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Joseph Mcgrath
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Joseph Mcgrath’s Answers

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  • I was convicted of a DWI, refusal of blood test on Jan.30,2012. Can a judge suspend asap if incarcerated for years?

    I was basically pulled by the same officer everytime he saw me. I always passed his sobriety test until he pulled me at 230am and he failed me for not following his finger. I passed all the other tests. He was aware of the medication I took and ar...

    Joseph’s Answer

    As Mr. Wilson says in his reply, the Code of Virginia allows a judge to waive the VSAP program. The only time in my practice this has been done is with older individuals or when person is in a program similar to VSAP (the Veterans Administration course for soldiers has worked sometimes) Quite frankly, your chances of any Richmond City judge waiving the requirement are slim. In fact, if you were convicted in 2012 and did not enroll in the program, I would expect a show cause summons or capias would have issued for you to explain to the court why you hadn't done so. Of course being incarcerated will be considered by the court as a good reason. Unless the judge does waive the VSAP program, you won't be re-licensed by DMV until a certificate of completion is filed by VSAP with that office. You may want to obtain a compliance summary from the DMV to see what they will require. I am sure VSAP will be on that list. Good Luck

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  • Can my DUI case get dismissed if I never saw the magistrate before I was released and never signed written promise to appear?

    I got arrested for a DUI and was pulled over for a failure to yield. I was given a field sobriety test and a breathalyzer on the side of the road. The officer did not realize my license was revoked until I was already at the police station which h...

    Joseph’s Answer

    I practice in Virginia and some of our laws are similar, like driving on revoked license. I don't see anything wrong with how you were charged either for the revoked license or dui. Its not unusual in my state for a person to be charged with DUI and not the offense which got them stopped in the first place. You should definitely contact a lawyer with DUI trial experience and the sooner the better. This site has many qualified NC lawyers, Mary Guy Mendini being one who I have worked with before, Good luck and get a lawyer NOW.!

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  • DUI

    Hello, I have an appointment tomorrow with the courts about a recent DUI last night. I'm wondering what the First time offense in VA would be? I have a perfect driving record (until last night) and also was parked when I was pulled over. Can I req...

    Joseph’s Answer

    The only reason for your "appointment" with the court tomorrow would be for the judge to advise you that you have a right to an attorney. If you are unemployed and meet the guide lines for being indigent , then the court may appoint one for you. If however your employed then the court would rule that you must represent yourself ( bad move) or hire an attorney. Your good driving record won't be of much use in a DUI defense as it is with speeding charge, etc. Your license was suspended for 7 days ( or should have been), during that time, no you may not have a restricted license. You may however during that time challenge the cause for arrest and, if successful the license would be returned to you. Should you be convicted , a restricted license can be granted for limited purposes. I strongly advise that you consult an EXPERIENCED DUI attorney. It is very important to do this soon as you can as he/she will want to preserve any evidence and secure any witness who was with you or has knowledge of the facts prior to the arrest. Do not discuss the case with any law enforcement
    person without first speaking with a lawyer. Good Luck

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  • Trying to restore NC driving privilege but need to resolve VA issue (payment?) first. (Previously asked with NC as the state)

    I'm currently suspended in NC, but there is nothing (in NC) that is preventing me from reapplying. After being notified of old tickets in VA, I called VA DMV and was told there were two old citations that needed to be paid. 1 from 02 - following t...

    Joseph’s Answer

    Just to add; Since your privilege to drive may be suspended in VA ( I suspect this is why you were suspended in NC) you should obtain a "compliance summary " from the VA DMV. You can obtain it at www.dmvnow.com That way you can be assured of your obligations. If suspended you must pay all tickets and pay a reinstatement fee to the VA DMV. I suspect that paying won't place a "new" conviction on your NC record. That should have been done shortly after the conviction dates. You can check your NC record to be sure. You might also want to consult with a NC lawyer.

