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  • VA /WVA Officer's

    My supervisor at work, was coming home from West VA, somewhere near Beckley ... one of her sister's was driving her car, and she was following in the car behind them.

    I want to say it was on 8-27, it was raining extremely hard, so much so that the speed limit was 70mph but they were only driving about 45mph to be able to see. (that is also what the speedodometer stopped on)

    Her sister somehow hydroplaned, lost control of her car and total loss it. They were okay. Luckily a medium kept them from going into the other lane of traffic.

    There was absolutely no alcohol or anything like that involved, just very bad weather and maybe tiredness from stress, as they were coming back from their brother-in-law-s's funeral. He was only 41yo, and left behind 3 young girls ages 17, 15, and 13. He and the kids had already lost their mother to death, about 12yrs prior. I think the youngest was like 1mo old when their mom died.

    Unfortunately the kids are now left with basically no one, except family members that are willing to help out.

    Long story, sorry. Anyway the officer gave her sister a ticket for reckless driving, and not maintaining proper lane ? I think is what she said. The officer also stated that there had been many wrecks that day, due to the weather but hell, everyone couldn't get away without a ticket, or something to that nature.

    She is pretty distraught over the whole thing, and needing all the extra cash they can muster for these kids. Knowing this is going to shoot her insurance up over these tickets.

    I know that sometimes here in NC you can talk with a DA to reduce the charges, is there anyone in the VA that she could talk with? Or is what the officer charged them with permanent until going to court? I don't remember if she said the accident was in WVA or VA. It's common wealth? I'm not really sure what that means ... as NC is not a common wealth state to the best of my knowledge.

    They don't have a lot of money for Attorney's and travel back n forth for multiple court dates.

    I know that there's officer discretion in all situations, but I am wondering if this guy just had too many trips of playing in the rain. I wasn't there, so I can't say ... but I know this family, and I know they are nothing but respectful, and they don't do drugs, or drink and drive.

    Is there anything that they could do to challenge this outside of going to court? feel free to pm, or if you have any suggestions that might help, it surely would be appreciated!

    Oh and if you would please keep this family in prayer! When my supervisor asked the girls what they would like most ... their response was so kewl, they said they would like prayer more than anything else in the world.

    I have a letter of request that she is hoping to have a lot of people sign but I don't want to put it in a public forum ... pm me and I will pass it along if you're interested.

    Thanks, Carolina
    .
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. - Leo Buscaglia

    ~~ Life's a garden, dig it ~~

  • #2

    VA is a "commonwealth" (just another way of saying commu-nist, in the eyes of some - LOL!), while WV is not. The four commonwealth states are VA, PA, KY and MA, by the way.

    If the summons was for "reckless driving," a court appearance is usually mandatory in VA. If the crime code listed on the summons begins with 46.2 - XXX, then it is a safe bet that the crash occured in VA. I don't know about the code section for WV, though. There should be an address of a city or county courthouse listed on the summons, which will obviously let you know the venue/jurisdiction of the alleged offense.

    Anyway, the best "off the record" advice is to hope that the charge can be dropped/reduced to improper driving; but the officer can't initially charge for 'improper driving' (weird state law). Sometimes a judge my dismiss a charge altogether in exchange for a defensive driving class.

    For the best advice, I would obviously recommend legal counsel. Again, the above comments are my 'off the cuff' opinion and should be taken with a grain of salt - or perhaps a whole shaker.


    Sorry for the loss and the mental "piling on" that you must be feeling right now. I hope all works out as well as possible for everyone involved.

    The comments above reflect my personal opinion as a private citizen, ordinary motorist and all-around good guy.

    The aforementioned advice should not be construed to represent any type of professional opinion, legal counsel or other type of instruction with regard to traffic laws, judicial proceedings or official agency policy.

    ------------------------------------------------

    "Ignorance on fire is hotter than knowledge on ice."

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks VA Dutch. Yes, the accident was in VA, not WV they were coming from WV.

      Weird, around here when weather conditions are that bad, and there are obviously many other accidents related to the weather, I can't imagine getting ticketed for failure to maintain your lane and reckless driving when you're obviously going at least 25-30mph under the max speed limit.


      My friend hired an Atty. who informed her that if you spit on the sidewalk in VA you will be fined. Curse on the beach and you will be fined. His words not mine. He said basically what the officer meant that day was they fined everyone no matter what. Which reckless driving in NC is just as bad as a DUI if not worse point wise 6pts, not sure about the failure to maintain the proper lane thing.

      He feels that since she has 0 points on her license and a clean driving record for $$$ he can make it all go away. Which in the end lining his pocket will be cheaper than lining the insurance companies pocket for the next 3 years.

      I can't imagine, it being so bad that you fine people in conditions like that. I talk about our Governor every day because I am not fond of him, but thank goodness it's not that bad in NC yet. (or if it is I am not aware of it)
      Last edited by carolina; 09-15-2008, 12:22 PM.
      .
      Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. - Leo Buscaglia

      ~~ Life's a garden, dig it ~~

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by carolina View Post
        Thanks VA Dutch. Yes, the accident was in VA, not WV they were coming from WV.

        Weird, around here when weather conditions are that bad, and there are obviously many other accidents related to the weather, I can't imagine getting ticketed for failure to maintain your lane and reckless driving when you're obviously going at least 25-30mph under the max speed limit.


        My friend hired an Atty. who informed her that if you spit on the sidewalk in VA you will be fined. Curse on the beach and you will be fined. His words not mine. He said basically what the officer meant that day was they fined everyone no matter what. Which reckless driving in NC is just as bad as a DUI if not worse point wise 6pts, not sure about the failure to maintain the proper lane thing.

        He feels that since she has 0 points on her license and a clean driving record for $$$ he can make it all go away. Which in the end lining his pocket will be cheaper than lining the insurance companies pocket for the next 3 years.

        I can't imagine, it being so bad that you fine people in conditions like that. I talk about our Governor every day because I am not fond of him, but thank goodness it's not that bad in NC yet. (or if it is I am not aware of it)
        All due respect to VA Troopers, but I think they have a requirement to issue summons at all calls or stops. Don't know why, but every time I have either assisted, or been near a trooper on duty I always see summons fly.

        Like Dutch said, she has a good chance to get the charge reduced to improper driving or less with a driving school. It will still cost some dollars, but better than the reckless charge. Best of luck.

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