Lyft is cheaper than dealing with a corrupt system.

Get a lawyer and settle in.

User avatar
dm200
Posts: 17722
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:21 pm
Location: Washington DC area

Re: Reckless driving ticket in VA-Help!

Post by dm200 » Sat Aug 18, 2018 3:10 pm

andyandyandy wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 4:00 pm
Bogleheads,

Today morning while going to office I got a speeding ticket (46) on speed limit of 25.
Speed limit suddenly changes at that place and I was in previous speed flow.

It says to go to court. Internet seem to say scary things about reckless driving.

I talked to some attorneys and they are charging from $800 to $1500 , some claiming I don't even need to go to court and they will take care.
Overall suggestions seem to be:
1) Get re-calibration done of the vehicle speedometer
2) Take some driving course before course appearance

I wanted to get your input for Northern VA area. Should I go on my own by taking course or hire any attorney.
If yes any recommendations on attorney?

Thank you very much in advance!

PS: I live in Northern VA only.
Have you considered making some kind of deal with the Commonwealth Attorney in that jurisdiction?

andypanda
Posts: 108
Joined: Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:11 pm
Location: Richmond, Virginia

Re: Reckless driving ticket in VA-Help!

Post by andypanda » Sat Aug 18, 2018 3:33 pm

"Lyft is cheaper than dealing with a corrupt system."

How is it corrupt? The law is the same for everyone - you drive 20 over the limit and you're at risk (along with everyone else on the road when you are.)


If you're determined to drive fast, we have VIR...

Virginia International Raceway
virnow.com/
A multi-purpose road course offering professional and amateur auto and motorcycle racing, as well as a wide range of track events.

Image

User avatar
dm200
Posts: 17722
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:21 pm
Location: Washington DC area

Re: Reckless driving ticket in VA-Help!

Post by dm200 » Sat Aug 18, 2018 3:48 pm

From a stop sign ticket my wife received in this area - she fought it and in every such case that day for stop sign violations - the judge threw out all of the ones that an officer just happened to see, BUT upheld all of the ones where the officers were actually watching the intersection.

Were you caught in an actual set up speeding radar - OR an officer just happened to track you some other way?

Seems to me that just a speeding ticket would be something you could live with, BUT reckless driving is much more serious on your record.

User avatar
dm200
Posts: 17722
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:21 pm
Location: Washington DC area

Re: Reckless driving ticket in VA-Help!

Post by dm200 » Sat Aug 18, 2018 3:51 pm

vineviz wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 4:06 pm
It's been a lot of years since I got a ticket like that in Virginia, but I definitely showed up in court and did not hire an attorney.

Once the officer failed to show up, so the whole thing was dismissed.

The other time I was polite and contrite to the judge. He reduced the speed to 44, just under the reckless driving limit IIRC. I took my lumps: paid the fine, and drove carefully until the penalty points on my license wore off.

Like I said, it was many years ago so things might have changed. But if you don't have a history of speeding violations, I don't think I'd bother to hire an attorney: I doubt they can do anything you can do on your own.
These are both common experiences.

michaeljc70
Posts: 3319
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:53 pm

Re: Reckless driving ticket in VA-Help!

Post by michaeljc70 » Sat Aug 18, 2018 5:20 pm

Wildebeest wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:12 am
chevca wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:33 am
I have to say I find it funny so many of these posts and stories mention well known speed traps, going to the office, and even avoiding the area. If these speed traps are so well known, why are you, or relatives getting tickets there and why avoid the area?? :confused :wink:
I am aware of speed traps on my way to work ( less than 20 miles). I try every morning and every evening to slow down on those sections. I have not gotten gotten stopped for a possible speeding ticket in 20 years on way to and from work. However if I keep up with traffic, and do not watch actively for where the traps may be laid, I would at least have a ticket of going over the speed limit of 20 miles/hour or more a year (I typically travel at 7 miles over the speed limit on the highway and 5 miles in town unless I am distracted).

In regions where I do not know the lay of the land I have been stopped for driving over 25 + miles the speed limit while keeping up with traffic and have been lucky that I typically get warnings by following Life hacker's rule 1-7: I have never needed to resort to applying 8-10. I have not gotten a moving violation in 20 years, and I hope my luck holds.

https://lifehacker.com/208611/how-to-be ... ur-chances

Blue lights... you’re getting pulled over
1. Get your attitude right.

Fighting with the police officer never increases your chances of leniency. You want him to like you. Prepare to achieve this goal.

2. Turn your car off, and turn the interior lights of your car on.

Place your hands at 10 and 2 on the steering wheel and remove your sunglasses or hat. Some people even advise you to place your keys on the roof of your car as a sign of total submission. Never, ever get out of the car.

