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Thread: VA Code 46.2-936 "Right to an immediate hearing"

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    Question VA Code 46.2-936 "Right to an immediate hearing"

    I don't know if this is the appropriate forum for this topic, if not my apologies.

    I was reading an old thread on this forum just now and somebody referenced this statute, which rekindled my memory of reading it once and wondering about the "right to an immediate hearing" part. This is the paragraph I am referring to (emphasis added):

    Whenever any person is detained by or in the custody of an arresting officer, including an arrest on a warrant, for a violation of any provision of this title punishable as a misdemeanor, the arresting officer shall, except as otherwise provided in 46.2-940, take the name and address of such person and the license number of his motor vehicle and issue a summons or otherwise notify him in writing to appear at a time and place to be specified in such summons or notice. Such time shall be at least five days after such arrest unless the person arrested demands an earlier hearing. Such person shall, if he so desires, have a right to an immediate hearing, or a hearing within twenty-four hours at a convenient hour, before a court having jurisdiction under this title within the county, city, or town wherein such offense was committed. Upon the giving by such person of his written promise to appear at such time and place, the officer shall forthwith release him from custody.
    http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp...0+cod+46.2-936

    I wonder what would actually transpire should one be pulled over for some traffic offense and instead of agreeing to sign a summons (or "ticket") to appear in say 60 days, he demanded an immediate hearing. Would he be arrested? This would not be refusing to sign a summons per se, but demanding the date of the hearing be within the next 24 hours before signing. I would guess (and could be totally wrong) that most cops in VA don't even know the text of this statute, but if they do, it seems doubtful many general district courts, given their busy dockets, would be in a position to provide an immediate hearing. Plus the officer would be required to leave his beat immediately to attend the hearing, which he may not be willing or able to to do. Not that I'm looking for ways to break the law with impunity, but on the face of it this looks like a way of getting out of any traffic tickets in Virginia. (Or else a way of getting hauled to jail by ignorant cops.)

    Any opinions (lawyer and non-lawyer) appreciated.

    I know this is not strictly pertinent to OC, but people on this forum seem to have a penchant for getting to the bottom of these types of matters.
    Last edited by Virginian683; 11-19-2012 at 09:58 PM. Reason: Left out a sentence

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    Quote Originally Posted by Virginian683 View Post
    I don't know if this is the appropriate forum for this topic, if not my apologies.

    I was reading an old thread on this forum just now and somebody referenced this statute, which rekindled my memory of reading it once and wondering about the "right to an immediate hearing" part. This is the paragraph I am referring to (emphasis added):



    http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp...0+cod+46.2-936

    I wonder what would actually transpire should one be pulled over for some traffic offense and instead of agreeing to sign a summons (or "ticket") to appear in say 60 days, he demanded an immediate hearing. Would he be arrested? This would not be refusing to sign a summons per se, but demanding the date of the hearing be within the next 24 hours before signing. I would guess (and could be totally wrong) that most cops in VA don't even know the text of this statute, but if they do, it seems doubtful many general district courts, given their busy dockets, would be in a position to provide an immediate hearing. Plus the officer would be required to leave his beat immediately to attend the hearing, which he may not be willing or able to to do. Not that I'm looking for ways to break the law with impunity, but on the face of it this looks like a way of getting out of any traffic tickets in Virginia. (Or else a way of getting hauled to jail by ignorant cops.)

    Any opinions (lawyer and non-lawyer) appreciated.

    I know this is not strictly pertinent to OC, but people on this forum seem to have a penchant for getting to the bottom of these types of matters.
    Oh, I wouldn't count on this getting you out of any traffic tickets.

    Don't bet on cops not being able or willing to leave their "beat". What do you think is gonna get him more atta-boys, a traffic ticket, or felony arrest after a consensual drug search? They're ready to carry someone to jail on short notice, they'll have no problem taking time off in the very near future.

    And, what do you think the judge is gonna do when you come rolling up in his court, out of turn on the docket, with a cop who says all the right things? I wouldn't want to test it without video evidence I did not commit the offense.

    And, with tons of defense lawyers and websites with advice on how to beat traffic tickets, if this technique was all that successful at dissuading cops from writing the ticket, the information would be all over the place by now. Take the provision about hand-service for redlight camera citations. You don't have to look very far to discover advice that you can ignore mailed redlight camera citations.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Cops do not set court dockets. They know the dates when courts set aside time to hear masses of traffic cases and enter a date that is convenient to their schedule on your citation.

    If you want an immediate hearing you will need to take your citation down to the courthouse and tell the Assistant Clerk handling front desk duty that you want to be added to the day's docket in accordance with the cited statute. You will probably have to explain to the Asistant Clerk that the statute really does mean what it saus there. This might involve some discussion with a baliff who might be willing to haul you in front of the judge, but not because you wanted an immediate hearing on your traffic citation. Once you get in front of the judge you will need to ask him to issue a capias for the LEO who wrote the ticket and hang around until that person can be relieved and appear.

    Now, finally, you get to
    And, what do you think the judge is gonna do when you come rolling up in his court, out of turn on the docket, with a cop who says all the right things? I wouldn't want to test it without video evidence I did not commit the offense.
    And then the judge will point to where you pay the clerk.

    Alternatively, should you refuse to sign the citation, you will be booked into jail and sit there until the court date that was entered on your citation - unless you can convince a Magistrate or Judge that you have changed your mind and really will show up. Hard to do when you have already shown them the finger. And if you do convince them, they will most likely want some sort of cash bond (not personal recognizance).

