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Mark Randolph Matney
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Mark Matney’s Answers

49 total


  • Should I go to court for a speeding ticket? It's 55 in a 35, but not reckless.

    I got pulled over by a cop for speeding, 55 in a 35, yet he did not put reckless driving on the ticket. I have a clean driving record prior to the ticket. I am on the fence about going to court or just paying the fine. He did not say anything abou...

    Mark’s Answer

    It is very important for you to go to court to try to have the judge reduce the speed. The Virginia DMV assigns 6 demerit points to speeding at 20 mph or more over the limit. Even a small adjustment from 20 mph over to 19 mph over the speed limit will move you within the 4 demerit point range of 11 to 19 mph over the limit. It is good that the police did not charge you with the misdemeanor of reckless driving, but you should take advantage of your good driving record and driver improvement course to seek further reduction. Consider also that it will be better for your auto insurer to see a lower speed.

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  • Increased police "attention" after DWI charge? Real or imagined?

    Last year I was charged with DWI in Fairfax. The case was weak and was quickly NP'd with no motions or trial. Ever since then, though, I seem to be getting pulled over A LOT for infractions that I can only describe as BS (failure to signal 100 fe...

    Mark’s Answer

    I agree that the police may be more alert to you since you had a prior incident. The police only need reasonable suspicion in order to stop a vehicle, so you definitely want to drive carefully to avoid any justification for a stop. This includes checking all of your lights, avoiding any dangling objects from your rear view mirror, and making sure your window tint is not too dark.
    The expungement process is straightforward and you would qualify since the case was resolved by nolle pros. The Virginia court website has a form for the petition that needs to be filed, but it would probably save you considerable time to hire a lawyer who has handled expungements before.

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  • What is the correct violation and what is the difference?

    is using a registration sticker issued to another car an altered or forged license plate or decal or improper fictitious registration/title/plate? one is a class 1 misdemeanor one is a class 2 misdemeanor. what is the difference

    Mark’s Answer

    Section 46.2-1173, “Imitation or counterfeit inspection stickers,” applies to the situation of using the sticker from one vehicle for a different vehicle. It provides that “[n]o person shall display or cause or permit to be displayed upon any vehicle any safety inspection sticker knowing it to be fictitious or issued for another vehicle.” Section 46.2-722, “Altered or forged license plates or decals” applies to situations where someone “who, with fraudulent intent, alters, falsifies, or forges” a decal. If charged with either of these offenses you should obtain counsel who is familiar with the court where the matter is heard. The lawyer will be able to look for any possible legal defenses or lesser offenses. You will also want to resolve the inspection matter and have proof that you took care of it to show the judge.

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  • Can your license be suspended for a second DUI if it means having to quit your job, be homeless, and not meet probation?

    I received a 2nd DUI & was sentenced with 1 yr probation, testing 3 days/wk, AA 2x'/wk & alcohol counseling 1x/wk, plus 240 hrs of community service & having my car immobilized for 90 days. I work 2 part time jobs & rent a room from a family. The ...

    Mark’s Answer

    I agree with attorney John Brosnan. The court must follow the sentencing requirements that have been established by the state's legislature. The judge sentenced you based on the charge you were convicted of and is not able to sentence you less than the mandatory minimums established by state law. The nature of a second or subsequent offense is that the penalties are more severe. It is very unfortunate that those laws are having such a severe impact on you in your situation. I recommend that you discuss the consequences with your lawyer or that you find a local lawyer with whom you can review your situation. A local attorney may know options for a restricted license and should be able to advise you regarding whether you still have time to appeal to another level court.

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  • I was supposed to be on dui probation that time is up and I have not completed all requirements. How do I take care of this ?

    I have the alcohol education class & community service left . I just had child & have to take her to court . I know I have to take care of this first . So I need to know the fastest & simplest way to resolve all of this so I can move on with life

    Mark’s Answer

    I agree with the recommendation of the lawyer who previously responded that you need to have your local attorney request additional time to complete the requirements. It would be best if you could show that you are already enrolled in the alcohol class and that you have already begun the community service requirement.

