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Best traffic tips from an attorney

If you have received a ticket for reckless driving, speeding or other moving violation that carries negative points, you can do several things:

  1. Take an online traffic class with DMV in Virginia or in the state you hold your license and make sure it offers the five positive points on completion.
  2. In speeding cases, get your speedometer calibrated to see if it is accurate, often cars over 3 years old are many mph off in your favor.
  3. Repair defective equipment prior to court. This includes registration and inspection.
  4. Have an accurate copy of your latest DMV transcript available for the attorney so he can best calculate his fee and possible outcome and prepare a strategy for court.
  5. If you have a medical condition, prescription, or disability, provide paperwork or evidence of same, a saying something does not have the same weight as providing written evidence to the Judge.
  6. Take photographs of the accident end or intersection or traffic sign and print these out so they can easily be shown to council or the prosecutor. Scrolling through them on your cell phone in court looks sloppy.
  7. Get these things done at 2 weeks prior to the court hearing, in this way your record is updated, and it may prevent a last-minute continuance. If you heed this advice and give the attorney time to prepare the case, you will get the best outcome.

Big changes in traffic and criminal cases

In January 2020 the Northern Virginia Courts Fairfax, Prince William, Loudoun and others went through major changes. These 3 Counties each add new Commonwealth attorneys come in replacing certain local practice rules that had been in place for many years. They have expanded body-cam availability, have been lenient on continuances and bond (due to COVID). Prince William now has a Public Defender Service and Fairfax is not using a prosecutor on most misdemeanor cases (except DWI). The court times have been staggered to run on separate timed dockets from 9:00 to 11:30. There is an entire new line of younger prosecutors, especially in general District Court, which the local attorneys have to meet learn their style and be able to work with in a positive way. In 2020-21 police work has changed and many officers have retired or chose to leave for other vocations. Thus, it’s been a year and we have had time to adapt to this and to learn and incorporate all the changes to work to your best advantage. Therefore, this is not the time to do it yourself. It’s always best to hire an experienced local attorney.

Bankruptcy Hearings are to continue by telephone

Bankruptcy Court extends in COVID Protocol through December 31st, 2021. What this means to you is that if you are filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will be able to have the Trustee’s hearing done on the phone at your home or in my office without having to travel to Alexandria for an in-person hearing. The Trustee’s hearing is the only required appearance in a Chapter 7 case and now that it is done telephonically, it is much quicker and much less nerve-racking than having to travel to the hearing and meet the Trustee in person. Thus, if you are considering filing now is the time for it could revert to the former in person meeting requirement when the COVID protocol ends. (Standing Order dated 8/23/21 Alexandria Division)