Amelia County Virginia Reckless Driving Speeding Attorney
Amelia is a rural county situated outside of the City of Richmond. However, many families have begun moving to rural areas to avoid congestion. As such, Amelia has become known for many Code of Virginia traffic violations. Specifically, this area is particularly known for speeding and reckless driving violations. Nonetheless, if you have received one of these speeding or reckless driving violations you need to contact Amelia traffic lawyer Trey Mattox immediately.
Route 360 runs through Amelia and is a popular secondary route for motorists. In addition, it is common to see Amelia’s finest regularly patrolling this route. Keep in mind, most of the county is free from major interstate traffic. Even so, we regularly see clients with Amelia traffic tickets from across the county including: Chula, Little Patrick, Morven, Dennisville, Winterham, Jetersville, Mannboro, Amelia Courthouse, and surrounding areas.
Defending Speeding Cases
Speeding tickets in Virginia can vary significantly depending on the nature of the offense. The most severe cases are often charged as reckless driving by speed, which elevates the offense from a simple traffic infraction to a class 1 misdemeanor. Although speeding is an infraction rather than a misdemeanor, a conviction can still carry very serious consequences. An Amelia traffic ticket conviction can lead to points on your driving record, license suspension, high fines, and increased insurance rates.
Amelia traffic lawyer Trey Mattox has represented thousands of individuals charged with speeding infractions and has an outstanding record of having those charges reduced or dismissed. When contesting speeding tickets, Trey regularly saves Mattox Law clients hundreds of dollars in fines and insurance premiums as well as helping to preserve driving privileges. Trey is intimately familiar with Amelia traffic ticket laws, especially speeding and reckless driving. Mr. Mattox is well versed regarding what is required of the officer ensuring that all possible legal strategies are pursued.
What is Reckless Driving?
There are many varieties of reckless driving in Virginia, but the most prevalent is Virginia Code § 46.2-862 Exceeding speed limit. The reckless driving VA code states:
A person shall be guilty of reckless driving who drives a motor vehicle on the highways in the Commonwealth (i) at a speed of twenty miles per hour or more in excess of the applicable maximum speed limit or (ii) in excess of eighty-five miles per hour regardless of the applicable maximum speed limit.
Classification and Penalties
As a class 1 misdemeanor, reckless driving carries very significant penalties including a $2,500 fine, six month license suspension, and 12 months in jail. There are also several secondary consequences such as:
- Increased insurance premiums costing you hundreds of dollars!
- Points on your driving record lead to license suspensions!
- Failed criminal background checks affecting employment and security clearance opportunities!
The Reckless Driving Statutes
Reckless driving in the Virginia Code has 14 sections containing different variations or definitions of reckless driving in Virginia. The following statutes are the list of the various reckless driving laws in Virginia:
· § 46.2-852 Reckless driving; general rule
· § 46.2-853 Driving vehicle which is not under control; faulty brakes.
· § 46.2-854. Passing on or at the crest of a grade or on a curve.
· § 46.2-855. Driving with driver’s view obstructed or control impaired.
· § 46.2-856. Passing two vehicles abreast.
· § 46.2-857. Driving two abreast in a single lane.
· § 46.2-858. Passing at a railroad grade crossing.
· § 46.2-859. Passing a stopped school bus; prima facie evidence.
· § 46.2-860. Failing to give proper signals.
· § 46.2-861. Driving too fast for highway and traffic conditions.
· § 46.2-862. Exceeding speed limit.
· § 46.2-863. Failure to yield right-of-way.
· § 46.2-864. Reckless driving on parking lots, etc.
· § 46.2-865. Racing; penalty.
A conviction for a DUI in Virginia carries very extreme consequences and can often lead to time in jail. DUI meaning driving under the influence and can be applied to both drug and alcohol cases. Additionally, there is no categorical difference in Virginia in between DUI v. DWI although the offense is most frequently referred to as a DUI. Similar to reckless driving, a first offense DUI charge in Virginia is a class 1 misdemeanor which has a maximum $2,500 fine, 12 month license suspension, and 12 months jail sentence.
