My question involves traffic court in the State of: Virgina
I would like to start by giving a great thanks for having me here!
First I would like to note that in the wonderful State of Virginia, Radar/Jam Devices are all ILLEGAL.
TL;DR is located at the bottom of the wall of text.
Alright let me get started. While driving home from a late shift at work I came into contact with a State LEO who was running a Spectre RDD. For those that are not familiar, a Spectre is a dash/window mounted Radar Detector Detector. I am quite the cautious person and I have recently found my way into the world of countermeasures (Radar Detectors, Laser Jammers, ect.). On this particular night I was running my Escort Redline, Valentine1, and LI Jammers. Out of these three, only the Valentine1 is detectable and you can imagine that it was in fact picked up by the LEO's Spectre.
After being pulled over, I was written 3 separate tickets for each of my countermeasures. The Complainant officer has pulled me over eight months prior for the Valentine1 and I did not expect to run into him again. This officer proceeded to tell me that if I was to remove and bring to court all of my Jammers/Radar devices that he would then dismiss the case. I decided that this would be the best approach, seeing that the fine per device was ~$45.00 plus court fees.
Fast forward a month and a half to my court date and I arrive to the courthouse and sit through 2 hours worth of trials. The judge proceeds to ask if I had a case to be heard and I inform him of my name and the officer that had written my violation. He then tells me that my court date was in fact the day before and that in my absence I was found guilty for all three violations and fined $250.00/violation. I turn bright red and ask him what to do seeing that I was caught completely off guard. He tells me that I can either pay my fine or appeal my case. After quickly telling me this he try's to hurry me out of the courtroom. I go to the clerks window and appeal my case because I am furious, confused, and embarrassed. Now I am usually always on time and I never miss a meeting of any sort. I check and rechecked countless times to the date and time on my violations. The only reasoning that I can come up with is that during this week and the week prior in particular I was working ~35 hours at work and I am also a Full-Time student at my Community College which may have caused me to misread the date countless times.
TL;DR -- Written 3 tickets for Radar/Jam devices and told case would be dropped if devices were removed. Appeared in court early with devices. Told I missed my hearing by a day. Fined ~$800.00 in my absence. Appealed case.
Now my main questions: (I do not plan on having a lawyer present for my hearing)
- Will the Complainant Officer be present there? -- He is the only person that told me I could bring in devices to have the case dropped.
- What can I expect question wise seeing that I will be vulnerable by myself?
- Has any judge ever showed sympathy for a case of this circumstance or will I be basically scoffed at and given the same fine?
Thank all of you very much in advance for any help,