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Reckless Driving Blog

Virginia Reckless Driving

Justin Beiber Reckless Driving – Would he go to jail in Fairfax, Virginia?

Everyone already knows that Justin Beiber, the young singer with gifted hair, was stopped by the California Highway Patrol on July 6, 2012 and cited for driving in excess of 65 mph.  Mr. Beiber was driving his custom chrome Fisker Karma sports sedan when he was chased by at least six vehicles driven by members of the paparazzi.

In addition to the paparazzi, Beiber’s bad driving was witnessed by a Los Angeles City Councilman Dennis Zine.   Zine told the press  “He was going from the fast lane to the slow lane to the shoulder in traffic. It was a very dangerous driving situation. I figured someone was going to crash, so I called 911.”  According to the councilman, Justin Bieber had no excuse for his dangerous driving Friday on the 101 Freeway, even though he was being chased.   “Bieber was driving like a maniac,” said Councilman Zine, a former LAPD officer, told the tabloid website TMZ,  “He was weaving in and out of traffic. There was hardly any space between cars as he weaved from lane to lane. I was going 60 and he drove by me like he was in a rocket ship.”

According to Bieber admitted to driving 80 mph.

One of the photographers was also charged with the offenses of  following a vehicle too closely and reckless driving, with the intent to capture pictures for commercial gain and “failing to obey the lawful order of peace officer” according to a statement obtained from the LA City Attorney’s Office.  He could face up to one year in the county jail and fines up to $3,500. The City Attorney’s Office decided to file charges against based on his disregard for the safety of others and his prior criminal history. His arraignment is scheduled for August 6.

The case marks the first implementation of 2010 legislature which imposes additional penalties on paparazzi driving dangerously to obtain photos or videos for commercial gain.

The photographer’s Toyota Rav 4 was among the vehicles trailing Bieber, driving over 80 miles per hour across all lanes of traffic and at times, driving on the shoulder.

Would Beiber get a jail sentence if he had been charged with Reckless Driving in Fairfax, Virginia?  During the next few days I will discuss different factors that may play a role in what the punishment would be for Reckless Driving in Northern Virginia and what sentence he may actually receive if convicted in California.



Gas Can in Baby Seat not a good idea

Colorado woman chooses to buckle up gas can in a baby seat, but leaves her toddler in lap belt.

CNN has reported that a Colorado mother strapped a gas can to a child car seat — but left a toddler in a diaper restrained only with a lap belt.

A City of Aurora police officer stopped the driver during a routine “Click it or Ticket” seat belt enforcement check snapped a photo of what he saw.

gas can in baby seat

The price of gas is expensive, but this is ridiculous.

The Colorado Department of Transportation posted the photo on its Facebook with a message that read:

“Unbelievable! This heartbreaking photo was taken by an officer… Share it to remind everyone that life is precious, so please be responsible and make sure children are properly restrained in the appropriate child safety seat.”

More than 200 people posted angry comments and more than 600 others had re-posted it on their pages.

The woman told police that the child frequently unbuckled his seat belt.  The police officer responded by asking the mother if the child also frequently grabbed a gas can, buckled it into a car seat and then buckled himself in a seat next to the gas can.  The mother was ticketed for seat beat violations, a car seat violation and other traffic offenses, the affiliate reported.


The Gordon Law Firm strongly recommends buckling up your CHILD safely in a properly installed car seat.   Follow the directions found on every gas container for the proper storage and transportation of gasoline.

New Jersey Town Moves to Ban Texting – While Walking!

Well, jaywalking anyway…

Despite widespread media reports that Fort Lee, New Jersey had made an unusual decision ban texting while walking. Not exactly true says Thomas Ripoli, chief of the Fort Lee Police Department

Plenty of municipalities have placed limits on the use of mobile phones while driving.  In particular the sending of text messages has been increasing regulated, with many states banning the practice while behind the wheel.

Virginia, notably has made texting while a vehicle is moving a primary offense, worthy of a traffic stop in its own right, not just and add-on infraction that can be levied against a driver pulled over for some other behavior.

While the quirky local story angle spread false information about Fort Lee’s supposed ban on texting while walking far and wide, Ripoli described the more mundane reality to MSNBC.

According to Ripoli, because of a rash of pedestrian-related accidents, Fort Lee police began a jay-walking oriented public education campaigns handing out more than a hundreds jaywalking tickets and hundreds of information pamphlets.

