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Old 06-25-2007, 03:08 PM   #1
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New Civil "Fines" in VA July 1st

For those in the Commonwealth of VA, there are a new series of civil/user fees for traffic violations. This is on top of the DMV fines for tickets. This is a "fee" that can go into the thousands, also called by some taxation.


http://www.courts.state.va.us/publications/hb_3202.pdf

This also is covered in local newspaper.

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Old 06-25-2007, 04:41 PM   #2
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one more reason to stay away from VA I guess Amazing what things are considered a "felony" there...
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Old 06-25-2007, 04:47 PM   #3
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one more reason to stay away from VA I guess Amazing what things are considered a "felony" there...
...and which things aren't.
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Old 06-25-2007, 08:20 PM   #4
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great its ny all over again.
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Old 06-27-2007, 03:51 PM   #5
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only for VA drivers....

I started freaking out when i read this as I live in the DC metro area and frequently blast through VA on the beltway. But I read the supposed legislative text and it turns out its only for VA drivers. It also looked as if they are going to be ANNUAL fees which would lead me to belive that they are not a one time thing.
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Old 06-28-2007, 02:35 AM   #6
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Good News for Out of State Drivers

The good news for out of state drives is that this round of Taxation does not apply to them, only VA drivers when you want to renew your license. Three payments of $300 and up is still is alot of money!

It also applies to Felony convictions and VA drivers with 8 points on their license. So if you've got alot of points, going to drivers school knows knocks off 5 points.

It still a tax and hopefully there will be a revolt, it will be interesting to see as people get hit with these fines, how things go. Note: I'm all for fines for people that continually drive on suspended licenses, multiple DUIs etc. who I think should be visiting one of the local orange suite facilities.

I think that getting caught 20 over shouldn't have a big Tax on top of DMV fees and increased insurance rates.

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Old 07-10-2007, 10:43 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by 89 900t sedan View Post
I started freaking out when i read this as I live in the DC metro area and frequently blast through VA on the beltway. But I read the supposed legislative text and it turns out its only for VA drivers. It also looked as if they are going to be ANNUAL fees which would lead me to belive that they are not a one time thing.
Sucks a great big one for me, I can tell you. Annual fees or not, $3000 is a huge bill to pay for a stinkin' ticket.
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Old 07-20-2007, 11:11 AM   #8
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We all need to go here and "Sign" the petition....

http://www.petitiononline.com/va3202/petition.html



To: Elected Officials in the Commonwealth of Virginia

We, the citizens of Virginia, are opposed to the outrageous and unjust traffic fines imposed as "civil remedial fees" in House Bill 3202 for the following reasons:

1. The fines inflict a punishment on drivers that is disproportionate to the degree of the offense they committed.
2. The fines are mandatory, and judges are given no discretion in sentencing.
3. The language of the bill states that the purpose is to "generate revenue" and hence the fines have nothing to do with traffic safety.
4. The bill's sponsor, Del. David Albo (R- 42nd District) is a partner in a law firm that specializes in traffic court cases and stands to benefit personally from this legislation. This type of conflict of interest should not be tolerated.
5. The fines in the bill apply ONLY to Virginia residents, hence unfairly creating different penalties for the same traffic offense based solely on residency.
6. In order to generate additional revenue, points for driving offenses remain on the offender's license for up to 11 years. This will unnecessarily increase the offender's insurance rates for a time frame that is incongruent with the degree of the offense.

We, the undersigned, demand the immediate repeal of these "civil remedial fees." We will not vote for any state Delegate or State Senator who voted for this bill, or for any Delegate or Senator who does not take action to repeal the sections of House Bill 3202 that inflict these exorbitant and unjust penalties. Sincerely,
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Old 07-21-2007, 06:13 AM   #9
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LOTS of great ideas here:

Quote:
Originally Posted by rickgonz View Post
I agree 100% with that! The bill as passed clearly stated it was intended to collect revenue. Why can't we stop pretending we don't need more money for roads? It's called TAXES! Use tax, property tax, income tax, whatever they turn out to be, but Penalties and fines can never be a substitute for taxes.

