Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I can't drive fifty-five...Life in the Fast Lane....Highway to Hell......

Yeah those are all songs. Unfortunately, the titles all suddenly seem to apply to me.

Ok normally, I wouldn't post my, ahem, legal.....problems for the world to see. But, in this case...I think this might be helpful to others. All I have to say is if you drive I apparently do....I highly recommend slowing down. You want to know what happened don't you?

So on Tuesday I'm driving up to work in Baltimore....have my nice strong coffee in, the iPod cranked up to Jack Johnson's Upside Down....and I'm singing along (not pretty) and I'm in the left lane keeping up with traffic....not thinking about anything much other than what I had going on that day (my annual performance review...yikes), and really was enjoying what was appearing to be a lovey cool, sunny morning.

Then I see the lights. Blue ones. Right behind me. Let's just say, I won't post the words that came out of my mouth at that point. 'Cause they weren't pretty or very ladylike.

I pull over to the right, and Officer Friendly informs me I was speeding and asks me for my license and registration. I politely inform him that I don't carry registration in my car - that I've always been advised not to (security purposes because it has your address.) In the state of Illinois - you are only required to carry license and insurance. Anyway, he tells me to check the glove box (maybe my husband put it in there) and he will write the ticket and come right back. So he comes back and I don't have the registration - which he says no problem right now but he recommends I get it in there because it's a law in the state of Virginia (here I think the guy is letting me off the hook somehow, right?) and he hands me my ticket. He says I have to appear in court on February 28th and could I please sign on the dotted line. I look at the paper and it says RECKLESS DRIVING. I said what??? He said yes, ma'am, 89 in a 65 is reckless driving in the state of Virgina since July of this year. I said I couldn't believe I was going that fast - it was 7:30 AM and there was a ton of rush hour traffic on the highway and he said he couldn't believe it either, but apparently I was.

Anyway, I am thinking back to when I was about 23 and I got a ticket in Wisconsin driving 91 in a 65 (clocked by an airplane, mind you) and the ticket was almost $300.00 (which could be $3000.00 to a 23 year old, lol) and I call Sam. Sam proceeds to fill me in on a couple little details about Virginia's new laws, and let me tell you it's not the Commonwealth state for nothin'!
Here's what a reckless driving carries.

First of all - I should tell you this is not a regular ole TRAFFIC offense.

This is a class one misdemeanor criminal offense.
Penalties, if convicted, include:

-Up to 1 year in jail

- Up to $2500 fine imposed by the COURT (additional mandatory fees below)

-Up to six months loss of VA license or if out of state, privilege to drive in VA

- Automatic $350 due on conviction date, this is called a civil remedial fee

- Automatic $700 additional in civil remedial fees due over next two years ($350)

Maximum possible out of pocket costs: $3550.00

Maximum possible Jail: up to 1 year

Maximum possible loss of license: up to 6 months

Minimum possible out of pocket costs: $1550


If there is anyone out there who wants to make a donation to Rachel's legal fees, please let me know! ;) (Smile!!) I am actually going to have to hire an attorney because for one, I can't take the chance of losing my license for 6 months and for two - if this goes on my record - in addition to the fees above, my car insurance will literally double.

Anyway, wanted to share my woes with you all. For my Virgina case you weren't aware of all this new legislation they've passed this year.........I recommend you not only read up but SLOW DOWN!

Have a good night everyone.....I'll be having nightmares of Officer Friendly, don't worry. Maybe I should send the judge a tin of cookies to butter him up for my court date? Either that or does anyone know some big whig in VA government who owes you a favor? Or a good lawyer in the Richmond area who does pro-bono work? ;) One thing I learned is that a bum speedometer is an actual defense in VA. So.....I have to ALSO have to pay to get my speedometer calibrated, and if by some *miracle* my speedometer is off by a couple miles per hour it may look like I only "intended" to go 20 over, not 24 over which puts me out of the RECKLESS DRIVER category. Please someone up there looking out for me.

Rachel (AKA, the Felon)

1 comment:

TheAkersFam said...

I am so sorry you weren't aware of the strict speeding laws! I could have warned you!

Growing up in VA, I have been, and always will be a "no more than 5 over" kind of gal. It is much cheaper!

I hope your speedometer is WAY off and that you only get a *small* fine.