If you happen to be texting while jaywalking, Fort Lee police will quite possible ticket you for jaywalking (a $54 offense).  But no one has yet been ticketed simply for texting while walking.


Fairfax County Man Leaps Into Traffic After Rush Hour Accident on I-66

It started with a two vehicle accident on I-66 in the midst of a Monday evening rush hour. As commuters crept past exit 147, many noticed a Honda stopped on the right shoulder of the highway. Without warning, the Honda, driven by 21 year-old Corbin G. Shannon of Oakton, Virginia, swerved back onto the roadway, hitting a cargo van.

After the crash, the driver of the van hopped out to check on Shannon. At that point, Shannon allegedly ran from his vehicle and out into traffic. According to Virginia State Police, Shannon proceeded to jump onto four different westbound vehicles, breaking the window of the first car in the process.

By the time state troopers made it to the scene, Shannon was across to the left shoulder of I-66.

Taken to a local hospital after the incident, Shannon was charged with reckless driving, destruction of property, illegal pedestrian on the interstate and interfering with passing vehicles on the highway. Doctors at Fairfax Inova Hospital ruled out drugs and alcohol as causes of Shannon’s odd behavior.

Juvenile Charged with Reckless Driving and Involuntary Manslaughter Charges in Death of Classmate

A 17-year-old girl from Wirtz, Virginia is facing serious charges in connection with a wreck in late January that killed a fellow Franklin County High School classmate and left two other injured. The driver, whose name has not been officially released, is presumed to be Marina Snyder, who is the subject of a trio of civil suits and whose name was mentioned in earlier state police accident reports.

Based on these same sources, Zach Parsons is presumed to be the young man killed in the crash. Cole Kinsley and Christian LaPrad are likewise presumed to be the two other injured passengers. All three were 17 at the time of the accident.

Parsons family has filed a $2.75 million civil suit alleges neglegence on Snyder’s. A second civil suit, filed be Anthony Kinsley on behalf of his son Cole, asks for $2.75 million. The third suit filed against Snyder was brought by the  one of the other drivers involved in the accident: Jonathan Hall, who is asking for $500,000. It was not immediately clear whether Hall suffered injuries in the wreck.

Although Snyder is a minor, Virginia state law allows prosecutors to request a juvenile court judge move felony criminal proceedings against a teen age 14 or older up to the circuit court for trial as an adult if the juvenile court judge determines probable cause to do so exists and the teen is competent to stand trial.

Obi Wan Kenobi Faces Hit and Run Charge

In a lesson on how bad decisions beget other bad decisions, a 37 year-old California man who legally changed his name to that of the Star Wars Jedi Knight, played by Alec Guinness in the 1977 film, has been charged with hit and run.

According to authorities, the real-life Kenobi, formerly Benjamin Cale Feit, is responsible for causing a five-car accident in Roseville, California on March 19th

Kenobi, who has been changed with hit and run as well as leaving the scene after the accident occurred.also had a prior warrant for a misdemeanor letty theft charge.

What in the world would Yoda say?

The Name Change

Feit changed his name in 1999 as a part of a radio contest run in connection with the release of the first Star Wars prequel film, The Phantom Menace (which doesn’t even make the top 100 regrettable decisions involving that film).

Feit told reporters at one point that he’d only  meant to keep the gimmick name for month before changing it back. However, soon after a new law in California raised the cost of  changing a legal name to $500.

Not wanting to spend the money and, perhaps correctly surmising that “I was going to be single anyway,” Feit decided to keep his new moniker indefinitely.

After The Accident

Police traced Kenobi to his home, subsequent to the accident, which does not appear to be a desert bungalow amongst the jundland wastes. No Jawas were harmed in the police search.

After spending five days in jail, Kenobi was released without bail (but with “electronic monitoring“), pending an April 30th court date. He faces a felony hit and run change due to his involvement in the accident.


New GLF Website Focused on Fairfax Criminal Defense Attorney, Carlos Wall

We’re always looking for new ways to help educate and inform Virginians on their rights under state law.  We’ve created a number of websites focused on specific regions we serve in Virginia as well as on key areas of our legal practice like DUI defense or reckless driving.

This month we’ve launched a new website that focuses specifically on our criminal law practice and the work of Gordon Law Firm attorney, Carlos Wall. Here’s a bit of info about Carlos:

George Mason University School of Law. Carlos has extensive experience in Virginia courts including representation of clients before the Virginia Supreme Court. He has represented hundreds of individuals charged with misdemeanor and felony offenses and he brings considerable trial and post-trial experience to the firm.