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  • How to restore drivers licence after 16 years with out one for dui in 1999 what do i need to do to resolve this issue thank you

    you can email me at rtakacs55@yahoo.com

    Joseph’s Answer

    I could not agree more with the other attorney's , you need to consult an attorney. I handle license restorations in Richmond VA. Right now I have several clients who previously represented themselves. They were denied and are now having to repeat the petition process. This includes paying the filing fees and evaluations fees charged by our Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program. In my opinion had they been represented they would have been reinstated.

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  • I received a VA Uniform Summons for reckless driving, 91/70, my car is a 2011, the ticket states 2001. Any reason for dismissal?

    I am scheduled for court 04/08/2015 in Bowling Green VA need help.

    Joseph’s Answer

    Like the other attorney's have said, your charged with a criminal offense, a good deal more serious than a simple speeding ticket and , no, the mistake regarding the year of your car won't get it dismissed. Its best right now to hire an attorney. One of the judges there was a good traffic defense attorney and, assuming your guilt can be proven and you have a passably good record, may be persuaded not to put you in jail and perhaps limit a license suspension to a brief period. If you are unlucky enough to have the other judge the outcome could be worse. I have tried these cases in that court before.

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  • I being charged with 2nd offense driving after declared H O.but i dont have a first offense on my driving record how is that

    charged with 1st offense went to court amended to 2nd offense.nothing on my driving record in almost 20 years.have petition in now to have license restored.petitioned in 2001 granted restricted license but never went to dmv had three small childre...

    Joseph’s Answer

    As the others have said, it could simply be an error. However you had better speak to and hire an attorney because if convicted of a 1st, you will receive 10 days in jail , and if a 2nd then you will be convicted of a felony and receive one year in jail. In many jurisdictions, if you have a license restored to you prior to the trial of the Habitual Offender charge the prosecutor may reduce it and not seek a jail sentence. It would also be in our best interest to have an attorney for the restoration petition as you may not want the judge hearing that case to be aware of the pending criminal charge; that information could cause him/her to deny the petition.
    Good luck.

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  • I recently got a wreck-less in Prince George Va.

    I was found guilty in my absence. After reviewing the summons carefully i noticed i had not signed the summons. Would this technicality get it sponged. I still have time to have a judge re-open the case. I'm in the middle of changing my career to ...

    Joseph’s Answer

    if your career is riding on this case, either appeal immediately or file a motion to reopen/rehear the case. can be found at www.courts.state.va.us . If your filing to re-hear the case, you must provide the court with the reason you didn't show up for the trial so you had better consult with and hire and attorney first,. A re-hearing is in the discretion of the judge who may grant or reject it. It is, in my opinion, usually better to appeal if there is still time. (Appeals must be noted in the clerk's office within 10 days of the conviction, you can use the form or simply address a hand written request to the clerk). As the other attorney said, that you didn't sign the summons is of no importance and there is no expungment of the conviction available to you. Good luck.

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  • What chances do i have in re-opening a traffic case? I still have time.

    I was found guilty in my absence and the summons had never been signed. All i need is for the judge to reduce it from wreck less for work reasons. Thank you

    Joseph’s Answer

    If you still have time, then appeal. An appeal voids the conviction and you get a new trial.
    If your out of time for the appeal, (more than 10 days have elapsed since the conviction) then a motion to reopen the case is your only avenue (that form can be found at www.courts.state.va.us )
    It will require you to state the reason for the judge to re-open. That's one of the reasons you need a good local traffic attorney's assistance. I agree with the other attorneys in that regard.

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  • Traffic ticket

    My son is 17 years old he got speeding ticket for 72 on 25 speed limit is their any i can get any help to reduce penalties.

    Joseph’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    As the other lawyers have recommended, you need to speak with an attorney who practices in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations General District Court where your son's case will be heard. He/she will know best what the likely outcome would be. Your son , if convicted, is facing the possibility of having his license suspended and being placed in detention. Do not go to court without a lawyer, if you cant afford one, he is entitled (because of the possibility of jail) to a court appointed lawyer.; ask for one from the court.

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