The whole point of this is to take any unnecessary tension out of the encounter. You want the officer to be comfortable. Imagine the types of people and the dangers that most officers have had to deal with. Be just the opposite.

3. Be very polite and do exactly what the nice cop with the big gun says.

Save your pleas until after the basics are finished. Many officers will never speak to you until after they’ve done the basics. It’s almost a litmus test for jerk drivers.

4. Once the officer has gotten your information, ask him politely if you may speak to him about your violation.

If you know you broke the law, admit it vehemently and tell the officer that he was completely right for pulling you over. Honest officers will admit that there is a lot of pride in police work, and, if you can sufficiently satisfy the pride factor, sometimes officers don’t feel it necessary to punish you any further. The better you make the officer feel; the more likely he’s going to like you enough to let you go.

5. Ask to see the radar then ask a few questions.

Many jurisdictions require that the officer allow you to see the radar. Don’t press it if the officer says no because that’s what a courtroom is for. But, at least ask, then ask a few more questions to show that you are watching.

You might ask, “When was the last time your radar gun was calibrated?” or “Where were you when you clocked my speed?” or “Were you moving when you clocked my speed?”

Do not ask these in an argumentative tone or sarcastic, know-it-all way. All that will do is make the pride in the officer fight you harder.

6. Plead your case.

Once you’ve gone over some basics with the officer and developed a temporary rapport, ask for mercy. Make it sincere and let the officer know that it’s a big deal to you. Resist all urges to fight and get angry and simply beg as much as your dignity will allow. But, there is no reason to grovel.

7. Leave the scene as a non-memorable, nice person.

If the officer didn’t let you go on the scene, then you want him to never remember you. Your next steps are in a more legal setting, and the less the officer remembers you, the better. Usually, officers only remember you if they want to remember to show you no mercy.

You’ve gotten a ticket, but you still want out
8. Call the officer at work.

Ask politely if you can arrange a time to meet with the officer to talk to him or her about a ticket you got recently. Usually, officers will readily meet with you, the taxpayer, and this meeting has gotten me out of many tickets.

But, don’t go to the meeting and just say, “Will you let me out of this ticket?” You better have a story or some reason to motivate the officer to let you out. That’s just up to you, but just be really nice and try to bridge that officer-civilian gap with a personal story and plead for mercy. The more the officer can identify with you, the more likely he is to want to show you mercy.

Remember always, the officer has full authority to drop your ticket, so remember how important he is in this process. Treat him and pursue him as the gatekeeper to your freedom. Don’t be scared, though. You have a right to try to talk to the officer. You pay his salary.

9. Write a letter to the officer.

Even if you met with the officer, it can’t hurt to write him a letter pleading your case to him. Write it professionally, succinctly, and include complete contact information. I’ve even gone so far as to offer alternative punishment. Although that alternative wasn’t accepted, the officer was pretty surprised at my tenacity, and it motivated him to let me off the hook. He could tell that I really did care about this one ticket.

Make the ticket a bigger deal to you than to him, but you have to carefully do this in a professional, civil way. Anything else, and you’re playing with fire.

10. Repeat calls and letters to the judge and/or the prosecutor.

If the officer won’t listen to you, feel free to contact the judge that will preside over your case. Also, find out who the prosecuting attorney will be and call him at his office. They are just people, and the worst they can say is “no.” You have nothing to lose at this point. Plead your case to either of them, but do not be a pest and be consistently apologetic for the lengths to which you are going to get out of your ticket. You must be sincere, or don’t bother going at all.

In steps 8-10, you stand the risk of being labeled a nuisance or a troublemaker. If you get this impression too much, then bail out with apologies. But, do not be afraid to at least try to talk to the officials face-to-face. They are, after all, public servants, and you are that public.
I would not do most of those things. Write the officer a letter??? 1-3 are good advice. Asking when the radar was calibrated is just not good advice in my opinion. That is for court and no matter your tone, adversarial. And, it says tell the officer he was right to pull you over. Then you are going to dispute that the radar gun was wrong?

If the reckless limit is 20+ over the limit like in a lot of areas, you weren't much over that. I would go to court on my own. If you are very lucky, the officer might not show (not likely as they typically schedule them for many tickets on one day). Otherwise, the judge will probably knock the charge down to a normal speeding ticket if everything is as the OP says. You might have to pay for and go to a driving class and pay a fine. The effect of a reckless driving charge on your insurance is huge.

Isabelle77
Posts: 291
Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2015 1:43 pm

Re: Reckless driving ticket in VA-Help!