Additionally, there are mandatory minimum sentences which must be enforced by the judge upon conviction of an elevated BAC DUI. A DUI can become elevated due to the defendants blood alcohol content (BAC) and previous DUI convictions. There are too many scenarios to list here, but I would invite you to contact me so that we can discuss your case and whether any of these factors would apply to your case.
Trey analyzes each case with extreme care in order to bring to light any possible defenses which can be used in trial. This careful analysis can become important not only at trail but also during negotiations with the prosecutor. There are often questionable situations in a DUI case which may not be significant enough to lead to a dismissal but can be used as leverage for a better plea agreement. It is extremely important to contact an Amelia traffic attorney who is willing to spend the time to go over every detail in order to get the best possible result for your case.
Other Amelia Traffic Tickets
While the more serious Amelia traffic tickets like reckless driving are characterized as misdemeanors or felony’s, there are many other Amelia traffic violation with plenty serious consequences that are classified as traffic infractions. Traffic infractions can carry points for your driving record and drastically affect your your insurance rates but do not result in a criminal conviction. Amelia traffic attorney Trey Mattox is ready to navigate you through process of defending against these infractions:
- § 46.2-802 Drive on right side of highways
- § 46.2-806 One-way roadways and highways
- § 46.2-808.1 Use of crossovers on controlled access highways
- § 46.2-809 Regulation of truck traffic on primary and secondary highways
- § 46.2-809.1 Regulation of residential cut-through traffic by Board
- § 46.2-814 Driving through safety zone prohibited
- § 46.2-816 Following too closely
- § 46.2-817 Disregarding signal by law-enforcement officer to stop; eluding police; penalties
- § 46.2-821 Vehicles entering highways shall stop or yield right-of-way
- § 46.2-822 Right-of-way at circular intersections
- § 46.2-830 Fail to obey highway sign
- § 46.2-830.1 Failure to obey highway sign while sleeping
- § 46.2-833 Fail to obey traffic signal
- § 46.2-833.1 Evasion of a traffic control device
- § 46.2-835 Right turn on steady red light after stopping
- § 46.2-844 Passing stopped school bus
- § 46.2-845 Illegal U-turn
- § 46.2-870 Speeding
Each Amelia traffic ticket case is unique and carries individual issues leading to a variety of potential results. The biggest factor affecting the outcome of a case of course is the original traffic ticket received or allegation. Certainly, we expect far different outcomes for DUI or reckless driving charges as compared to speeding tickets.
However, there are many other factors that can affect potential results involved with every Amelia traffic case. One of the most important factors the court will take into consideration is your demeanor when interacting with the police officer. The judge will be far more lenient to an individual who is polite and cooperative with the officer as opposed to someone who was argumentative or otherwise uncooperative.
Another major factor is the number of prior violations and points on your driving record. Most judges and commonwealth attorney’s will not willing to agree to a favorable outcome without viewing your driving record first. A clean driving record will allow for much better results for your Amelia traffic ticket than one with multiple prior reckless driving, speeding, or other traffic infractions, misdemeanors, or felonies.
Driving School for Dismissal
Driving school is a very powerful tool in the defense of Amelia traffic infractions and crimes. In many cases I will advise my clients to complete driving school before the court date in order to achieve a better outcome. In other case, the judge may require the you to complete driving school in order to have your Amelia traffic case completely dismissed. Under those circumstances it is up to the you to get the driving school completed by the deadline set by the court in order to have the case dismissed.
In many cases judges will issue driving school after your first ticket and are less willing to allow for driving school after subsequent tickets. Of course courts and judges differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and some are more lenient in this regard. In most cases the court will allow you to complete driving school online or in person as long as the hour requirement is met.
To be in compliance with the courts order you must ensure that the original certificate of completion for the defensive driving program is submitted to the court by the deadline set by the judge. In addition to the certificate you will be required to pay court costs which will vary depending on the court and violation.
Driving School for Reduction
In some cases the speed may be to high or there may be too many violations on your record for the court to be willing to completely dismiss your Amelia traffic case. In those situations, the court may still require driving school for the case to simply be reduced as opposed to being dismissed.
