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xavierjd
xavierjd, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3400
Experience:  20+ yrs in criminal, landlord/tenant, family, & small claims
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Does the state of Virginia allow request for discovery or written deposition for a speedin

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Does the state of Virginia allow request for discovery or written deposition for a speeding ticket, If so: are they required to fulfill that request, what are my options if they do not, and how do I properly request it? I have a disputed ticket for 70 in a 60 zone driving a rental car.

xavierjd :

Thanks for using JustAnswer.com It will be my pleasure to assist you.

How is your driving record?

Customer:

Very Good. My last ticket was about 12 years ago

xavierjd :

Thanks.



Thanks.







xavierjd :

Sorry. I'm having a bit of a problem with a link. I'll have your answer in just a couple of minutes

Customer:

OK

Customer:

I can't wait any longer, I have to go offline now (its been over half an hour since we began this dialog). I will check on your response tomorrow and contact you with questions.

xavierjd :

Your ticket will be hear in General District Court initially. There is no pre-trial discovery in General District Court. Speeding tickets do not involve the possibility of jail. Therefore, there will be no prosecutor involved in the case. As such, the decision of the judge will be based on the testimony of the officer, your testimony and the testimony of any witness that was with you in your vehicle. It is unlikely that the officer won't appear, but if s/he doesn't, you can ask for a dismissal.

At the hearing, the officer will be there and will possess the certificate for the RADAR, if used. He will testify as to the activity that led him/her to pull you over, how it was that s/he believed that you were speeding and what type of instrument (or observation) was used to determine your speed. You will be allowed to make inquiries of the officer about the precise aspects of the speed observation., You may also ask the officer if the RADAR gun was properly working and if it was calibrated before and after his/her shift. You may also ask if anything may have blocked the radar's view of your vehicle, or if the radar actually caught the speed of another vehicle and not yours. You can also ask any other relevant question as to the speeding ticket or stop. But, judges will NOT allow witness examination to degenerate into arguing. You will also have the right to testify.

If you're unhappy with the outcome of the General Districgt Court, you're free to petition to be heard de novo in the regular circuit court. At this point you can do discovery, etc... this is much more formal and you will be appearing not against the commonwealth's attorney (GDC cases not involving the possibility of jail are generally heard with just the officer's testimony unless you bring a lawyer yourself).

Customer:

go figure, just as I was getting ready to go... hang on while I read.

xavierjd :

Also, in Virginia, a defense that is available is that your speedometer wasn't working. That may be easier to use, especially if you were in a rental car.

xavierjd :

If you wish, you can ask the judge to allow you to complete traffic school since your record is good. That will allow you to avoid points and keep your insurance from going up.

xavierjd :

I hope you find this information useful and that you PRESS THE GREEN ACCEPT BUTTON so that I can get credit for answering the question. Thank you.,

Customer:

Am I allowed to ask questions, correct? I was driving a plain XXXXX XXXXX mid-size 4dr sedan, a very common car. From the time he alledgedly observed me speeding until he pulled me over was almost 2 miles around a curve and with traffic entering and exiting the highway. There is no way he could have pulled from his place of concealment and entered traffic without losing sight of my car. Would this be a defence?

Customer:

Not sure how I could testify if the rental car speedometer was working properly or not.

Customer:

Would asking for a written supporting deposition from the arresting officer be considered different than discovery?

xavierjd :

Yes. You are allowed to ask questions. I gave you examples of the types of questions that you can ask.

You could ask the officer how he knew that it was YOUR car that was speeding and why it took so long to pull you over. If there was heavy traffic, then it is more likely that it could have been another vehicle. Remember, it is the officer who must PROVE that you were speeding. It However, if he KNEW it was your vehicle that was speeding, then whether or not he lost sight of you is NOT a defense.

A deposition is discovery. It is not allowed for speeding tickets in Virginia.

xavierjd :

You could testify that you were driving a rental car and that it is POSSIBLE that the speedometer wasn't working. After all, you have NOT received a ticket in 12 years! You are a CAREFUL driver and you were VERY surprised that you were pulled over for speeding at all.

Customer:

OK. If the officer reads from his notes instead of independent recollection, then all he can testify to is what is written on those notes, correct. So if he does not write on there how he knew it was me, I would be able to challenge the proof, correct?

Customer:

That, I believe is my last question and we can wrap this up, thanks!

xavierjd :

He can testify from his notes AND he can testify from his independent recollection.

Remember, if you are found responsible, you can appeal the decision OR you can ask to complete traffic school. Many courses are available on line. Traffic school will keep the points off of your record.

I hope you find this information useful and that you PRESS THE GREEN ACCEPT BUTTON so that I can get credit for answering the question. Thank you.

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