"I was reading that the [Virginia] General Assembly House of Delegates had finally submitted a proposal for funding the transportation initiatives that Governor Kaine has set as the priority objective of this legislation session.Interesting. If it was just citations I think it might be viable. There is a disturbing tendency to classify punishments which do not include the possibility of imprisonment as "civil" and therefore not subject to constitutional protections. However, I must admit the cases which come to my mind are double jeopardy cases - not ex post facto and I think the analysis may differ. This clause
I was curious about the point of increased penalties for drivers convicted of certain offenses, including Reckless Driving, Drunk Driving, Driving with a Suspended license, and any driver with 4 demerit points or more. Under the House plan, anyone convicted of these crimes within the past 3 years would pay additional fines.
Is this legal?"
No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.is not part of the criminal law protection section but part of the general constraints on the Congress. As such, I'm not sure the protection is extended to State matters by the 14th Amendment. Admittedly, I have never argued it in any of my cases and therefore have limited knowledge. Under Virginia's Constitution Art. I Sec. 9 (The Bill of Rights) offers exactly the same protection:
Federal Const. Art. I Sec. 9
On the charges which carry the possibility of jail time it would be double jeopardy to increase the punishment. The question then becomes, if Virginia bills everyone an extra $20 is anybody going to spend the money it would require to get a writ of prohibition and stop the enforcement? That would cost a lot more than just $20.
Someone out there must have had an ex post facto argument recently. If anyone can explain exactly how it would apply (or not) in this sort of case I welcome your comments.