There are a couple different routes the court may go in regard to the reduction of your Amelia traffic case. The most common and likely scenario would be a reduction to a simple speeding violation. Another common outcome would be the reduction to improper driving. In other circumstances the court may be willing to reduce the original Amelia traffic violation to some sort of non-moving violation such as defective speedometer, defective equipment, or failure to obey a highway sign while sleeping.
There are also situations where the court will leave the speed the same but amend the code section to simple speeding. Under that scenario the misdemeanor would be dropped, but you would still likely get the same amount of points on your record as if convicted of the originally charged Amelia traffic offense. Finally, there are some instances where the court is unwilling to reduce the violation. However, the court will waive an active jail sentence and/or license suspension upon the completion of a defensive driving course.
Defective equipment is a violation you may receive for having a tail light out or maybe a cracked windshield. This is a non-moving violation typically indicating that something may have been wrong with your vehicle as opposed to something being wrong with your driving. As a non-moving violation, defective equipment does not carry any points on a Virginia and most other driving records.
Many judges in Virginia use defective equipment as a means to reduce an Amelia traffic violation that otherwise would carry points on your driving record. Typically this is used as a reward for those folks with good driving records that would justify such a reduction in the judges eye. Defective equipment is also reserved for those folks charged with less egregious violations. While this outcome allows the judge to reward someone with a good record by keeping points off. This reduction also allows the judge to still issue a fine.
A reduction to defective equipment is often a bit of a quid pro quo allowing judges to reduce moving violations to keep points off of a driving record while still allowing him to collect a fine. In many cases the Judge will keep the fine at the standard fine based on the originally charged Amelia traffic violation. In other cases, the judge may enhance the fine for having a few priors on your record or possibly demeanor issue with the officer.
For some Amelia traffic cases, avoiding any points on your record with a non-moving violation or having the case dismissed may not always be possible. In those cases, our focus will often shift from avoiding the points to reducing the number of points going on your driving record and avoiding the class 1 misdemeanor conviction. Reckless driving of course is considered a class 1 misdemeanor so at the very least we need to ensure that you are not convicted of reckless driving to ensure you do not end up with a criminal record.
Simple speeding is just a traffic infraction and therefore will avoid the misdemeanor conviction. Additionally, most states DMV point systems are based on speed and the number of miles per hour the allegation is over the speed limit. By convincing the court to reduce the speed we should at least be able to reduce the number of points going on your record. This reduction in points can then have several secondary consequences as well.
In some states a conviction over a certainly threshold, such as 15 miles per hour over the speed limit, can lead to an automatic license suspension. By reducing the speed below that limit we can ensure that your license is not administratively suspended by your states DMV. A reduction in speed will also help to ensure that your insurance rates are not effected. Most insurance companies will use the miles per hour over the speed limit as part of their analysis to determine whether your insurance rates should be increased. Therefore, the lower the speed can be reduced to the less likely that your insurance rates will be affected from your Amelia traffic case.
Improper driving is a frequently used reduction specific to reckless driving cases. I find improper driving is most frequently used in accident related cases; however, it is certainly used by many judges in reckless driving by speed cases as well.
Many judges and commonwealth’s attorneys use improper driving as means to reduce reckless driving by speed cases because it allows them to issue an elevated fine of $500.00 as opposed to the maximum fine for a simple speeding conviction of $250.00. However, on the positive side, improper driving only stays on a Virginia driving record for 3 years as opposed to 5 years for a speeding violation and 11 years for a reckless driving conviction.
An improper driving reduction will accomplish the primary goals of reckless driving representation of avoiding the class 1 misdemeanor and reducing the number of points that would appear on your record. Improper driving, similar to a simple speeding violation, is just a traffic infraction and thus will not appear on your criminal record. Additionally, on a Virginia driving record, improper driving will cut the points in half from a 6 point violation for reckless driving down to a 3 point violation. This in turn will frequently keep your insurance from being affected, depending on what priors appear on your driving record.
Unfortunately, there are certain cases that, despite our best efforts, result in a conviction of the originally charged Amelia traffic infraction or class 1 misdemeanor. Of course in most cases our number one goal is simply avoiding a conviction for that alleged Amelia traffic offense. In some cases it is improbable or nearly impossible to get the charge reduced. These cases can be difficult to reduce for a number of different reasons including the nature of the alleged offense, the underlying facts, and what your prior record looks like. In these situations we are hoping instead to convince the court to reduce the consequences of a conviction including the fine, license suspension, and jail sentence.
