CONNECTICUT SUSPENDED MY LICENSE BECAUSE OF A SPEEDING TICKET IN VIRGINIA
Note that we are Virginia traffic attorneys dealing with out of state (and in state) clients who received Reckless Driving or Speeding Tickets in Virginia. If you are not visiting due to a Virginia traffic charge then we cannot help.
Did you get a ticket in Virginia and you paid the ticket and now Connecticut suspended your license?
You might be surprised to learn that you may have actually paid a RECKLESS DRIVING TICKET and NOT a speeding ticket. Many states’ dmv’s will automatically suspend your license upon any conviction for reckless driving. Connecticut will automatically suspend your driver’s license if you are found guilty of Reckless Driving by speed in Virginia. We represent many Connecticut clients who received reckless driving charges in Virginia and Connecticut sent them notice of a license suspension in the mail.
ARE YOU CHARGED WITH RECKLESS DRIVING BY SPEED OR JUST SIMPLE SPEEDING?
You need to look at the law section on your ticket as this determines if you are charged with reckless driving or speeding. Law section 46.2-862 is Reckless Driving and if you are licensed in Connecticut and are found guilty of this offense (even if you pay in advance and did not know it was reckless driving) then you will receive a notice of license suspension from Connecticut DMV.
If your law section says 46.2-870 then that is simple speeding. It is still possible that based on point accumulation or other Connecticut law that they might suspend your license but the reckless driving conviction in Virginia is an automatic suspension.
WHAT CAN I DO NOW?
If your court date has not passed then you have not been convicted yet. Your court date will be on your ticket. If your court date did pass, and you already got the letter from Connecticut DMV notifying you of the license suspension then you will be in one of the following three categories:
In Virginia you have an automatic right to appeal your case in Virginia within 10 days of the conviction date. Look at your ticket. If you are within 10 days of the conviction date (almost always the date on the ticket you were summoned to appear in court) then you can appeal your case. Time is of the essence. I have not seen anyone get the letter from Connecticut within the appeal period.
In Virginia you can file a MOTION TO REOPEN within 60 days of the conviction date. If you are within this 60 day window, and you might be, then you can file a motion to reopen. The judge does not have to grant the motion to reopen. The motion to reopen is at the discretion of the court. The judge can deny the motion for any reason. They are to be granted for GOOD CAUSE only. Usually when a license suspension is at stake the judges in my experience will grant the motion if you retain us but they do not have to.
You are beyond the 60 day motion to reopen period. Sometimes the Connecticut DMV will mail these letters out BEYOND 60 days after the conviction date. Some judges in Virginia are willing to grant a motion to reopen BEYOND 60 days and some will not. So you might still be able to get your case reopened in you are BEYOND 60 days, depending on what court you are in and who the judge is.
FEES FOR MOTIONS TO REOPEN
We intentionally try to limit these types of cases. The courts do not like these cases in my experience. Time is of the essence in many cases and they involve more time. In addition, having a judge grant a motion to reopen does not automatically erase what happened. I tell clients they are trying to “un-ring” a bell. So when we take cases like this, our fees are significantly higher than if we were retained BEFORE the court date.
I am happy to consult on these cases to advise if we might be able to help.
THE MOTION TO REOPEN WAS GRANTED AND THE CASE WAS REDUCED, HOW TO UN-RING THE BELL
When you are convicted of reckless driving in Virginia, the court will notify the Virginia dmv. They typically do this about 30 days after the court date but it could be sooner. The Virginia dmv will then make that information available and/or notify your home state of the conviction. Then your home state (assuming it is Connecticut) will mail you the notice of license suspension.
When you file a motion to reopen and the judge grants the motion and amends the charge to simple speeding, it does not automatically reverse what will happen. The court will again need to notify the Virginia dmv and they will need to notify your home state’s dmv. There are issues involved when you are talking about two government DMV’s and a court clerk’s office. We do not get involved with dealing with the clerk’s office or the dmv. Our representation is limited to filing the motion to reopen and going to court to try to get the charge fixed in court.
We will provide a copy of the court information that is online which shows the amended charge (assuming we are successful).