Are you facing jail time or a loss of security clearance because of a criminal charge? Were you injured in an accident? Get the answers you need to protect your rights.

Attorney Kyle G. Manikas has compiled a list of the some of the most frequently asked questions in response to the overwhelming number of people who either: face criminal chargers (DUI, reckless driving, and other offenses) OR were injured in a car or motorcycle accident and need help in Fairfax County or Northern Virginia. If you are one of these people, read on to learn how to protect your legal rights.
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  • What Happened In a Recent Case Where the Accused Driver Did Not Hire You?

    I recently observed a case where the driver hired another lawyer whose fee was cheaper.  The driver was charged with a speed which, since I left the prosecutor's office in 2008, I have had a 100% successes rate of getting reduced from reckless driving to simple speeding or some other non-criminal/non-reckless charge.  This accused driver, however, ended up not only being convicted of criminal reckless driving, but was fined $2,000 plus court costs.

    Virginia Lawyers are Not Interchangeable

    Although lawyers may all seem to say similar things on the phone or in a consultation, lawyers are not an interchangeable commodity and do not all have the ability to handle your case the same way in court. Each attorney brings a different background, level of experience, and record of past success to the table.

    I charge a reasonable flat fee that allows me to do the proper amount of work and devote the necessary amount of time to your case to get the best result.  That doesn't mean that every case can be reduced, but I will give you an honest analysis before you are asked to make a hiring decision. 

    If a lawyer's fee sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  Saving a few hundred dollars may not be a good bargain if the outcome is terrible.

    An Experienced Fairfax Reckless Driving Lawyer

    I have handled thousands of reckless driving cases on both sides of the system.  If you would like to speak with me, call 703-556-0004 or use the Contact Us box to discuss your case with an experienced Fairfax Virginia Reckless Driving Defense Lawyer.

  • What should I do if I receive a letter from a lawyer quoting a fee BEFORE they have talked to me?

    You should be very suspicious.  After all, this person knows nothing about the facts or your case or your background.  How can they possibly quote you a fee when they have no idea what work is required to resolve your case? 

    The Virginia rules of ethics strongly discourage the blind quoting of fees by attorneys before they have had a chance to speak with you about your case.

    If you call one of these lawyers and they increase their rate above what is stated in their letter, you should consider reporting them to the Virginia Bar because this is unethical.

    If the attorney sticks to the blindly quoted fee, you should question what you are actually going to get from that attorney.   Every case is different.   Yet a fee that never changes says that the attorney is going to handle your case like every other case he has.   

    I speak to prospective clients about this issue every month.  I recently talked to a woman and while this all made sense to her, she, despite her better judgment, decided to hire an attorney that blindly quoted a fee to her in a letter. A month later I received a call from this woman and she was very upset.  She said that the attorney she hired had assured her he could get the case reduced.  Yet, when they got to court, this lawyer asked the woman to plead guilty to reckless driving at a speed that was not very high.  When the woman refused, the lawyer raised his voice and told the woman that she would have to sign off on a release.  The woman did.  She then wanted to fire the lawyer, but the judge refused to continue case.   

    If something sounds too good to be true it probably is.  People make the mistake of thinking that their case is "straightforward" or "run of the mill" and therefore any attorney can handle it.  This simply is not the case and I have seen many examples firsthand.

    If you would like the peace of mind of knowing you have honest and experienced legal representation, contact Manikas Law for a free consultation.  We can be reached at 703-556-0004 or by using the Contact Us box.     

  • How Much Does it Cost to Handle My Criminal Case

    What a lawyer charges is, in part, a product of four things:

    • his level of skill and experience,
    • his reputation in the legal community,
    • the time and effort he plans on putting into your case, and
    • the satisfaction of past clients.

    This is not to say that just because an attorney is the most expensive he or she is the best.  There are some attorneys that may try to price gouge.  This is dishonorable and shows from the outset the attorney intends on putting his interest above yours. 

    Beware of Any Attorney That Quotes You a Price in a Direct Mail Piece

    Some lawyers will blindly quote a low flat fee in a direct mail marketing letter even though they know nothing about your case or what is required to resolve it successfully.  (READ more about this practice in an article explaining why you should NEVER hire one of these attorneys.)

