Bill to Raise the Reckless Driving Threshold Heads to the House

A bill that could raise the minimum speed from 80 mph to 85 mph for reckless driving where the speed limit is 70 mph, is on its way to the House after it cleared the senate Wednesday. This bill would not affect drivers traveling at speeds 20 mph or over the speed limit. Some opposing senators argue the law should stay as is. Read the full article from the Daily Press, here.

Photo source: http://jalopnik.com/what-every-driver-should-know-about-speeding-in-virgini-1669902845

Photo source: http://jalopnik.com/what-every-driver-should-know-about-speeding-in-virgini-1669902845

Watch Out, It is Deer Season!

With it being deer season, you can expect to see more deer crossing the road. Almost half of deer related collisions occur in the months of October, November and December. Right now we are in the middle of their mating season. Police are urging drivers to proceed with caution and keep their eyes open especially, in the mornings and at dusk when they are most active. Studies have shown horns, hood whistles and other devices are not reliable. A deer stopped in the roadway can be hypnotized by your head lights, so try flashing your lights to encourage them to move. They like to travel in herds so be alert, more than likely there is another one close by. Deer can be very unpredictable and can cause serious problems when a collision occurs. Should a deer cross your path, grip both hands firmly on the steering wheel and continue to reduce your speed. Never swerve to avoid hitting a deer. Swerving to avoid deer can cause motorist to lose control of their vehicle and seriously injure themselves and passengers. Upon impact, take your foot off the brake to help avoid the deer going through the windshield. Check out this article for more safety tips.

 


What happens if I argued with the officer?

From time to time, I will have a case I am confident will receive a reduction or even a dismissal of the alleged offense until the officer informs me that the defendant was less than polite and cooperative with him/her.  The affect of these sorts of interactions can have on the outcome of a case will depend on a number of different factors. It is often possible to mitigate these interactions by having a discussion with the officer prior to the case being heard and convincing them to testify more positively about the interaction. Additionally, when my clients are upfront with me about their negative interaction we can help to calm the situation by having the client write a letter of apology to the officer.  It is easy for your emotions to get the best of you when facing many of these traffic cases, especially when you are confident that you did not commit the alleged offense. By writing a letter to the officer you can explain the situation from your perspective and offer an apology for letting your emotions get the best of you. I have found this tactic to be very helpful in preventing demeanor issues from leading to a conviction. 

In many situations demeanor issues with the officer stem from my clients strong belief that they were not traveling at the speed alleged by the officer. Under that scenario, I will always recommend my clients take their vehicle to have the speedometer calibrated. A letter of apology coupled with a favorable calibration will go a long way towards calming the situation by both apologizing for letting your emotions get the best of you as well as explaining to the officer the reason for the frustration. Additionally, it can be helpful to specifically reference the calibration in the letter of apology as a primary reason for disputing the officers allegation. 

Cases where there was a confrontation between yourself and the officer can be problematic; however, if you are upfront with me from the initial consult we can frequently still get very good results. I offer free initial consultations and invite you to contact me so that we can discuss your case in further detail.  

Call me today for a free consultation (804)-451-6033 or you can email me at trey@mattoxlawpc.com
 

Will a Reckless Driving Conviction Affect My Security Clearance?

Many of my clients are in the military or work for the government directly or in a contractual capacity and a have security clearance.  Obviously, these clients are concerned about what affect a reckless driving conviction would have on their security clearance. Unfortunately, there is no clear cut answer to this question.  Reckless driving is a class 1 misdemeanor that can affect your security clearance; however, how a reckless driving conviction will affect your clearance depends on a number of factors including your position, level of security clearance, as well as your prior record.  A reckless driving conviction is likely to raise red flags for an individual with a security clearance.  Of course the higher the security clearance the greater the likelihood that such a conviction will affect your clearance.  My understanding is that a single traffic misdemeanor conviction will not necessarily negate a security clearance, but it certainly may raise questions about your judgment.  

In many instances, my clients security clearance is the reason they are able to hold an elevated position in their field.  If you have a security clearance, you want to ensure you are doing everything you can to protect it. I would highly recommend talking with your clearance officer and contacting an attorney, immediately. I handle reckless driving cases on a daily basis and I have a tremendous record of keeping my clients security clearances from being affected. Please give me a call at (804)-451-6033 or email for a free consultation.

Can I Hire an Out of State Attorney for My Case in Virginia?

Many of my clients have an attorney from their hometown or state who has regularly handled legal work for them and their families in the past.  Upon receiving a traffic violation in Virginia often their first thought is to talk to that attorney about representation in court.  I have even seen out of state attorneys, not licensed in Virginia, come to court and more or less coach their client through the proceedings without formally getting involved.  In order to practice law in any state you, you have to be licensed by that states appropriate licensing authority. You want a Virginia attorney that is familiar with all aspects of Virginia Law, the legal system, the judges and police officers.  The Virginia legal system is very unique and at times very confusing.  Additionally, traffic offenses in Virginia are not taken lightly, and a conviction carries serious consequences. Therefore, when consulting with an attorney about a traffic infraction or crime you want to ensure you are speaking with a lawyer who is not only knowledgeable about the Virginia legal system but also the intricacies of traffic law in Virginia.  Would you take your Ford to be serviced at a Volkswagen service station? Of course not! You want the best person working for you. So why would you hire an attorney from North Carolina, or any other state for that matter, to assist you with your case in Virginia?  I have successfully defended thousands of traffic cases throughout Virginia and invite you to call me today at (804)-451-6033 or email me at trey@mattoxlawpc.com for a free private consultation. We can discuss your best options, as well as, the best and worst case scenarios.