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  • Should I plead guilty or not guilty to my offense?

    I recently plead guilty to DUI in Virginia. Last night o was pulled over for speeding and giving a speeding ticket and ticket for driving with ol, shouldn't this ticket read driving with suspended license? Im hoping theres some way I can get the...

    Mark’s Answer

    The charge of driving without a license (46.2-300) is the least serious of the primary driving while suspended charges. The judge is not required to suspend your license or to impose jail time with this charge. If the deputy or a prosecutor sees the prior DUI in your driving transcript, then there may be an amendment of the charge to driving after forfeiture (18.2-272), which has more serious consequences (mandatory one year license suspension and usually jail time).
    If hiring a lawyer is not possible due to finances, then contact the clerk's office before the court date to determine the court's procedure for applying for the assistance of a court appointed lawyer or public defender.

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  • Could I be convicted of a first offense DUI?

    I was in a driveway in a mobile home park in a stranger's driveway. I found out I was at wrong home when I was attempting to visit a friend. He lived 2-houses up. I knocked on front door & no one answered. I thought he was still at work. I d...

    Mark’s Answer

    I agree with Carleton Penn that there are many issues in your fact situation that an experienced DUI defense attorney may be able to help you exploit. For example, if the mobile home park is considered private property, then you may be able to avoid the results of any BAC test that may have been conducted. Additionally, there may be a challenge to the reasonableness of the police officer's initial contact with you. Did the police observe you or was there an anonymous tip? There are certain constraints on the use of information received from anonymous callers. Work with a lawyer who focuses on DUI defense so that you will be able to explore all of the possible defenses.

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  • What is the punishment for going 51 in a 25 school zone

    I was picking my sister up from school and o was in a rental truck while mine was in the shop that thing had twice the horse power, when I turned to leave I accidentally accelerated to fast I then got pulled over and was given a summons I'm 18 and...

    Mark’s Answer

    Reckless Driving is a serious charge in itself and the fact that the speed was in a school zone aggravates the situation. You should contact a lawyer who is familiar with the Hampton court and assist the lawyer in preparing your case. In this type of case lawyers often recommend completing a driver improvement course, bringing a copy of your good driving record, a speedometer calibration, and/or volunteer work. The goal is to demonstrate to the judge that you have taken the situation seriously enough to justify an amendment of the charge.

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  • Realistically possible from VA reckless driving (25 over 35) reckless driving is 20+ over - I have 3 positive license points

    Clear, daytime, dry conditions, was passing driver of large SUV that was driving very eratically - in distracted manner on twoo lane divided road

    Mark’s Answer

    Your best chance for having the charge amended from the misdemeanor of Reckless Driving by Speed to a traffic infraction of either Speeding or Improper Driving is to hire a lawyer who is familiar with the court where your case is pending and then to follow his or her advice. Some judges and counties are more lenient than others, but with preparation it is possible for the charge to be amended. Steps your lawyer may recommend include bringing your good driving transcript, completing a driver improvement course, and/or having your speedometer calibrated. There is always a chance of a positive outcome when you show up ready for trial. Also, if you are not satisfied with the result in the General District Court, then you have the right to appeal to the Circuit Court for a second chance.

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  • Do i need an attorney?

    I got a reckless driving ticket in Botetourt County for going 90 mph in a 70. This is my first time ever getting a ticket/being pulled over and i have never been in trouble with the law. Ive heard this county is strict. will i get jail time/do i n...

    Mark’s Answer

    I agree with the other lawyers who have recommended that you hire a lawyer to help you. A local lawyer who focuses on traffic defense will be best suited to helping you achieve the best possible result. Sometimes the best result that can be achieved is avoiding a worse outcome. Your lawyer should instruct you regarding what will be most impressive to the local judges. Examples of court preparation activities that will be considered include a driver improvement course, volunteer work, and a speedometer calibration. Hire an experienced lawyer who is familiar with Botetourt traffic defense and follow the advice you receive.

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