NOTE: CASE RESULTS DEPEND ON A VARIETY OF FACTORS UNIQUE TO EACH CASE AND PAST RESULTS DO NOT GUARANTEE OR PREDICT A SIMILAR RESULT IN FUTURE CASES

Every case is indeed unique. Dinwiddie is usually a very difficult place to practice law, particularly when the speed is over 90 mph. In Virginia, most judges will not rule out jail time and/or a conviction once you get to 90 mph for reckless driving by speed. In fact, I recently was able to successfully appeal a case at Dinwidde, VA reckless driving by speed 87 mph in a 60 where the judge in lower court convicted of reckless driving and suspended the driver’s license. On appeal that case was reduced, but my client still had to appeal the reckless driving speeding charge. I also recently witnessed a case in Dinwiddie reckless driving at 92 mph where the judge told an attorney that the attorney had two options; 1. have the case be tried in the client’s absence and the client would be convicted, but the judge would issue a capias (warrant) for the client’s arrest, or 2. the attorney could advise the client to appear in court.

The reason the court did this was because the judge was not willing to waive the possibility of jail at 92 mph for reckless driving by speed. In short, speeding 97 mph is very serious for reckless driving in Dinwiddie, VA traffic court. My client, fortunately, completely understood the position he was in and did everything right to minimize the consequences of the Dinwiddie traffic court reckless driving misdemeanor charge. I advised him on what he could do to put himself in the best position possible before court so that when we went to Dinwiddie, VA traffic court he would have the best opportunity to avoid jail, a high fine, and limit the possibility of a license suspension.

On the court date I met with my client before court and we discussed possible scenarios for what could happen in court. My client was prepared for a best case scenario and a worst case scenario, and as his attorney I knew how to represent him before the case was called in any situation. At 97 that is very important because every case in general district court is automatically appealable as a matter of right. If the judge did convict and give jail, the case could be appealed automatically. When a jail sentence is involved however, the client may need to be prepared to post an appeal bond. So both my client and I were prepared for every possible scenario.

When we approached the bench in Dinwiddie General District Court and tried the case I knew what the officer would testify to because I had spoken with him before the trial at length. When the officer finished I had an opportunity to present all of our evidence. After hearing all of the evidence the judge decided to hold the case until the end of the day to give him more time to think about it. I had other courts to appear in that day so we arranged a time later in the day for me to come back to court. When I came back to Dinwiddie General District Court the judge advised my client on a “deferred disposition.” He continued the case for a period of time and did not promise anything. I advised my client on things he could do in the meantime and when we went back to court the judge surprised even me. I knew that he would reduce the case so it would not be reckless driving or a misdemeanor, which I have never seen him do on any prior 97 mph case for Dinwiddie, VA reckless driving. But not only did he do that but he actually completely dismissed the case upon payment of court costs.

One other benefit my client got was that it was dismissed as “complied with law.” Certain offenses can be dismissed as “complied with law” such as when you drive your car without your license in your possession. When you show up to court with the valid license it is dismissed with court costs as being “complied with law.” The benefit is that it is treated as a pretrial dismissal, so technically no plea is ever entered. On the reckless driving in Dinwiddie, VA 97 mph case, this means that if my client decided to expunge the record of the dismissal he could because it was dismissed as “complied with law.”

Every case truly is unique. My client wanted to avoid jail and he ended up getting his case dismissed. If he did not do everything I advised him to do it would not have been possible. Even doing that, the goal was really to avoid the significant consequences of reckless driving and he ended up getting a better result than either of us could have imagined.

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