You are correct about the emissions certificate.
The Virginia DMV provides the following:If your girlfriend's vehicle is being registered for the first time in Virginia and has a current valid emissions certificate (performed in the last 12 months) from one of the following states, it may be titled and registered without a Virginia emissions inspection:
Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey, New York
, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, or Wisconsin.
Once the emissions certificate from New York expires, the vehicle must be inspected and obtain a Virginia emissions certificate. The vehicle must pass an annual safety inspection and display a valid safety inspection sticker. Be warned: if you drive your vehicle without an inspection sticker, you may be ticketed by law enforcement. A conviction for violating Virginia inspection laws could result in a fine and be posted to your driving
record. For information about safety inspections, or to find safety inspection stations near you, contact the Virginia State Police at www.vsp.virginia.gov
A police officer may stop a vehicle if s/he has "reasonable suspicion" that a violation has occurred. The officer, most likely, will testify that you were NOT wearing your seat belt when he first viewed your vehicle and that you put it on after the police officer saw you and before the vehicle was pulled over. You or your attorney will be able to cross examine the officer, and you may call witnesses and also testify on your own behalf. It will be up to the judge/magistrate to determine if you are responsible for the violation.
If you wish to contest the ticket, MAKE SURE that you either go to court on the court date that is provided on the court date, or follow the instructions on the citation to make a court date. Usually, if the ticket doesn't have a specific court date, you only have a certain number of days to request that a court date be made to contest the ticket.
You can certainly obtain the service of an attorney to assist you. You may wish to speak to an attorney who specializes in traffic law in the county or jurisdiction in which you received the violation. You can discuss the specific facts of your case, evaluate your options and decide how to proceed.
Below is a link to the Virginia Attorney Referral Page.
An attorney may be able to speak to the prosecutor, present your evidence and have one or both violations dismissed or reduced. If not, an attorney who specializes in traffic law knows how to question of the police officer and how to "poke holes" in his testimony
I hope you find this information useful.
My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back. I am happy to address follow-up questions. If you are satisfied with my answer, please rate it as "excellent" or in another positive manner. That is the only way that I can get credit for answering the question.
Thank you for your business!