    All this ^ is not how it "should" happen, but is pretty much what you can expect to happen. Going through the experience, sucessfully appealing your traffic conviction, and sucessfully suing the various players of the system for various violations of rights will get everybody to agree that the system really ougt to operate just like it says in the operating manual. But seriously, how many folks read the manual beforehand?

    stay safe.
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    Yeah I don't imagine either the cop or the judge would think highly of someone insisting on this right. Then again, some cops and judges don't think highly of people openly carrying guns. ;-) It's still a right though.

    As for it being "all over the place" if it got people out of tickets; certainly if it has been tried. But it is entirely possible nobody (except whoever wrote it) has ever paid it any mind or tried to use it before.

    There was a Taco Bell I used to eat at frequently. For about 9 months, every time I went in I noticed they had a regular taco priced at 99 cents, and a taco supreme priced at 89 cents. Now obviously they mixed it up when they posted the price. Well after 9 months I got tired of looking at it, so I proceeded to order a taco supreme and when I saw they charged me 99 cents I pointed to the menu and demanded my 10 cents refund. I got my 10 cents refund, and the manager immediately got a step ladder out of the closet and got up and fixed the menu.

    I don't know how many hundreds of thousands of people ate there over the 9 months but I take it either I was the first to notice, or the first to insist on the principle that they adhere to the price on the menu.

    The point being there can be something in plain sight that the unthinking sea of sheeple cannot, or refuse to see, because they lack either the mental or intestinal fortitude to break free of "groupthink" and step out from the crowd. They simply will not challenge the status quo at any cost. Some people are leaders and some are followers. I believe it is genetic.

    Anyway, just for the record, I've never even been pulled over by the police. I am a pretty boring driver.

    Thanks for the comments.

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    Most time requirements are not mandatory ....

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    I think the answers in this thread are jokingly funny. For most things this group is all about the law. But let someone put out a reference to a little exercised (sounds like OC) legal precept and look at all the negative responses. Now that I know I will remember and act accordingly. Requesting something in compliance with the law is NOT refusing to sign.
    When I carry a gun, I don't do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I'm looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don't carry it because I'm afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn't limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force.

    excerpt By Marko Kloos (http://munchkinwrangler.wordpress.com/?s=major+caudill)

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Never said requesting something in compliance with the law is NOT refusing to sign. Merely added the probable consequences of refusing to sign based on personal and professional experience of reely [sic] smart people who thought that if they refused to sign the summons it was not valid. The described sequence of events was what they got.

    The point being that is is going to take some effort and will-power to make The Powers That Be adhere to their own rule. It might even require a lawsuit for having been denied the opportunity to exercise the right. Most folks are not willing to incur the costs of the former and may have difficulty finding legal assistance persuing the latter. Which is why the one that does stand up to them is called a "hero" by those that do/did not.

    stay safe.
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    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

    "No matter how much contempt you have for the media in all this, you don't have enough"
    ----Allahpundit

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    Activist Member nuc65's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Virginian683 View Post
    Yeah I don't imagine either the cop or the judge would think highly of someone insisting on this right. Then again, some cops and judges don't think highly of people openly carrying guns. ;-) It's still a right though.

    As for it being "all over the place" if it got people out of tickets; certainly if it has been tried. But it is entirely possible nobody (except whoever wrote it) has ever paid it any mind or tried to use it before.

    There was a Taco Bell I used to eat at frequently. For about 9 months, every time I went in I noticed they had a regular taco priced at 99 cents, and a taco supreme priced at 89 cents. Now obviously they mixed it up when they posted the price. Well after 9 months I got tired of looking at it, so I proceeded to order a taco supreme and when I saw they charged me 99 cents I pointed to the menu and demanded my 10 cents refund. I got my 10 cents refund, and the manager immediately got a step ladder out of the closet and got up and fixed the menu.

    I don't know how many hundreds of thousands of people ate there over the 9 months but I take it either I was the first to notice, or the first to insist on the principle that they adhere to the price on the menu.

    The point being there can be something in plain sight that the unthinking sea of sheeple cannot, or refuse to see, because they lack either the mental or intestinal fortitude to break free of "groupthink" and step out from the crowd. They simply will not challenge the status quo at any cost. Some people are leaders and some are followers. I believe it is genetic.

    Anyway, just for the record, I've never even been pulled over by the police. I am a pretty boring driver.

    Thanks for the comments.
    I saw a crossbow for a long time in a major retailer marked as $0.02. I asked about it when I first saw it and was told it wasn't the correct price. More than six months later that sticker was still on it. So I bought at the advertised price. The store has 'fixed' all the stickers like that, and the sticker sits on my desk. The crossbow is ready for hog hunting.
    When I carry a gun, I don't do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I'm looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don't carry it because I'm afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn't limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force.

    excerpt By Marko Kloos (http://munchkinwrangler.wordpress.com/?s=major+caudill)

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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    that if they refused to sign the summons it was not valid.
    If it was a summons, which I doubt .. more likely a notice.

    Notices have very minimal requirements ... but one can always motion to dismiss as a pretrial motion (for jurisdictional issues due to a bad notice) ...

    Failure to sign a notice? Go ahead and argue if you wish....outcome? Likely not favorable but hey, it doesn't matter.

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