Most Amelia traffic cases that are not dismissed typically result in a fine being issued in addition to standard court cost. In most instances the fine is directly related to the severity of the originally charged offense. There are statutory set fines for all reckless driving and speeding violations.
For reckless driving the fines are set based on the alleged speed. The standard fine for speeding cases is $6.00 for every mile per hour over the speed limit. In both instances, the faster you go the higher the fine we would expect to see. Additionally, many judges will use a fine as an additional punishment, especially where the facts are particularly egregious.
Similarly, some judges will enhance the fine if there are demeanor issues where the judge finds that you were not being polite and cooperative with the officer on the side of the road. However, there are some situations where we may be able to convince the judge to reduce the fine from the standard such as for students and military personnel.
In the unfortunate case where you are ultimately convicted of the underlying Amelia traffic offense there is the possibility the court will issue a license suspension. When facing a case where a license suspension is possibly one of our key goals then become reducing or hopefully eliminating the potential for a license suspension.
In some cases it is not possibly to avoid the license suspension despite our best efforts. In those cases we will typically request the court to order a restricted license that will at least allow you to drive to work and necessary appointments. Once the suspension time has elapsed you will then be required to contact the Virginia DMV in order to have your license or privilege to drive in Virginia reinstated.
In many situations the worst case scenario would result in an active jail sentence being ordered by the court. A jail sentence may only be imposed when you have been convicted of a misdemeanor; therefore, the conviction for simple speeding, improper driving, or other Amelia traffic infraction will certainly ensure that no jail sentence will be imposed.
However, if you are convicted of reckless driving or DUI among other traffic misdemeanors, the court does have authority to order an active jail sentence. This result is typically only reserved for the more egregious cases involving high speeds, unsettling facts, or high blood alcohol content among other factors. When these more serious facts are in play, avoid or reducing the jail sentence becomes are number one gaol.
In some cases we can convince the court to impose a suspended jail sentence as opposed to an active one. When the Court suspends a jail sentence, you will not be required to serve the time in jail assuming you do not get into any additional legal trouble throughout the time period for which the court has suspended the sentence.
Amelia Traffic Attorney Representation
Mattox Law has extensive experience representing individuals charged with a wide variety of Amelia traffic violations. Of course, some common charges include reckless driving and speeding. In the last three years, our firm has represented thousands of clients charged with Amelia traffic offenses. Trey has been incredibly successful in defending these cases. He is routinely able to provide results that avoid conviction for the alleged offense. If you have been charged with a traffic crime or infraction you must contact Amelia traffic attorney Trey Mattox today.
Traffic Offense Resources
Amelia General District Court
Clerk: Ms Melissa B. Gil
Phone: (804) 561-2456
Fax: (804) 561-6956
Clerk’s Office Hours:
8:30 AM – 4:30 PM
P. O. Box 24
16441 Court Street
Amelia, VA 23002-0024
General District Judges
Hon. Ray P. Lupold III, Chief Judge
Hon. Robert Beman Beasley Jr.
Juvenile and Domestic Relations Judges
Hon. Valentine W. Southall Jr., Presiding Judge, Chief Judge
Hon. Phillip T. DiStanislao
Juvenile & Domestic Relations
Mon., 9:30 a.m., Juvenile & Domestic Relations
Mon., 11:00 a.m., Traffic
Mon., 1:00 p.m. Custody/Visitation and Child Support
3rd Mon., 11:00 a.m.
Tues., 9:30 a.m., Arraignments & Unrepresented Traffic
Tues., 10:30 a.m., DUI, Drive Suspended, Habitual Offender
Trials, Represented Traffic, Criminal
Tues., 11:30 a.m., Arraignments & Trials
Tues., 12:30 p.m., Animal Control
Tues., 12:45 p.m., Extradition Cases
Tues., 1:30 p.m., Garnishments & First Callings
Warrants in Debt, Warrants in Detinue,
Unlawful Detainer Actions
Tues., 2:00 p.m., Contested Cases