September-October 2020 Case Results: DUI, Reckless Driving (105 mph), and Eluding Charges (Felony and Misdemeanor) Avoided

DISCLAIMER – EACH CASE IS UNIQUE AND CASE RESULTS DEPEND ON YOUR INDIVIDUAL SITUATION. CASE RESULTS DO NOT GUARANTEE OR PREDICT A SIMILAR RESULT IN ANY FUTURE CASE UNDERTAKEN BY THE LAWYER. Below we feature a sampling of case results for September and October of 2020. We avoided reckless driving convictions for a number of high speed cases, involving speeds as high as 105 mph! We avoided convictions for criminal charges such as: DUI, reckless driving by speed, eluding the police (felony) and eluding the police (misdemeanor), no operator's license, and a misdemeanor tunnel height violation in Hampton. Reckless driving dismissals occurred in cities such as Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Suffolk, Southampton, and Hampton.  Notable cases:  September 1, 2020: DUI in Hampton GDC was reduced to a...

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May-August 2020 Case Results: DUI dismissed, Reckless Driving by Speed at 106, Racing, and Aggressive Driving charges avoided

DISCLAIMER – EACH CASE IS UNIQUE AND CASE RESULTS DEPEND ON YOUR INDIVIDUAL SITUATION. CASE RESULTS DO NOT GUARANTEE OR PREDICT A SIMILAR RESULT IN ANY FUTURE CASE UNDERTAKEN BY THE LAWYER. Below we feature a sampling of case results from when the courts reopened after the Covid-19 closures, through the end of August 2020. We avoided reckless driving convictions for a number of high speed cases involving speeds as high as 106 mph and 99 mph. We avoided convictions for misdemeanor charges such as: racing, DUI, reckless driving by speed, aggressive driving, misdemeanor tunnel height violation, and no insurance. Reckless driving dismissals occurred in cities such as Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Newport News, Hampton, Williamsburg, Northampton, and Accomack.   Notable...

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Virginia Traffic and Misdemeanor Law Changes, July 1, 2020

You should expect to see these major changes in Virginia Traffic Law and Criminal Law coming soon.Starting July 1, 2020 these Virginia laws change: Reckless Driving Threshold Increased to Driving Above 85 mph - It will still be reckless driving by speed for going 20 mph or more above the speed limit. However, the 80 mph threshold has been increased to 85 mph to take into account the inequity of getting a misdemeanor charge for going 11 mph over the limit in a 70 mph speed zone. Decriminalization of Simple Possession of Marijuana - Simple possession of marijuana will be a civil offense, with a fine of $25. No longer will simple possession of marijuana be a misdemeanor. Possession with intent to distribute is still a crime. Virginia DUI "Any Purpose" Restricted License Option - If you are...

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Deferred Disposition for Intellectual Disabilities

Starting July 1, 2020, Virginia will allow deferred dispositions for those diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder or an intellectual disability if it is shown by clear and convincing evidence this caused the criminal conduct.Virginia will soon allow deferred dispositions for those diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder or intellectual disabilities where there is clear and convincing evidence that the disability caused or had a direct substantial relationship with the criminal conduct. This is allowed for many criminal cases, but not allowed for cases like capital murder, acts of violence, or a crime with a statutory deferred disposition provision already codified. It will not matter if the person charged had previous convictions or deferments. § 19.2-303.6. Deferred disposition in a...

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Unlawful to Hold a Cell Phone While Driving

Starting January 1, 2021, it will be a traffic infraction to hold a cell phone while driving.Starting January 1, 2021, it will be unlawful for any person that is driving to hold a cell phone. There are exceptions to drivers who are parked or stopped, reporting an emergency, driving an emergency vehicles and using a phone for work duties, or drivers using a CB radio. A first offense shall have a fine of $125.00. For subsequent offenses or if the offender was driving in a work zone, the fine will be $250.00. This new law will be codified under Virginia Code § 46.2-818.2 and repeals Virginia Code § 46.2-1078.1. Under § 46.2-1078.1, the law is confusing to enforce because you could use a phone for its GPS or to dial a number but not to read email or send text messages. The new statute makes...

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Virginia DUI “Any Purpose” Restricted License Option

Broader "Any Purpose" Restricted License Option Available for Those Convicted of DUI Starting July 1, 2020If you have been charged with a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) in a General District Court in Virginia, Virginia's law on restricted licenses will change significantly on July 1, 2020. VA Code § 18.2-270.1 deals with ignition interlock and restricted licenses after a DUI conviction. This law was recently amended, and the change gives defendants more options. Formerly, if a defendant was convicted of a first offense DUI, his or her license would be suspended for a period of one year. During that year of suspension, the person could request a “restricted license” that would allow them to drive for a very limited number of purposes (i.e., to and from work; to and from jail and other...

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Driving Under a Suspended License (Mandatory Jail No Longer Required)

As of July 1, 2020, Virginia law will not require mandatory jail time for a 3rd or subsequent Driving Under a Suspended License offense. This means that for all "Driving Under a Suspended License" convictions, jail time will be discretionary. A judge can still give up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500. A judge will normally tack on a suspension to your license for the period it was originally suspended (or up to 90 days if the suspension was indefinite). In the past, a judge's hands were tied and he had to give jail of at least 10 days as a mandatory minimum for a 3rd or subsequent offense. This change in the law will allow judges to have more discretion in showing mercy. They will be able to consider factors such as why your license was suspended and where you were...

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Virginia’s Reckless Driving Threshold Increased to Above 85 mph

After his fifth year of sponsoring a bill, Sen. David Suetterlein of Roanoake County was successful in increasing Virginia's reckless driving by speed threshold to driving above 85 mph, instead of above 80 mph. (On a side note, I noticed that Sen. Suetterlein went to Grove City College and we probably shared some of the same professors since our time there overlapped. I'm glad to see a fellow Grover making an equitable change in the law. I'll explain why it this is equitable below.) Starting July 1, 2020, reckless driving by speed in Virginia will be defined as driving in excess of 85 mph (instead of in excess of 80 mph which is the current law) or driving at a speed of 20 miles per hour or more in excess of the speed limit. You can still get a reckless driving by speed charge for doing...

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Eluding the Police in Chesapeake, Norfolk, and on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel

Our traffic defense attorneys regularly defend clients against eluding the police charges. For drivers caught eluding the police in the Hampton Roads area, it is not uncommon that the pursuit ends after a crash. Most judges give increased jail time when a crash occurs. Eluding can be a misdemeanor or a felony, even when no actual harm or crash has occurred. Where a crash has actually occurred, it is likely the eluding charge will be brought as a felony and the driver will also be charged with reckless driving for the accident. Here are some recent examples of eluding the police in Chesapeake, Norfolk, Virginia Beach and Northampton: On Sunday, it was reported that a vehicle was involved in a pursuit with the State police in Chesapeake. According to Wavy, the driver refused to stop after...

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How to Get a Speedometer Calibration Done Properly?

In Virginia, courts allow a defendant in a speeding case or reckless driving by speed case to present evidence that his speedometer was not working properly. While a speedometer calibration test may be helpful in certain situations, the speedometer calibration report needs to be in proper form to be accepted in court. Virginia Code § 46.2-942 states that "the court shall receive as evidence a sworn report of the results of a calibration test of the accuracy of the speedometer in the motor vehicle operated by the defendant... at the time of the alleged offense." Properly authenticated calibration test results are admissible in court and the technician who performed the test does not have to be in court with you. In Virginia, the courts accept a speedometer calibration report...

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