Can I Petition to Have Traffic Fines Reduced Even if the Case is Old?

UPDATE: Virginia decriminalized simple possession of marijuana on July 1, 2020. Click here for details.

Typically not.

In Virginia you have several options if you have been found guilty of a traffic or misdemeanor offense. However, your options expire very quickly as time goes by.

Your first option to try to have your fine reduced would be to file a motion to reopen the case. This option expires 60 days from the day when you were convicted. So you have to act pretty quickly to file that motion and seek to have the judge reopen your case. A motion to reopen is asking the same judge to reconsider your case and give you a new hearing. It could be useful if there is new evidence that has come to light or if perhaps you didn’t actually have a hearing on the first time. Perhaps you missed court for some reason or didn’t realize that you could have an attorney or something like that. Any kind of new piece to the case could give the judge enough justification to reopen the case. However, there is no guarantee. The judge makes his own determination about whether or not he will even give you a new hearing and then at the new hearing the judge will decide if he’s going to give you a better or worse result. So there is some risk involved.

The other option to try to have your traffic fine reduced is to appeal your case. This is your absolute right in Virginia. If you’re found guilty of a traffic or misdemeanor offense you have ten calendar days to note an appeal to the circuit court. No one can keep you from appealing, however you note that the deadline for an appeal is very, very quickly after you’ve been convicted so you do have to act fast. Also there is no guarantee of result on appeal. That appeal does give you a brand new trial. However, you could get any of the possible options on appeal. This means that you can get a better result which could result in a lower fine or you could also get a great result which could mean a higher fine. If you’re charged with a misdemeanor such as reckless driving it could mean jail time or loss of your license, so use an appeal only very cautiously.

If you’ve been found guilty of a traffic or misdemeanor offense in Virginia and are seeking to have your fine reduced, feel free to contact me to see if we can help. If your case is in the local Stafford, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania or King George area I’m happy to see if there’s something we can do to help you get the fine reduced.

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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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