Post by Isabelle77 » Sat Aug 18, 2018 8:18 pm

I got a reckless driving ticket in Front Royal Va in 1997. I was a college student and going 82 in a 65, I was the only car on the highway. Back then only 15mph over was reckless driving. I went to court, the cop showed up and I was fined $90. I remember because it was a lot of money for a broke college student. I did not receive any points on my license.

However, I was very grateful that he did not ask to look in my trunk because it was full of beer and I was only 20.

westie
Posts: 441
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2012 8:00 am

Re: Reckless driving ticket in VA-Help!

Post by westie » Sun Aug 19, 2018 7:42 am

Can't say it doesn't happen, but instances of cops not showing up for court don't happen much anymore.

Cash
Posts: 1289
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 10:52 am

Re: Reckless driving ticket in VA-Help!

Post by Cash » Sun Aug 19, 2018 8:07 am

hornet96 wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:58 pm
On my hearing date, I never went into the courtroom. Someone from the federal court came out to meet with me and my lawyer, spent 30 seconds reviewing my case, and amended the ticket down to like 7mph over with a small increase in the fine.

Afterwards, I was expecting to see something from the court show up on my driving record at some point - but it never did. The only thing that was ever reported was my safe driving course, which earned me a bonus of 5 safe driving points on my record.

My suspicion is that because it was a federal ticket, for some reason the federal court never reported it to the state DMV. Thus, my insurance rate was never affected by that ticket.
The "someone from the federal court" you met with was an Assistant United States Attorney (federal prosecutor), who likely would rather have been doing any number of more important things than dealing with the petty offense docket. You probably didn't need to take the driving course and definitely didn't need to hire a lawyer to achieve that outcome. S/he just wanted it to go away. And yes, outcomes from that docket are rarely reported to the state or to insurance companies.

ddurrett896
Posts: 844
Joined: Wed Nov 05, 2014 3:23 pm

Re: Reckless driving ticket in VA-Help!

Post by ddurrett896 » Sun Aug 19, 2018 10:32 am

I'm in southern VA and my last reckless was about 10 years ago and I'd assume the consequences are the same or worse today.

When I went to court, the judge made me sign a waiver acknowledging that this was a jail able offense and if I really didn't want a lawyer. If you did get sentences to jail, you can always appeal then hire a lawyer.

If it happened today with a clean record since, I'd take a driving class before court, show up in my best suit and tell the judge I'm a productive member of society with a great job, support my family and made a mistake.

99 out of 100 times they will reduce to speeding - pay and move on. If you are the 1%, appeal then hire a lawyer and have them get it reduced.

magazinewriter
Posts: 307
Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2010 11:39 am

Re: Reckless driving ticket in VA-Help!

Post by magazinewriter » Sun Aug 19, 2018 11:38 am

It’s been years, but I was charged with reckless driving in Northern Virginia for backing up the shoulder lane on I-66. Yes, I was young and stupid.

I went to court and there were public defenders wandering around advising people. He told me to plead “guilty with an explanation” and I did. Judge reduced the charge to improper backing. I had to pay a fine and attend traffic school (horrible, condescending instructor) and got points on my license. This was in Arlington.

User avatar
dm200
Posts: 17722
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:21 pm
Location: Washington DC area

Re: Reckless driving ticket in VA-Help!

Post by dm200 » Sun Aug 19, 2018 12:18 pm

magazinewriter wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 11:38 am
It’s been years, but I was charged with reckless driving in Northern Virginia for backing up the shoulder lane on I-66. Yes, I was young and stupid.

I went to court and there were public defenders wandering around advising people. He told me to plead “guilty with an explanation” and I did. Judge reduced the charge to improper backing. I had to pay a fine and attend traffic school (horrible, condescending instructor) and got points on my license. This was in Arlington.
We also live in Arlington - and this seems to be common and very likely if there are no other negative factors AND you come across as humble and repentant. In one case, I got stopped for an expired inspection - and my excuse was being on our honeymoon. Still got the ticket - went to court - told the judge and got no fine - just paid minimal court costs.

User avatar
queso
Posts: 605
Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2016 3:52 pm

Re: Reckless driving ticket in VA-Help!

Post by queso » Mon Aug 20, 2018 7:43 am

Don't mess around with VA and reckless. Get a good lawyer and get it reduced. You do not want a class 1 misdemeanor criminal conviction on your record FOR LIFE (same category misdemeanor as a DWI/DUI and assault in VA). This is not a traffic issue in VA, it is a criminal conviction and you will have to answer that you were convicted of a crime for the rest of your life and it will show up on every background check for every clearance you try to get and every employer will see it when they screen you for employment. Trust me - do not cheap out on this and do not take it lightly. The good news is that since you have a good record you can likely get it reduced to a traffic violation (again, this is NOT a traffic violation in VA - it is a criminal charge). If you want a recommendation shoot me a PM and I can send you the contact info of someone that has gotten several friends out of similar situations.

