Lawyer Mark Matney of Matney Law PLLC - Newport News Virginia - DUI and Traffic Court Lawyer

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Guilty of Reckless Driving

Reckless Driving
Posted by Mark Matney of Matney Law PLLC Newport News VA
www.matneylawpllc.com


Mark, why are you writing about someone who was found guilty of reckless driving? To warn you not to make matters worse when you see police lights!

My client was charged with reckless driving by speed at a speed where judges will often amend the charge from reckless driving to speeding. However, instead of stopping immediately for the state trooper, my client just kept driving. The trooper testified that he activated his lights for ¾ mile but my client kept driving, that he then activated his siren, but my client kept driving, that she stopped for a red light, but took off again when the light turned green, and that she then continued driving despite lights and sirens. Finally, my client stopped suddenly in the left lane. The trooper graciously refrained from charging my client with evading / eluding police or from arresting her at the scene and instead issued her a summons for Reckless Driving by speed. However, the judge was not impressed when my client had no explanation for the failure to respond to the trooper’s emergency equipment and refused to amend the charge from reckless driving.

If you see police lights, then you are required to yield. Move promptly to the right lane or shoulder to permit the police to pass you. If you realize the police lights are for you, then pull off of the road as soon as possible. You may proceed to a safe place to pull over if there is no shoulder or no light, but do it quickly and do not pass reasonable places to pull over.

Lawyer Mark Matney of Matney Law PLLC - Newport News Virginia - DUI and Traffic Court Lawyer

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Reductions & Dismissals, and Some Great Deals !!

Traffic Court Reductions & Dismissals
Posted by Lawyer Mark Matney of Matney Law PLLC - Newport News VA
www.matneylawpllc.com
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The week, or so, of September 10-19, 2019 was a lot of fun for the clients of Matney Law, PLLC.
9/10: Speeding, 50/35. Amended to defective equipment despite client having two prior speeding tickets on her DMV transcript. No DMV demerit points!
9/11: Speeding, 49/35. Dismissed with only the payment of court costs!
9/12: Driving with Suspended License, 4th offense. Amended to Driving without a license with only a $100 fine. This avoided a mandatory sentence of 10 days of jail and 90 days of license suspension.
9/16: Speeding, 73/55. Amended to defective equipment. No DMV demerit points!
9/17: Reckless Driving by Speed, 85/55. Dismissed without a fine or court costs! Avoided criminal misdemeanor and DMV demerit points.
9/17: Reckless Driving by Speed, 104/65. Jail sentence limited to one weekend despite 39 mph over the limit and over 100 mph. The Peninsula judges start considering jail at 90 mph and at 30 miles over the speed limit regardless of the speed limit.
9/18: Speeding, 63/45. Amended to improper equipment. No DMV demerit points!
9/19: DWI, 1st offense. Amended to Reckless Driving. Avoided the stigma of DWI and the ignition interlock machine and reduced the restricted license period from 12 months to 6 months.
9/19: DWI, 1st offense. Avoided active jail sentence despite an accident with injuries and presence of an illegal substance in client’s system.

Got a Speeding Ticket call Mark Matney at Matney Law PLLC

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You were going how fast?
Reckless Driving & Speeding Charge
Posted by Mark Matney of Matney Law PLLC Newport News VA

www.matneylawpllc.com
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I traveled out of the local area in September to help someone who was charged with Reckless Driving at 90 in a 55 mph zone – that’s right, 35 mph over the limit. The officer suspected that my client was actually racing another driver. My client could have been more cooperative with the officer, but despite this we were able to avoid any active jail! In fact, he ended up with only a $100 fine to pay and 30 days loss of license. Amazing when you consider that many judges start putting people in jail at 30 mph hour and the maximum license suspension for reckless driving is 6 months!!

Another client in a local court received an amendment of her charge from Reckless Driving, 92 in a 70 mph zone, to Speeding at 10 mph over the limit. This result avoided the criminal misdemeanor conviction and reduced the DMV reporting period from 11 years to 5 years.

DUI Attorney Mark Matney - Matney Law PLLC - Newport News - Williamsburg

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Leniency for Suspended License Cases
Revoked or Suspended License Defense Attorney
Posted by Mark Matney of Matney Law PLLC Newport News VA
www.matneylawpllc.com

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The new Virginia law making it easier for people to reinstate their driving privileges is resulting in increased leniency for people charged with driving while their license is suspended. This morning as I waited my turn, the judge granted a continuance to every person who requested more time to reinstate his or her license. The benefit of this is that when someone obtains a valid license before the final hearing it is typical for judges to amend the charge to a less serious offense.

