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I was pulled over in Bristol, VA for a speeding. The officer says I was going 86 in a 70 mph zone. In the ticket he wrote me up for reckless driving. It says I have to go to court. This is my first ticket in VA and I am licensed in MD. Currently I am a student at University of Tennessee, which is where I was headed when I got pulled over. I had my car on cruise control at 75, but when the cop saw me I was going down a hill. I honestly don't think I could my car could have been going 86 by the time I got down the hill maybe 80-82 at the most. But anyway, what kind of penalty do you think I'm likely to get? And what actions do you think I should take to prevent a big penalty?
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I want to know specifically how the laws in Bristol, VA worked for reckless driving for someone out of state? Also you said I should get an lawyer, but you didn't really explain to me the benifits of having an lawyer with me in court? Also besides getting a lawyer is there anything else I can do to prevent myself from having a large penalty put against me?
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 miles per hour regardless of the applicable maximum speed limit.
In Bristol, the judges usually impose actual jail time at 90-100 MPH, not below (most of the smaller towns 85+ will impose jail, mainly because they have space and they can get more state money doing so, but Bristol is a larger city and they really do not have space for speeding violators). Having an attorney is important because the attorney will do several things. First, they will review the records on the radar unit used by the officer to make sure that it has been tested and certified within 6 months pursuant to VA Code 46.2-882. Second, if the officer is certified on the radar and the radar was certified properly, the attorney will meet with the commonwealth attorney to discuss reducing the speed on the citation to make it speeding and not reckless. A commonwealth attorney is not going to generally discuss a case with a defendant directly because anything you tell him he can use against you in trial and they do not want to violate your 5th Amendment and 6th Amendment Rights. The CA may offer you some "deal" but generally the best deals are given to the attorneys who frequently work the courts and have a professional relationship with the CA. Finally, this is a state misdemeanor criminal offense, not a traffic violation, and you are entitled to an attorney to represent you because it involves potential jail time and you really need to protect your rights.
So do you think they will suspend my license no matter what? Honestly I don't think I was going that fast. I had my car in cruise control at 75, when the cop pulled me over I had just went down a hill, so I don't think I could have been going any faster than 80-82 mph.
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