Two ASAP Non-Compliance Cases Dismissed This Week

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Two ASAP Non-Compliance Cases Dismissed This Week

Two ASAP Non-Compliance Cases
Posted by Mark Matney of Matney Law PLLC Newport News, VA
www.matneylawpllc.com
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This week judges in two different cities dismissed ASAP show cause violations against my clients.  Both cases involved someone who triggered an ignition interlock violation soon after the machine was installed.  They completed six months with no new interlock problems before their court dates and remained in full compliance with respect to classes and payments.  It is important when dealing with an ASAP violation of any type to be straightforward with the ASAP case manager, to avoid any new issues, and to maintain strict compliance after the incident.

Dismissal of Brandishing a Firearm

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

Mark Matney

DUI & Traffic Court Lawyer

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Dismissal of Brandishing a Firearm

Defending against a charge of brandishing a firearm requires carefully evaluating the language of the Virginia Code and comparing it to the facts and circumstances of the case.  The brandishing code section applies whenever someone points or handles a firearm in a manner that reasonably induces “fear in the mind of another.”  There is a exception for self-defense.  In our case, my client was charged with brandishing a firearm by the police officer who arrived and saw him pointing a gun at his friend.  At the trial, the friend was not called as a witness.  After cross-examining the police officer and questioning two neutral witnesses, it became clear that the person who the gun was pointed toward had been asked to leave the property twice and that one of the witnesses had actually escorted him from the property.  It was also evident that he supposed victim had continued to advance toward my client despite being told to stop and to leave the property.  The officer and the witnesses did not provide any statements that indicated that the gun had actually “induce[d] fear in the mind of another of being shot or injured.”  In fact, the continued advancing toward the weapon showed that he was not afraid.  Other factors that the judge considered were the intoxication of the supposed victim and that my client was the one who had called the police.  Brandishing is not to be taken lightly, but this charge can be successfully defended by analyzing the facts and challenging whether the officer or prosecutor has proven the elements set forth in the Virginia Code.

Virginia Code § 18.2-282. Pointing, holding, or brandishing firearm, air or gas operated weapon or object similar in appearance; penalty.

A. It shall be unlawful for any person to point, hold or brandish any firearm or any air or gas operated weapon or any object similar in appearance, whether capable of being fired or not, in such manner as to reasonably induce fear in the mind of another or hold a firearm or any air or gas operated weapon in a public place in such a manner as to reasonably induce fear in the mind of another of being shot or injured. However, this section shall not apply to any person engaged in excusable or justifiable self-defense. Persons violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor or, if the violation occurs upon any public, private or religious elementary, middle or high school, including buildings and grounds or upon public property within 1,000 feet of such school property, he shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony.

Expungement of Public Intoxication and Petit Larceny Charges

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

Mark Matney

DUI - DWI Lawyer

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Expungements of Trespassing, Public Intoxication & Petit Larceny Charges.

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


I recently obtained expungements for four clients with prior charges of trespassing, public intoxication, and petit larceny. Sometimes people ask why they should seek expungement when the charge was dismissed. When your criminal history is searched, everything you have ever been charged with appears in the record. It does not matter whether you were found guilty or not guilty - the fact of being charged will continue to appear. This means that you could have to explain the dismissed charge to a potential employer. An expungement removes dismissed charges from your criminal record and avoids the awkwardness of having to explain these charges to employers or others who are interested in your record.

Many employers believe that where there is smoke, there is fire. If they have to choose between a potential employee with a clear criminal history and someone who was charged with a misdemeanor, then they select the person whose record is clear.

To qualify for an expungement, the charge must have been dismissed. The dismissal can be accomplished by not guilty, nolle prosequi or other dismissal. However, dismissals after a first offender program or a finding that the evidence was sufficient are not eligible.

Not Guilty of DWI / DUI, 2nd Offense

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

Mark Matney

DUI - DWI Lawyer

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Not Guilty of DWI / DUI, 2nd Offense

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


This month I helped a client charged with DWI 2nd offense and Refusal 2nd offense. To achieve a not guilty decision, we had to show that the evidence was not sufficient for the judge to find my client guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In this case, my client made good decisions during his contact with the police that helped me win his trial.

The police approached my client due to an accident. He cooperated with the police, but refused to participate in any field sobriety tests and declined a handheld preliminary breath test (PBT). A driver is not required to complete these tests. He also refused to submit to the formal breath test on the Intoxilyzer EC/IR II at the police station. Refusing a breath test results in an additional charge of Refusal. However, it also avoids a presumption of being under the influence. Additionally, the lack of a blood alcohol level and field tests meant that the officer was limited to testifying about my client’s appearance. When combined with a detailed timeline of my client’s activities and a description of his medical issues, the judge concluded that there was a lack of evidence that my client was under the influence at the time of the driving.

The dismissal of the 2nd offense DWI avoided 20 days mandatory minimum jail, three years license suspension, $500 minimum fine and completion of ASAP. Although refusing the breath test helped him avoid the DWI conviction, it did result in a refusal conviction that he appealed.

 

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

Mark Matney

DUI - DWI Lawyer

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757-784-3507

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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.

Reckless Driving in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court

DUI DWI defense attorney Abigail Hockett

Abigail Hockett

Associate Attorney at Matney Law PLLC

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Reckless Driving in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court

Reckless Driving
Posted by Mark Matney of Matney Law PLLC Newport News, VA
www.matneylawpllc.com
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Two recent cases demonstrate that extra preparation by minors can have an extraordinary impact on their cases. The two clients, both age 17 when they were stopped, were charged with reckless driving at speeds over 100 mph. I have seen Circuit Court judges on the Peninsula sentence minors to active jail time at these speeds. However, both of these clients had their cases dismissed. No reporting to DMV, no demerit points, no misdemeanor convictions, no insurance rate adjustments, no suspended licenses, no jail. The charges were outright dismissed.

For the first case, the young lady was placed on house arrest with an ankle bracelet pending the trial date. She was only permitted to leave her home to go to school and work and was not permitted to drive for most of the pretrial period. In addition to all of these complications, she volunteered many hours of community service before her court date. After court she had to avoid any new violations pending a review date. The second client, a young man, completed two driver improvement classes and volunteered before court. After the court hearing the judge required a significant number of additional community service hours and the avoidance of any new charges before his review date.

These clients helped me and my associate attorney, Abigail Hockett, to achieve the best possible results by following our preparation instructions and then exceeding the judge’s expectations before their review dates.

 

You were going how fast?

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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.

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.

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