    Generally, discount attorneys cost you significantly more in the long run. (read about a recent example).   If you are faced with a criminal charge, like Reckless Driving or DUI/DWI, there is a lot at stake.  

    Look for a Good Attorney with Proper Local Experience

    You should hire the best attorney you can afford.  Manikas Law tries very hard to quote a reasonable rate.  Our objective is to charge what is necessary to allow us to spend enough time on your case to get the best possible result. 

    Regardless of whether you retain the services of Mr. Manikas, you should never make a decision on what attorney to hire based on price alone.   Shop for an attorney, not the cheapest price. Cheap attorneys are cheap for a reason (remember the four components noted above that make up the price). 

    Moreover, cheap lawyers need to serve a very high volume of clients to make money. Serving a high number of clients means that the attorney will be extremely busy and have little or no time to spend on your case.  This is why they can blindly quote you a fixed fee - they are going to spend the same minimal amount of time on every case regardless of what is required and regardless of the result.  If the rate sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

    READ: TOP 5 Absolutely Critical Rules You Must Follow to See that Your Case is Handled Properly

    If you have a reckless driving, DUI, or other criminal charge contact an experienced Fairfax Reckless Driving and DUI Defense Lawyer at 703-556-0004 or use the Contact Us box to email.  

  • What is Reckless Driving by Speeding?

    Virginia Class 1 Misdemeanor 

    Many people are shocked to learn that Virginia has criminalized simple speeding.  What does that mean? In Virginia, if you are traveling at a speed 20 MPH over the limit or above 80, you can be charged with a criminal offense.  Not just any criminal offense, but a Class 1 misdemeanor.  In Virginia, that is the most serious of the 4 levels of misdemeanor offenses.  The next offense level up would be a felony. 

    Reckless driving is punishable by up to 1 year in jail, a $2,500 fine, and a 6 month license suspension.  Some people treat this as a glorified speeding ticket and that is a HUGE mistake.

    Permanent Criminal Record

    If you are convicted, you will have a permanent criminal record with the FBI for the rest of your life.  This is different from a DMV record.  A reckless driving will drop off of you DMV record in Virginia after 11 years BUT it will never come off of your NCIC criminal record.  You will be a convicted criminal.

    Get Help from a Fairfax Reckless Driving Defense Lawyer

    Learn more about what it means to be charged with reckless driving by speaking with an experienced Fairfax Virginia Reckless Driving Defense Lawyer.  Call 703-556-0004 or use the Contact Us box to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.  Kyle Manikas will analyze your Fairfax case from the perspective of a former Fairfax County prosecutor who has an inside understanding of the Fairfax system you will face.

  • What Kinds of Issues Can be Raised in My Reckless Driving Case?

    Every case has different facts and circumstances.  Therefore, there is no comprehensive list of issues that that will be of value in every Virginia reckless driving case and, in fact, there are some cases where there are no legal or technical issues available to use.  However, there are some basic issues that should be reviewed in every reckless driving case. Each has been separately written about on this site and the links are provided below.   

    Basic Issues to be Review in Any Virginia Reckless Driving Case

    Better Approach - Negotiation

    While the above issues should be reviewed in any Virginia reckless driving case, the best approach to take, after having reviewed any technical issues, is to make every effort to negotiate a favorable outcome with the prosecutor.  Before this negotiation can take place you must engage in and gather as much mitigation evidence as you can so that your lawyer can use the mitigation evidence in negotiations.  An experienced reckless driving lawyer with the proper experience in the county where you are charged can tell you what the prosecutors like to see.  Not every case can be negotiated down, but an attorney who regularly handles cases where you are charged can give you an idea of what the chances are.   

    Trial always remains an option, but it is something that should be pursued only after all other options have failed.  The reason for this is that in Virginia the legal deck is incredibly stacked in favor of the prosecutor.  As of 2013, the Virginia Court of Appeals held that an officer' visual estimation of speed alone is proper lay person opinion and is sufficient, by itself, to find someone guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of a speed related offense.  This gives you some sense of what we are up against in Virginia.   

    Virginia Reckless Driving Lawyer to Negotiate on Your Behalf

    For an honest and straight forward assessment of your case, call a former prosecutor and Fairfax Virginia Reckless Driving Defense Lawyer that has handled 1000's of reckless driving cases on both sides of the Fairfax, Virginia system you will face at 703-556-0004 or use the Contact Us box to to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.