Good luck!

2l8d82
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2018 8:18 am

Re: Reckless driving ticket in VA-Help!

Post by 2l8d82 » Mon Aug 20, 2018 8:42 am

I'm a VA resident and ~18 years ago received a reckless ticket for driving aggressively going 95 on I-95. I was dumb and got scared.

I had a few other tickets over the past few years. I calibrated my speedometer (it was reading slower than it should have!). I preemptively took a driver safety course. I hired a lawyer.

As far as I know the lawyer didn't do anything for me before, during, or after my court case. I was made an example by the judge. With his parents, a young man appeared previous to me on similar charges. The judge was trying to impress on him the seriousness of the crime, that jail time was a possibility, and that he should have a lawyer. The judge gave him time to get a lawyer and reappear. I then went forward and was given a fine and 60 days in jail with 57 suspended, which meant 3 days in jail and 57 days of probation. Since you only serve half your time (if you're on good behavior), I spend a day and a night in jail.

After sentencing me the judge turned to the other young man and said something like, "See how serious your charges are."

I was working as a government contractor with security clearance. I told my boss that I had been convicted of a class 1 misdemeanor for reckless driving. He shrugged his shoulders and it never caused any employment problems for me. My understanding is that it does not remain on your record for life, but will be removed after 7 years. I haven't actually checked, and it hasn't been a problem for me.

I had a restricted license for 6 months, and was only allowed to drive to work and back. It was pretty humiliating/annoying. I have not had a ticket since.

As a counter point, my brother-in-law got a reckless ticket on a rural highway. He had no prior tickets. He appeared before the court without a lawyer, pled guilty, and was contrite, and it wasn't a big deal for him.

If your circumstances are not the same as mine, it will probably not be as big a deal, but YMMV

User avatar
GoldStar
Posts: 404
Joined: Wed May 23, 2018 10:59 am

Re: Reckless driving ticket in VA-Help!

Post by GoldStar » Mon Aug 20, 2018 8:48 am

In VA I wouldn't risk it. I've heard too many horror stories. Just read the Maximum Fine that andypanda posted above.
Yes, some folks "got away with it" and are telling you not to sweat it - but is it worth saving $1000 or so in lawyer fees when the max fine could actually include jail time? (and loss of your Clearance impacting your career).
Hire a good lawyer.

User avatar
vineviz
Posts: 1244
Joined: Tue May 15, 2018 1:55 pm

Re: Reckless driving ticket in VA-Help!

Post by vineviz » Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:00 am

GoldStar wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 8:48 am
In VA I wouldn't risk it. I've heard too many horror stories. Just read the Maximum Fine that andypanda posted above.
Yes, some folks "got away with it" and are telling you not to sweat it - but is it worth saving $1000 or so in lawyer fees when the max fine could actually include jail time? (and loss of your Clearance impacting your career).
Hire a good lawyer.
As a rule, horror stories are designed to scare you. Usually into parting you from your money in my car experience.

No judge has any interest in sending productive citizens to jail for speeding. “My Cousin Vinny” was a fun movie, not a documentary.
"Far more money has been lost by investors preparing for corrections than has been lost in corrections themselves." ~~ Peter Lynch

User avatar
GoldStar
Posts: 404
Joined: Wed May 23, 2018 10:59 am

Re: Reckless driving ticket in VA-Help!

Post by GoldStar » Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:07 am

vineviz wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:00 am
GoldStar wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 8:48 am
In VA I wouldn't risk it. I've heard too many horror stories. Just read the Maximum Fine that andypanda posted above.
Yes, some folks "got away with it" and are telling you not to sweat it - but is it worth saving $1000 or so in lawyer fees when the max fine could actually include jail time? (and loss of your Clearance impacting your career).
Hire a good lawyer.
As a rule, horror stories are designed to scare you. Usually into parting you from your money in my car experience.

No judge has any interest in sending productive citizens to jail for speeding. “My Cousin Vinny” was a fun movie, not a documentary.
I don't know every judge in Virginia (maybe you do) and I also don't base my life decisions based upon movies (maybe you do) but I do have a friend who now has a criminal record resulting from his rushing back to the airport to return a rental car.
Even if the OP doesn't get jail time - it doesn't sound like he wants a criminal record. Read the law, know the risks, then make your decision.

