I often receive calls from people who have missed a court date for a traffic or criminal matter in Virginia. These calls typically fit within three general categories: (1) the person wrote the wrong date on their calendar, then went to court only to find out that their matter had already been adjudicated or resolved; (2) the person completely forgot their court date and remembered after the fact that they needed to be in court; or (3) the person missed their court date and found out that law enforcement was attempting to serve them some kind of document.
Over the next couple of blog posts, I am going to address what you can do if you had a court date and missed it. In this first post, I will deal with cases where there is no possibility of incarceration. Later, I will … Read More »
The most common question I receive when it comes to traffic cases, whether from potential clients or friends, is “why should I hire a traffic attorney?” Most everyone knows it is a good idea to hire an attorney if you’re facing criminal charges, but many think of traffic offenses as minor matters that can be ignored. This is simply not the case and many who ignore or prepay traffic tickets end up eventually regretting that decision, once they see a huge increase in insurance premiums or find out that they now have a criminal record. Here are some of the reasons why hiring an attorney to fight your traffic ticket in Northern Virginia makes a lot of sense:
Virginia is Tough on Traffic Offenses. Virginia is very tough on traffic offenses, much more so than most of its neighbors. Sure, as in … Read More »
We have all seen the flashing blue lights on the side of the road while traveling, and had our basic human nature kick in and cause us to wonder why that person was pulled over. While the reason may occasionally be serious (drunk driving, etc.), many times the initial cause for the stop is surprisingly minor. Serious traffic offenses like driving under the influence (DUI) or with a suspended license often come to the police’s attention through a minor traffic offense. In some cases, police who have pulled a person over for a minor traffic violation then find evidence of serious non-traffic offenses—for example, possession of illegal narcotics. During periods of heavy traffic enforcement such as the holidays, police will often target enforcement of minor traffic infractions with an eye towards catching more serious behavior that is harder to detect. If … Read More »
The DUI lawyers at Livesay & Myers have years of experience in aggressively defending clients against DUI and DWI drunk driving charges in Northern Virginia. Our DUI attorneys in Fairfax, Fredericksburg and Manassas can help you fight the charges against you, in order to win an acquittal or at least minimize the potential damage to your liberty and livelihood. In addition to potential jail time and court fines, conviction on DUI or DWI charges could impact your career, security clearance and insurance costs. The stakes are too high in these cases for you to go it alone—you need representation by experienced DUI attorneys.
What Constitutes DUI or DWI Drunk Driving in Virginia?
For Virginia residents, or anyone driving in Virginia, what exactly constitutes drinking and driving as a criminal offense?
First things first: if you have consumed any alcohol and need to get to another location, … Read More »
In my last blog posting, I provided a short overview of several new laws that take effect in Virginia on July 1, 2013. Rarely have I received so many questions as I did regarding the new law in Virginia against texting while driving—from colleagues, friends and family. There is little argument that distracted driving can be dangerous, and that the proliferation of smartphones in the hands of drivers raises legitimate public safety concerns. But, is the Virginia ban on texting while driving the solution? And what exactly is prohibited by the new law?
In this article, I will address the most important aspects of the new Virginia law against texting while driving, including the many questions raised or left open by the statute, before offering up my educated guess as to how things will most likely play out with the new … Read More »
In its latest session, the Virginia General Assembly passed many new laws that will affect Virginia residents– most of which go into effect on July 1, 2013. Here are brief summaries of five that might interest or impact you the most:
Texting While Driving. As of July 1st, Virginia Code Section 46.2-1078.1 will make it a traffic infraction punishable by a $125 fine to “[m]anually enter multiple letters or text in the device as a means of communicating with another person” or “[r]ead any email or text message transmitted to the device or stored within the device, provided that this prohibition shall not apply to any name or number stored within the device nor to any caller identification information.” Exceptions are carved out for texting while lawfully parked or stopped, or using a GPS. Prior to this new law going into effect, … Read More »
Have you ever felt that there is never a cop around when someone else is violating a traffic law, but the one time you go slightly above the speed limit or make a rolling stop through a stop sign, there’s sure to be an officer watching? An officer who just can’t wait to pull you over and write a ticket?
Traffic violations are often no respecter of persons. Many fine, upstanding, law-abiding citizens receive them. They are not generally a reflection on one’s moral quality. But it feels that way when we receive them, and we want to have a way to redeem ourselves to avoid the stain of that mark against our driving record. We don’t want the points, and we don’t want the insurance premium increase.
So instead of prepaying the offense, we take time from work or school, we … Read More »
Manassas City police arrested a twenty-one year old female early on the morning of June 24 for DWI/DUI, possession of marijuana and texting while driving. According to an article by InsideNOVA.com, Courtney Michelle Blaydes was driving down the wrong side of Godwin Drive when she was observed by a Manassas police officer. After being stopped, Blaydes allegedly informed the officer that she had been texting. A police search of the vehicle then apparently resulted in the discovery of a smoking device and two bags possibly containing marijuana.
Texting while driving is a secondary offense, meaning it can only be charged after probable cause is established for a primary offense; in this instance, driving on the wrong side of the road would be the primary offense that would create the probable cause to initiate a traffic stop. If the driver did admit to texting, then a ticket … Read More »
Traveling in the Northern Virginia or D.C. area this weekend for Memorial Day? Watch out for speed traps. Holiday traffic brings out additional law enforcement, and that means speed traps that will snare all too many drivers.
The National Motorists Association (NMA), a grassroots motorists’ rights group, has updated its 2010 rankings of the cities and states that are generally more likely to ticket speeding drivers. Among 50 states and the District of Columbia, D.C. ranks 8th and Virginia ranks 22nd. In addition, the Washington, D.C. metro area ranked 7th among the top 10 metro areas for traffic tickets.
With AAA predicting that 34.8 million people will travel 50 miles or more from home this holiday weekend, you can be sure law enforcement will be out in droves in the Northern Virginia and D.C. area.
Other than not speeding (the safest bet), the cautious driver might … Read More »
Virginia has a reputation for strict penalties following DUI or DWI convictions. Mandatory minimum jail sentences, mandatory minimum fine amounts, mandatory driver’s license suspension (or privilege to drive in Virginia if you don’t have a Virginia license), completion of the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program, are all written into Virginia law by the General Assembly. One of the required penalties, the installation of the ignition interlock device, will undergo a dramatic change come July 1st.
Earlier this year, the General Assembly passed HB 279 which was signed into law on March 7, 2012 by Governor McDonnell. Virginia Code Sections 18.270.1 and 18.2-271.1 were amended dealing with the circumstances under which an interlock device is required to be installed once a restricted license is granted by a court following a DUI or DWI conviction. Following are the significant changes made to the interlock requirement:
Current … Read More »