Henrico Co., VA - A judge says Virginia's abusive driver fees are unconstitutional. A General District Court judge in Henrico County made the ruling Thursday in the case of a Virginia driver who was facing his fifth charge of driving a suspended license.
Right now this only stands for Henrico County, but it could set a precedent for other jurisdictions across the Commonwealth. The judge in this case is ordering the courts not to collect the new fees that can reach one thousand dollars or more for certain offenses.
As we've reported since the law took effect, there's been no shortage of outcry over these civil remedial or abusive driver fees. This unconstitutional declaration by this Henrico County judge only applies to that county and attorneys are appealing to the Circuit Court.
A local attorney we spoke to says this may be the judges' way of taking an 'affirmative action' against a ruling he may have considered unfair.
Sidney Kirstein, Attorney - "That's a good thing for a judge sometimes to take the bull by the horns and say no I think this is wrong I was put up here to be a judge not be just a robot and I think this is wrong and I'm going to rule that way."
Governor Tim Kaine (website) commented on the ruling saying he is committed to addressing the concerns Virginians have raised about law.