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Alex J. Esq.
Alex J. Esq., Attorney
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 16580
Experience:  Licensed Experienced Attorney/former law enforcement officer
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My boyfriend was driving through Virginia from his home state

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My boyfriend was driving through Virginia from his home state of Pennsylvania when he was stopped for going 90 in a 70 in Smyth County, VA. This is reckless driving and he was convicted for the offense, however, he is appealing it. I understand that VA will forward the information to PA DMV, but this is where I get confused. VA statutues state that Reckless Driving is anything exceeding 80 mph or driving in excess of 20 mph over the speed limit. Pennsylvania recognizes reckless driving as speeds in excess of 30 mph. PA will not assess points over the conviction but because it is a serious traffic offense he could be looking at a 1 year license suspension. He already has 3 points on his PA license. Will the PA DMV recognize VA statutes and suspend his license? This can't happen. It would cripple us.

Alex Esquire :

Hello my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be glad to answer your question.

Alex Esquire :

Are you online with me?

Customer:

Hello, Alex. Yes, I am here.

Alex Esquire :

Welcome to JustAnswer.com

Customer:

Thank you.

Alex Esquire :

I am very sorry to hear about this situation.

Alex Esquire :

Was your boyfriend's license suspended as part of his sentence?

Alex Esquire :

Was he actually convicted of the reckless driving?

Customer:

Not as far as I know, no. My understanding is that he received the conviction and a small fine.

Alex Esquire :

Did your boyfriend take the case to trial and was found guilty of reckless driving at trial?

Customer:

The officer that pulled him over had initially planned to arrest him, however, he did not when he found out that my boyfriend was on his way to Asheville to see myself and his baby girl. We have been separated for many months.

Customer:

No trial, I do not think... Just general court.

Alex Esquire :

Was your boyfriend represented by a local VA attorney in this case?

Customer:

Yes, he was.

Alex Esquire :

I just looked at both the reckless driving statute in VA and also in PA and they appear to be extremely similar.

Alex Esquire :

Also PA is in agreement to suspend the driver license of a motorist convicted of reckless driving in any other US state.

Alex Esquire :

So, since both PA and VA are members of the Driver License Compact, I am afraid that your boyfriend would be subject to the mandatory suspension.

Alex Esquire :

However, he will be able to apply for a hardship / restricted license, which would only allow him to travel to and from his employment.

Customer:

How is that possible when he is convicted of reckless driving? Everything I have read states that since there is a conviction he would be ineligible for a restricted license.

Alex Esquire :

He can apply for a hardship license, but it is granted at the discretion of the DMV

Alex Esquire :

Also, your boyfriend will be able to appeal his suspension in the county's court of common pleas and present any arguments or evidence as to why his license should not be suspended in PA.

Alex Esquire :

Of course, he would want to hire a local experienced traffic defense attorney in PA to help him with that.

Alex Esquire :

Does that make sense?

Customer:

Will this information be transmitted to PA from the clerk of court in Smyth County, VA or do they wait for an outcome of the appeal? I would just like to know how much time he has.

Alex Esquire :

It is generally transmitted within 30-60 days from the time he was found guilty and if the appeal is successful, then another notification will be send by the court and your boyfriend will be able to apply to get his driver license restored, if it does get suspended in the meantime.

Customer:

He could travel to and from employment, but he drives the truck daily for work so would the limited license cover that or are we just talking strictly to-from transit?

Alex Esquire :

Your b/f will receive an official notice of his suspension and the start date and the suspension will begin, once he turns in his driver license to the PennDOT

Alex Esquire :

No

Alex Esquire :

Limited license would not cover your b/f being employed as a truck driver or driving for work.

Customer:

Will he have to turn in his license before or after he appeals PA's decision to suspend?

Alex Esquire :

It is generally only issued to get to a permanent specific place of employment and back.

Alex Esquire :

He would be able to file an appeal, but will have to surrender the license according to the notice from PennDOT, unless the appeal is heard and decided in his favor before the effective suspension date.

Alex Esquire :

In some very rate instances, the court might neglect to report this conviction or PennDOT might overlook taking a suspension on a motorist, even when notified of the conviction, but this is more of an exception and I would not count on it.

Alex Esquire :

Do you have any related follow up questions?

Customer:

I see. Okay, thank you so much. Your information has been very helpful! I have a better idea of what to expect now. God, Virginia's traffic laws are a whore.

Customer:

No, I think that's it. Thank you!

Alex Esquire :

Thank you and please click on the "Excellent Service" rating, so I can receive credit for my answer. Bonus and positive feedback is always appreciated, but is not required. I wish you all the best.

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