Jayson Werth convicted of reckless driving

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Oct 6, 2014; San Francisco, CA, USA; Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) reacts to striking out during the first inning against the San Francisco Giants in game three of the 2014 NLDS baseball playoff game at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Jayson Werth had his trial December 5 on charges that he was clocked driving 105 mph in a 55 mph zone. He was pulled over in Fairfax County, Virginia, where he resides. That speed constitutes reckless driving under Virginia law, which is a misdemeanor.

Werth was convicted of reckless driving and given a 180 day jail sentence, with 170 days suspended and 10 days to actually serve in jail. His drivers license was suspended for six months. That’s a pretty standard disposition for cases of this type in Fairfax County.

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Werth’s attorney stated that he would appeal. Since this was a trial held in the General District Court, which handles traffic infractions and misdemeanors, the next level of appeal is to the Fairfax County Circuit Court. No date for the appeal hearing is yet known, but should take place within the next three months, barring continuance requests from either Werth’s attorney or the prosecutor’s office.

An appeal means that Werth’s license is not suspended nor does he have to serve any jail sentence until the appeal process is finished.

Werth does need to be careful that his next court appearance and dealing with any jail sentence handed out doesn’t interfere with spring training.

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Appeals of misdemeanor cases in the Virginia courts means that the defendant gets a new trial before a Circuit Court judge. The parties are still free to try to reach a plea agreement. The Circuit Court judge is not bound by the decision or sentence of the General District Court.

Werth could end up with a different outcome from the appeal hearing. He could be acquitted. He could end up with a conviction and a worse outcome, including a longer jail sentence or more time to actually serve in jail than ten days.

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