For example, a client in one recent case reinstated his license before the initial court date and the judge amended the charge from a Class 1 Misdemeanor, which would have resulted in a mandatory additional license suspension of 90 days, to a Class 2 Misdemeanor with no license suspension and only a $50 fine.

Notably, in a similar case in a different local city, the judge amended the Class 1 Misdemeanor of driving with a suspended license to the traffic infraction of Driving Without a License in Possession. This avoided a misdemeanor conviction and a license suspension.

Lawyer Mark Matney of Matney Law PLLC - Newport News Virginia - DUI and Traffic Court Lawyer

Trial in Absence, also known as “Do I have to come to court?

Posted by Mark Matney of Matney Law PLLC Newport News VA
www.matneylawpllc.com
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Trial in Absence...  I often represent people who do not come to court with me.  Last month, for example, I accomplished the amendment of a charge of Reckless Driving by Speed, 88/60, to Speeding for a Pennsylvania resident.  Matney Law PLLC is a traffic court and DUI defense law firm.  Read our reviews on Avvo...

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Must be present for their court dates?

This works well for people who do not live locally and who are charged with less serious matters.  However, judges generally require a court appearance for the more serious misdemeanors, even if the person resides at a great distance.  Typically, when there is a realistic possibility of a jail sentence, then people must be present for their court dates.

Matney Law PLLC - DUI Attorney - Newport News VA

DUI Attorney Mark Matney - Matney Law PLLC - Newport News - Williamsburg

Reckless Driving to Speeding

Making a special trip for court can be part of the mitigating factors that we present to the judge.  A couple months ago a client charged with Reckless by Speed drove to court from Maryland.  Although his speed was so high that it could have resulted in jail and a suspended license, the judge took note of the client’s travel and amended the charge from Reckless Driving to Speeding.

Matney Law PLLC - DUI Attorney - Newport News VA

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Did you win?

Posted by Mark Matney of Matney Law PLLC Newport News VA
www.matneylawpllc.com
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Did you win?...  Dismissal is the best result in a traffic or criminal result, but is dismissal the only way to determine victory?  Matney Law PLLC serving Newport News, Williamsburg, Hampton, Yorktown.  Avvo Attorney Reviews...

Blood Alcohol Content (BAC)

Consider this recent DUI / DWI case.  My client was charged with DUI with an elevated Blood Alcohol Content (BAC), Felony Hit and Run, Open Container, and Driving with a Suspended License.  The final result:  Guilty of DUI with only the mandatory minimum sentence, Dismissal  of the charges of Open Container and Driving with Suspended, and Amendment of the Felony Hit and Run to a misdemeanor.  Avoided two misdemeanors, avoided a felony conviction that would have resulted in the loss of certain rights, but convicted of DUI.  A loss on the DUI itself, but I submit that the case was a victory since two misdemeanors were dismissed and a felony conviction (with its loss of civil rights) was avoided.

DUI/DWI Defense Lawyer - Newport News Virginia

Charged with a DUI call Matney Law PLLC 757-784-3507

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Where’s the beef?

Posted by Mark Matney of Matney Law PLLC Newport News VA
www.matneylawpllc.com
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Where's The Beef...  Do you remember the Wendy’s commercial with the three ladies sliding around in the back seat of car as the searched for the beef in the competitors’ hamburgers?  Sometimes I face the situation of “Where’s the officer?” Often people ask me if their case will be dismissed if the police officer does not show up for court. The answer is … maybe! It depends on the reason the officer is not present, the type of case, and the judge.  Matney Law PLLC is a law firm located in Newport News Virginia, that specializes in DUI and Traffic Court defense.  Check out or Avvo Reviews...

If The Charge Has Been Less Serious

This morning a state trooper was not present for court and the judge announced that the trooper was working at an accident scene and would not be able to arrive within a reasonable period of time. Since the trooper had contacted the court with an explanation for his absence, the judge continued his cases. My client today is facing a very serious reckless driving charge that could result in jail time and license suspension, so he was glad to have the court date continued to a new day. However, if the charge had been less serious, such as a speeding ticket or a low speed reckless driving case, the judge may have been willing to permit us to proceed in the absence of the trooper.

Matney Law PLLC - DUI Attorney - Newport News VA

DUI/DWI Defense Lawyer - Newport News Virginia

In two other recent cases, however, the charges against my clients were dismissed when the police officer did not appear for court. These cases involved a trooper who did not appear and did not notify the court of an excused absence, such as training or illness. Both clients avoided Reckless Driving by Speed.  At other times, it is a witness who is missing. A client’s accident case (unsafe lane change) was dismissed last week when the officer’s witness did not arrive. Sometimes judges will give the police a continuance in this circumstance. However, I spoke with the officer and showed him my client’s driver improvement course certificate and other court preparations and the officer agreed to the case being dismissed instead of moved to a new date.

