Matney Law - DUI Lawyers - Traffic Court Attorneys - Williamsburg, Newport News, Hampton, Yorktown

Not Guilty of Speeding, 43 in 30

Matney Law - DUI Lawyers - Traffic Court Attorneys - Williamsburg, Newport News, Hampton, YorktownReckless Driving by Speed, 43 in 30

Posted by Mark Matney of Matney Law PLLC Newport News VA
www.matneylawpllc.com
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This morning my client’s speeding case was dismissed! The officer was operating stationary Lidar (laser) in a 35 mph zone just past the point where the speed limit changed from 35 mph to 30 mph.

When I asked the officer for the certification for his lidar equipment, I found that he did not have a certificate that covered the date when my client was stopped. The Virginia Code provides that “no calibration or testing of such device shall be valid for longer than six months” (Sec. 46.2-882). The officer’s certificate must be dated during the six months preceding the date of the stop. It cannot be dated after the stop or more than six months before the stop.

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

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Matney Law - DUI Attorney - Newport News - Hampton Roads area of Virginia

A Promise & A Testimony

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

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A Promise & A Testimony

Posted by Mark Matney of Matney Law PLLC Newport News VA
www.matneylawpllc.com
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A Promise & A Testimony

A promise: “Come near to God and He will come near to you.” James 4:8.

My testimony: I am a Christian who just happens to be practicing law. I hope my story will be an encouragement to you in this challenging and extraordinary time.

My journey of faith began in my childhood. As a child, I attended our neighborhood’s church where I participated in the choir and learned about the Bible through the Sunday School program. My father was not a Christian, but church was important to my mother.
By the time I reached high school, I knew a lot about church, the Bible and Jesus, but it was in a sheltered environment of our local church and neighborhood.

When I entered high school, I experienced several significant changes that left me vulnerable. Immediately before high school, my parents separated and I relocated from the home, church, neighbors and friends I had enjoyed from the age of two until the beginning of high school.

I ended up with a group of so-called friends who were pushing me toward drinking and drugs. I had to make a decision about what I really believed. Fortunately, when I prayed and asked God to guide me, I found that, “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Even when I was not pursuing God, he was pursuing me. God led me through a time of repentance and rededication that resulted in me putting my full faith in Jesus and accepting that he loves me and forgave me.

The result of entering into a relationship with Jesus is that I found the peace and purpose that I was missing as I floundered through high school. I now have hope and a secure future. I know that God has a plan and a purpose for my life and that I will live forever with Jesus in heaven after my physical body dies.

I would be glad to discuss my faith with you. Just contact me. I also share this simple statement of what the Bible teaches:

God’s plan—peace and life. God loves you and wants you to experience the peace and life He offers. The Bible says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting
life” (John 3:16, NKJV). He has a plan for you.

Our problem—separation from God. By nature, we are all separated from God. The Bible says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23, NKJV). He is holy, but we are human and don’t measure up to His perfect standard. We are sinful, and “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23, NKJV).

God’s remedy—the cross. God’s love bridges the separation between you and Him. When Jesus died on the cross and rose from the grave, He paid the penalty for our sins. The Bible says, “‘He himself bore our sins’ in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; ‘by his wounds you have been healed’” (1 Peter 2:24, NIV).

Our response—receive Jesus. You cross the bridge into God’s family when you accept Christ’s free gift of salvation. The Bible says, “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12).

To receive Jesus, a person needs to do four things:
• Admit that you are a sinner and you need the Savior.
• Be willing to turn from your sins and ask God to forgive you.
• Believe that Jesus died for you on the cross and rose from the grave.
• Invite Jesus to come in and control your life through the Holy Spirit. Romans 10:13 says, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Here’s a prayer you can pray to receive Jesus:
Dear God, I know that I am a sinner and separated from You. I want to turn from my sins and enter into relationship with You. Forgive me for my sins. I believe that Jesus is Your Son. I believe He died for my sins and that You raised Him from death to life. I want Jesus to come into my heart and I give Him control of my life. I want to trust Jesus as my Savior and follow Him as my Lord from this day forward. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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Widespread Problems with Breath Tests

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Widespread Problems With Breath Tests

Posted by Mark Matney of Matney Law PLLC Newport News VA
www.matneylawpllc.com
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Post by Matney Law PLLC, Newport News, Virginia...  Great article about breath testing.  Raises good issues regarding Virginia's presumption of reliability of the machines.  I participated in a breath science class led by John Fusco, who is quoted in this article.  New York times " We investigated widespread problems with breath tests for suspected drunk driving - and found that the closely guarded machines have helped convict thousands of Americans of a crime they may not have committed.  Here's what we found."

A million Americans a year are arrested for drunken driving, and most stops begin the same way: flashing blue lights in the rearview mirror, then a battery of tests that might include standing on one foot or reciting the alphabet.

What matters most, though, happens next. By the side of the road or at the police station, the drivers blow into a miniature science lab that estimates the concentration of alcohol in their blood. If the level is 0.08 or higher, they are all but certain to be convicted of a crime.

But those tests — a bedrock of the criminal justice system — are often unreliable, a New York Times investigation found. The devices, found in virtually every police station in America, generate skewed results with alarming frequency, even though they are marketed as precise to the third decimal place.

Judges in Massachusetts and New Jersey have thrown out more than 30,000 breath tests in the past 12 months alone, largely because of human errors and lax governmental oversight. Across the country, thousands of other tests also have been invalidated in recent years.

The machines are sensitive scientific instruments, and in many cases they haven’t been properly calibrated, yielding results that were at times 40 percent too high. Maintaining machines is up to police departments that sometimes have shoddy standards and lack expertise. In some cities, lab officials have used stale or home-brewed chemical solutions that warped results. In Massachusetts, officers used a machine with rats nesting inside.

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

Reductions & Dismissals

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.

Mark R. Matney - Attorney - Newport News - DUI Attorney

Leniency for Suspended License Cases

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.

Matney Law PLLC - DUI Attorney - Newport News VA

Do I have to come to court?

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.

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

Did You Win?

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

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

Where’s the beef

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.

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

Not Guilty Your Honor!

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.