Traffic Virginia Fake Registration Violation Lawyers Halifax County

Traffic Virginia Fake Registration Violation Lawyers Halifax County

HARRISON V. COMMONWEALTH
Facts:

Defendant appealed from his conviction, after jury trial in the Circuit Court for Halifax County (Virginia), for violating Va. Code Ann. § 46.2-605, that prohibited the holding or use of a registration card known to be altered or forged. He argued the jury should have been instructed that Va. Code Ann. § 46.2-613, which defined a traffic violation for possessing a registration card known to be fake or altered, was a lesser included offense.

Traffic Virginia Fake Registration Violation Lawyers Halifax County

Traffic Virginia Fake Registration Violation Lawyers

Issue:
  • Whether the trial court erred in refusing an instruction permitting the jury to find him guilty of a traffic infraction under Code § 46.2-613(2) either as a lesser-included offense, or as a “substantially charged” lesser offense pursuant to Rule 3A:17?
Discussion:

The evidence showed that defendant was driving a tractor trailer when he was stopped by a trooper, who asked him to produce a registration card. Defendant produced a card that had been altered and told the trooper that he had changed the card. Defendant argued that he was entitled to a charge under § 46.2-613 because that statute defined a lesser included offense of the felony under § 46.2-605, with which he was charged. On appeal, the court noted that § 46.2-613 made it a traffic violation for the “display” of an altered registration card and that § 46.2-605 made it a felony for the “use” of an altered or falsified registration card. The court determined that the terms “use” and “display” were not synonymous and that neither definition was necessarily included in the definition of the other. Thus, the court concluded, § 46.2-613 was not a lesser included offense of § 46.2-605 because proof of either offense did not necessarily prove the other and neither was included within the other. The court affirmed defendant’s conviction

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Article written by A Sris

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Disclaimer:

These summaries are provided by the SRIS Law Group. They represent the firm’s unofficial views of the Justices’ opinions. The original opinions should be consulted for their authoritative content.