Here is the fallacy in the logic that the Guv and the House put out:
1. You don't have to worry if you don't speed and you don't drink
2. If all Virginians stayed under the speed limit, and we succeed in bringing down the number of DUIs
3. There will be no revenue to collect.

Therefore:
1. They fully expect the current speeding laws to snare motorists (yah everyone including the delegates knows we drive at 70-85 on the interstates and on the beltway). They have no intention of removing the 80MPH reckless driving rule from the Code.
2. They expect this revenue stream to continue long enough to fund the road improvements

We should expect Penalties as a deterrent to violations, not as a steady (intended) source of income.

What a bunch of hoeey!

Help build Virginia Roads - drive fast and drunk!!! (with just a tinge of sarcasm)

On the other hand, stay within the law and watch our transportation methods (rail, roads, subways, overpasses, bypasses, etc etc) deteriorate and needs unfulfilled! (more sarcasm)
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Old 08-02-2007, 06:36 PM   #10
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Virginia District Court Judge Strikes Down Ticket Tax
A Virginia general district court judge struck down as unconstitutional the fees that raised the maximum punishment for speeding to $3550.

In the first case of its kind, a Henrico County General District Court judge today struck down as unconstitutional the Virginia's controversial speeding ticket tax that had been in effect since July 1. Judge Archer L. Yeatts, III ruled that the civil remedial fees violated the equal protection clause by applying additional, mandatory fines of up to $3000 on Virginia drivers, but not out-of-state drivers who may have committed the same driving violation (fee description).

"A 'dangerous' driver is a 'dangerous' driver, whether he or she is a life-long resident of Virginia or simply passing through on his or her way to another state or county," Judge Yeatts wrote. "The court rejects the speculations postulated by the commonwealth, and mindful of its obligation to do so, has exhausted its speculation quotient in trying to conceive of any others that would be a rational basis for the distinction between resident and non-resident 'dangerous drivers.'"

The state's legislative leaders quickly issued statements indicating surprise and underscoring their resolve not just to maintain the "abuser fees" but to expand them to generate additional revenue from out-of-state drivers. The move comes despite the plea of just under four percent of the state's active, registered voters who have signed a petition demanding the law's unconditional repeal (view petition).

"Whether the courts find the law constitutional or not, as a policy matter I am committed to addressing the concerns Virginians have raised about this law, including its application to out-of-state drivers," said Governor Tim Kaine (D).

Virginia Speaker William J. Howell (R) likewise stood by the fees, despite growing discontent among members of the House of Delegates. (View a list of delegates calling for repeal of the fees.)

"I am surprised by today's holding in the Henrico County District Court," Howell said. "Prior to its passage by overwhelming bipartisan majorities of the legislature on April 4 of this year, the legislation was thoroughly and painstakingly reviewed by both the Kaine Administration and the Office of the Attorney General, among other legal experts."

Today's court decision only applies to motorists stopped in Henrico County. Other jurisdictions will continue to collect the fees unless an appeals court or the state supreme court issues a ruling that matches the conclusion reached by Judge Yeatts. A similar battle over a window tinting law in Georgia ended in 2004 with that state's supreme court striking down a law that only applied a punishment to in-state drivers, in the same way as Virginia's civil remedial fees.

"The distinction drawn by the statute violates the constitutional guarantee of equal protection of the laws because it distinguishes between similarly situated persons, drivers of cars registered in Georgia, on a basis which bears no reasonable relation to the purpose of the statute," the Georgia court wrote.

The full text of the ruling is available in a 230k PDF file at the source link below.

Source: Virginia v. Price (Henrico County, Virginia General District Court, 8/2/2007)
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Old 08-03-2007, 01:59 AM   #11
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That great news if you live or get caught in Henrico County! Hopefully ot will make it the VA supreme court or the Pols will get some sense in them. (not that I would count on a Pol doing the right thing, revenue, right thing revenue, right thing ... )

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