Beat Stafford County Full Time and Attention Tickets

If you’re charged in Stafford County under the local ordinance 15-126 for failing to pay full time and attention while driving, you may have a defense to the charge.

The ordinance in this case is actually very simple. It simply says that you have to pay full time and attention while driving. Well, what does full time and attention mean?

Ordinances and laws are required to be read against the Commonwealth so we construe them in the favor of the defendant. And we also use the plain language that’s given unless there’s some specific definition provided.

What does that mean in a full time and attention case? It means that this ordinance is construed to mean exactly what it sounds like. It’s a plain language statute saying that you have to pay attention while driving. If you’re distracted or impaired for some reason where you’re not paying attention then that would be a violation of the statute. However, if you’re paying attention and giving your full time, attention, and effort to driving, then even if you have an accident, that would not be a violation of this particular ordinance.

REQUIRED REGULATORY NOTICE: ALL CASES DEPEND UPON THE FACTS OF EACH CASE. PAST CASES DO NOT INDICATE FUTURE SUCCESS

I had a recent case involving this issue. A client in Stafford County was charged with failing to pay full time and attention. He had been involved in an accident on Route 1 where someone had stopped to turn left. A couple of people in front of my client had stopped behind that person, and my client was unable to stop. However, he made no statements or indications that he was distracted. There was no indication that he wasn’t 100% focused on the road.

Because of that, we were able to have the case dismissed. The judge dismissed that charge because he found that there was no proof my client was not paying full time and attention. He did indicate that he believed my client was probably responsible for the accident; however, the statute or the ordinance is very clear and the Commonwealth did not meet its burden of proof.

I suspect that these cases may exist even more often than I see because full time and attention tickets actually do not carry any points and the officers may tell people that they can just pay the ticket. I wonder how many people are paying these tickets when they shouldn’t be.

The officer’s opinion about your conduct is not evidence. The officer must have evidence in the form of something like observations, witness testimony, or statements you made. The Commonwealth needs to have some kind of evidence to prove you were not paying full time and attention more than just conjecture from the officer.

In my opinion, under this ordinance, you could intentionally ram a vehicle not be guilty of a violation of this ordinance. That would probably be reckless driving, and you might get in very serious trouble. However, unless you’re not paying full time and attention, you should not be found guilty of this ordinance in Stafford.

If you are charged for failing to pay full time and attention in Stafford, contact me today for a free case strategy session so we can talk about your options and if you may have a defense. I would love to help you with this kind of a case.

Photo by: Thomas Dwyer

Andrew Flusche

My name is Andrew Flusche. I am a traffic and misdemeanor defense lawyer in Virginia. I limit my practice to traffic tickets and misdemeanor defense, so I know the ins and outs of these offenses. I literally wrote the book on reckless driving in Virginia which you can get on Amazon here or download for free here. I opened my practice in 2008 after earning my Juris Doctor degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. Since then, I have earned over 600 5-star reviews from happy clients on Google, Yelp, and Facebook. If you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor offense in Virginia, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Your initial consultation is always free, and you'll talk directly with me about the details of your case.

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