User avatar
queso
Posts: 605
Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2016 3:52 pm

Re: Reckless driving ticket in VA-Help!

Post by queso » Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:08 am

vineviz wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:00 am
GoldStar wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 8:48 am
In VA I wouldn't risk it. I've heard too many horror stories. Just read the Maximum Fine that andypanda posted above.
Yes, some folks "got away with it" and are telling you not to sweat it - but is it worth saving $1000 or so in lawyer fees when the max fine could actually include jail time? (and loss of your Clearance impacting your career).
Hire a good lawyer.
As a rule, horror stories are designed to scare you. Usually into parting you from your money in my car experience.

No judge has any interest in sending productive citizens to jail for speeding. “My Cousin Vinny” was a fun movie, not a documentary.
Jail time in VA for reckless is extremely rare unless you were going over 90 or 100. I know a guy who did 30 days and it isn't unheard of for a judge to assign 1 day in jail for every MPH over 90. For this, I would be shocked if he got any jail time. I'll go out on a limb here and say I am 100% sure that won't happen. Honestly, the fines don't matter and the points don't really matter. They aren't a big deal and will go away with time. The problem is having a class 1 misdemeanor criminal charge on your record for the rest of your life. Class 1 = one step below a felony. This will mean you now officially have a criminal record for life and all the fun things that go along with it (worrying about background checks, answering "yes" at your Global Entry interview and having to produce proof that you aren't wanted by the law, etc. etc.). I'm not sure I totally agree with the earlier poster that it is a corrupt system, but it is orders of magnitude more severe than any other state I can think of because it blurs the line between traffic offenses and criminal offenses. Reckless is a criminal offense and is very, very different than being convicted of a traffic offense. I would treat it with the utmost seriousness and would do anything I could to avoid conviction.
Last edited by queso on Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:19 am, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
VictoriaF
Posts: 18521
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:27 am
Location: Black Swan Lake

Re: Reckless driving ticket in VA-Help!

Post by VictoriaF » Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:13 am

vineviz wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:00 am
GoldStar wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 8:48 am
In VA I wouldn't risk it. I've heard too many horror stories. Just read the Maximum Fine that andypanda posted above.
Yes, some folks "got away with it" and are telling you not to sweat it - but is it worth saving $1000 or so in lawyer fees when the max fine could actually include jail time? (and loss of your Clearance impacting your career).
Hire a good lawyer.
As a rule, horror stories are designed to scare you. Usually into parting you from your money in my car experience.

No judge has any interest in sending productive citizens to jail for speeding. “My Cousin Vinny” was a fun movie, not a documentary.
"Horror stories" are not quantifiable. Also, there are clear differences in how courts treat traffic violations in different states. You have to look at the respective risks of (1) hiring a lawyer and making the maximum possible effort to reduce the penalty and avoid criminal charges and (2) losing security clearance or not being eligible for higher clearance.

Risk is Impact x Probability.

We have two options:
1. Going all the way, hiring a good lawyer, taking a safe driving class.
2. Coming to court and possibly getting a career-killing judgment.

Option-1:
Impact is likely under $2,000
Probability of paying 100%
Risk = $2,000 x 100% = $2,000

Option-2
Impact of losing security clearance is hundreds thousands dollars over OP's lifetime, let's say $200k.
Probability of a "horror" judgment is, say, 20%.
Risk = $200,000 x 20% = $40,000

You can play with the numbers, but to me it seems that Option-1 is a better choice under reasonable assumptions.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

michaeljc70
Posts: 3319
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:53 pm

Re: Reckless driving ticket in VA-Help!

Post by michaeljc70 » Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:18 am

GoldStar wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:07 am
vineviz wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:00 am
GoldStar wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 8:48 am
In VA I wouldn't risk it. I've heard too many horror stories. Just read the Maximum Fine that andypanda posted above.
Yes, some folks "got away with it" and are telling you not to sweat it - but is it worth saving $1000 or so in lawyer fees when the max fine could actually include jail time? (and loss of your Clearance impacting your career).
Hire a good lawyer.
As a rule, horror stories are designed to scare you. Usually into parting you from your money in my car experience.

No judge has any interest in sending productive citizens to jail for speeding. “My Cousin Vinny” was a fun movie, not a documentary.
I don't know every judge in Virginia (maybe you do) and I also don't base my life decisions based upon movies (maybe you do) but I do have a friend who now has a criminal record resulting from his rushing back to the airport to return a rental car.
Even if the OP doesn't get jail time - it doesn't sound like he wants a criminal record. Read the law, know the risks, then make your decision.
It seems like part of that story is missing. Did he go to court? Did he have a lawyer? Did he have prior infractions?

Post Reply