Attorney Mark Matney - Newport News Virginia - DUI & DWI attorney

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Not Guilty, Your Honor!

Posted by Mark Matney of Matney Law PLLC Newport News VA
www.matneylawpllc.com
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A plea of Not Guilty is usually the best way to proceed in accident cases! Often accidents result in charges of Reckless Driving, Failure to Maintain Lane, or Following Too Closely. At trial, my goal for an accident case is dismissal of the charge unless there was a rear end collision (in which case my goal is improper driving). Matney Law PLLC serving Newport News, Hampton, Yorktown, Williamsburg.   Avvo Lawyer Reviews...

Involve Testimony

Accident cases often involve testimony from witnesses who are not police officers. These witnesses, whether other drivers who were caught up in the accident or bystanders, help the police explain to the judge the reason for the charges. The problem for the police officer is that as soon as his witness describes the accident differently than my client, the judge has to question which version to believe. Judges grade according to the standard of Beyond a Reasonable Doubt. My role is to emphasize the differences among the various explanations so that the judge has enough doubt to dismiss the charge.

Matney Law PLLC - Newport News - accident case dismissal

DUI/DWI Defense Lawyer - Newport News Virginia

Importance of Going to Trial

One August accident trial illustrates the importance of going to trial. My client was charged with Unsafe Lane Change after her car and the other vehicle collided side to side. Two descriptions of the accident could hardly have been more different. The other driver said that my client moved from the far left lane into the center lane where he was driving and caused the accident. My client and her witness stated that the other driver was in the far right lane and cut them off when he moved into the center lane. What?! Were they even describing the same accident? The judge dismissed the charge against my client and explained that he could not find her guilty because the testimony was conflicting and the vehicle damage was consistent with the statements of both parties.

Lawyer Mark Matney of Matney Law PLLC - Newport News Virginia - DUI and Traffic Court Lawyer

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DUI Not Guilty & Dismissal

Posted by Mark Matney of Matney Law PLLC Newport News VA
www.matneylawpllc.com
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During the past month, I achieved two DUI Not Guilty & Dismissal case results. During this time I also helped other clients by negotiating the amendment of a DUI to reckless driving, the dismissal of other charges, the avoidance or reduction of jail, and other positive sentencing outcomes.  Mark Matney Avvo Reviews...

Avvo Client's Choice Award 2018 - Matney Law PLLC - Hampton Roads area of Virginia

The Dismissal

The dismissal by nolle pros was exciting for my client, but it was not extraordinary. By showing up ready for trial, I was able to take advantage of a difficulty with the prosecution’s evidence. This resulted in the prosecutor asking the judge to dismiss the case with the hope that he can possibly obtain the necessary evidence in the future.

lawyer Mark Matney has a top 10 AVVO rating for 2018

Not Guilty Decision

The not guilty decision was exhilarating. DUI trials are hard fought, with most of my clients presumed to be under the influence as soon as we walk into the courtroom. In this case, I argued a legal issue to challenge the admissibility of the breath certificate and the judge agreed to exclude the breath certificate with my client’s blood alcohol level. This decision removed the presumption that my client was under the influence and left both sides to argue about the field sobriety tests. After the officer described what he remembered happening, I asked him clarifying questions and gave him the opportunity to explain how poorly he thought my client performed on the tests. The problem for the prosecution was that I then played the officer’s video of my client’s field sobriety tests and the judge was able to see that my client did not make the errors that the officer described. With the breath certificate excluded and the video demonstrating that my client did well on the field tests, the judge disregarded the officer’s testimony and found my client not guilty of driving under the influence (DUI).

Lawyer Mark Matney of Matney Law PLLC - Newport News Virginia - DUI and Traffic Court Lawyer

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DMV Demerit Points

Posted by Mark Matney of Matney Law PLLC Newport News VA
www.matneylawpllc.com
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Can you avoid DMV Demerit Points? Today in Hampton I helped two clients charged with speeding achieve amendments to defective equipment.  Both avoided 4 DMV demerit points.  [May 1, 2018, Mark Matney].

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Handling a wide array of traffic violation cases

Matney Law PLLC of Newport News Virginia regularly represent clients charged with traffic violations, including:

Reckless driving
Speeding
Expired registration
Expired license
Running a red light or stop sign
Failure to signal when changing lanes
Failure to wear a seatbelt
Driving under the influence (DUI)
Driving without a license or with a suspended license
Leaving the scene of an accident
Violating license restrictions
Hit-and-run accidents
Passing a Stopped School Bus
Failure to Yield
Unsafe Lane Change
Following too Closely
Whether you have been charged with a moving or nonmoving violation, I possess the knowledge needed to protect your best interests in traffic court.