Prior to joining The Gordon Law Firm, Carlos was an associate with Devine, Connell, and Sheldon LLC and served the community as an Assistant Public Defender in Fairfax County. In his previous employment, Mr. Wall was part of a team that defended several high-profile individuals, including Paul Powell, Larry Gooch, and John Allen Muhammad.

Carlos is also experienced in immigration law and post-conviction remedies, including appeals, habeas corpus, pardons, restoration of rights petitions, and other extraordinary writs.

Mr. Wall was born in El Salvador and he has lived in various countries, including Peru, Kenya, the Congo, the Ivory Coast and El Salvador. Mr. Wall is fluent in Spanish.

We’re still ironing out all the kinks on the new site and we look forward to providing new and useful content over the upcoming months.

Thanks for taking a look.

Herndon Man Arrested After Punching Virginia Police Officer, Stealing Patrol Car

Dexter Gibson ran up a litany of charges on Thursday when he assaulted an Arlington County, Virginia police officer and then sped off in the officer’s patrol car. Gibson then led authorities on a dramatic high speed chase down I-66.

Police caught up to Gibson and managed to force the stolen vehicle from the road. But Gibson escaped and contented on foot, diving into the back of a pick-up truck. Cornered by police, Gibson grabbed a shovel from the truck bed and began swinging.

Literally outgunned, Gibson agreed to drop the shovel but then bolted through the surrounding police and climbed over a roadside cement barrier. Gibson then tried to fight his way through two more police officers but was finally subdued.

Gibson was walking along I-66 when he was initially approached by Virginia State Police Trooper C.T. Grzelak, who had responded to a report of a pedestrian on I-66. An Arlington County Police Officer pulled up to assist.

The two officers attempted to encircle Gibson, who became violent punching the Arlington officer and making off in his vehicle

Gibson has been charged with thirteen counts, including: grand larceny, carjacking, eluding police, malicious wouding, destruction of property, and assault on a police officer.  He is being held without bond at the Prince William County Detention Center.

Elderly Santa Fe Man Shoots Up City’s Speed Enforcement Vehicle

The City of Santa Fe, New Mexico often uses empty patrol cars as mobile camera stations for capturing speeders. The practice is somewhat controversial as many residents find the idea of being indescriminatly surveilled a bit unnerving.

It isn’t clear whether those sorts of “big brother” fears motivated the man who calmly stepped out of his Audi sedan at 20 after 1 in the morning, dressed in a nightshirt and put five bullets into a vacant Santa Fe patrol car.


One thing’s for sure though. He was mad about something.

Here’s the video taken from the patrol car dashboard as the shooting occurred:

You Don’t Have to be a Physicist to Beat a Traffic Ticket, But it Helps

University of California physicist, Dmitri Krioukov had a problem. He knew he hadn’t run that stop sign, even though the officer who pulled him over insisted he’d seen him do so. At stake was a $400 traffic ticket… What to do?  In oder to beat the rap there were two important questions Krioukov had to answer:

1. Why did the police officer believer that he’d seen him run the stop sign?

2. How could Krioukov prove that he hadn’t done so, despite the officer’s insistence?

To answer these questions convincingly, Krioukov published a scientific paper, illustrating the problem with the officer’s observation.  As summarized by

When Krioukov drove toward the stop sign the police officer was approximating Krioukov’s angular velocity instead of his linear velocity. This happens when we try to estimate the speed of a passing object, and the effect is more pronounced for faster objects. 

Trains, for instance, appear to be moving very slowly when they are far away, but they speed past when they finally reach us. Despite these two different observations at different distances, the train maintains a roughly constant velocity throughout its trip.

In Krioukov’s case, the police cruiser was situated about 100 feet away from a perpendicular intersection with a stop sign. Consequently, a car approaching the intersection with constant linear velocity will rapidly increase in angular velocity from the police officer’s perspective.

Combined with the police officer’s momentarily obstructed view, an ill-timed sneeze from Dr. Krioukov and some fancy manta, this explanation was enough to convoke a judge the the officer was wrong in his initial determination that Krioukov hadn’t made the appropriate stop at the intersection.

So stay in school kids. Knowledge is power!

You can check out Krioukov’s full explanatory paper, entitled “Proof of Innocence” right here.