Tickets Issued at Virginia Beach Bike Classic
May 4, 2011 by Hersey
The Virginia Beach Bike Classic was held this weekend at North Beach landing in Virginia Beach , Virginia . It was great to be there and see a lot of friends from Virginia and the Carolinas . However the event was marred by law enforcement. The Virginia State Police in conjunction with the Virginia Beach Police Department set up a few miles from the event and wrote tickets for offenses such as unapproved helmets, illegal exhausts, improperly mounted license plates, etc. It was reported at one point that they were refusing those without a “DOT Approved” helmet to proceed further and forced them to go back to the event a buy a new helmet.
If you or anyone that you know received such a ticket at the Virginia Beach Bike Classic please contact me and I will represent you at no charge. These charges are improper given the law in Virginia . For those in favor of mandatory helmet use this is not an attack on helmets. I respect the right of every motorcyclist to hold an opinion on this matter. However this is not about helmets, it is about ensuring that the police follow the law. If they are going to stop and charge people they should at least be familiar with the statutes under which they are charging them.
I also want to reiterate that I am not anti-law enforcement. As an ex police officer and an ex prosecuting attorney I have an extensive law enforcement background. However, to many times I see motorcyclists charged for not wearing a helmet approved by DOT when the law in Virginia does not require that a helmet be approved by anyone. I also see tickets for illegal exhausts merely because the officer does not like the sound of the exhaust. I have seen tickets for improperly mounted license plates merely because the license plate is mounted vertically instead of horizontally. Virginia law does not prohibit vertically mounted license plates. I have even seen a few handle bar height tickets when that law was repealed in 2003. You are not guilty of an offense simply because an officer says that you are. You are only guilty if you have violated a statute or ordinance. A great number of people charged at the Virginia Beach Bike Classic did not violate any state or local law.
That is why I think it is important to challenge these tickets even though they are non-moving violations. If we as motorcyclists merely pre-pay them because it is too much of a hassle to go to court and fight then we will continue to receive improperly issued tickets. So if you have received such a ticket please contact me and I will be happy to take the case(s) at no charge.
McGrath & Danielson
Tom McGrath’s Motorcycle Law Group