A Hispanic man was fined after he was caught overstaying and racking up several traffic-related charges in the British Virgin Islands.
Charged with remaining in the territory without the permission of an Immigration officer, reckless driving, driving an unlicensed vehicle, driving without third party insurance, and driving without a driver’s license, is Felix Rodriguez of the Dominican Republic.
He pleaded guilty to overstaying, driving without a driver’s license and driving an unlicensed vehicle.
On the other hand, he pleaded ‘not guilty’ to reckless driving and driving while not covered by third party insurance when he made his first appearance before the Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.
Magistrate Samuel Jack Husbands fined Rodriguez $500 for the immigration-related offence. The sum is to be paid by Friday, October 11 or in default the Hispanic offender will spend seven days at Her Majesty’s Prison. He was ordered remanded until the fines are paid.
For the traffic-related offences – driving an unlicensed vehicle without a driver’s license — Magistrate Husbands ordered Rodriguez convicted, reprimanded and discharged. This effectively means he will not receive any further penalty for those offences.
In the meantime, the offences for which he pleaded not guilty were dismissed.
What the court heard happened
The court heard that on October 7, police were in the vicinity of Digicel’s store on Waterfront Drive when they noticed the offender driving in what they described as a reckless manner.
Police pursued Rodriguez who continued to drive until he arrived at Fleming Street.
He was arrested and brought to the Road Town Police Station after attempts to speak to him was affected by a language barrier.
Further investigations conducted by the police revealed that he was in violation of the traffic and Immigration-related offences.
His passport which was retrieved from his Sea Cows Bay apartment showed that he has been illegal in the territory since March 2.
He was found to have several other travel documents in his possession, the court heard. He was later charged.
I am being abused
Speaking via an interpreter, Rodriguez said he had intentions to leave the territory and had the cash to purchase the ticket.
He explained that he stayed away from his home country because he was being abused by his spouse.
Rodriguez was unrepresented.
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