Fairfax Traffic Lawyer Explains Common Traffic Offenses in Virginia
Traffic offenses in Virginia can lead to costly fines, increased insurance rates, and even jail time. A knowledgeable Fairfax traffic lawyer can help you understand the charges you are facing and develop an effective defense. In this article, we'll discuss some of the most common traffic offenses in Virginia and offer guidance on how to navigate the legal process. However, if you are charged with a traffic offense call Mr. Bezilla today for a free consultation.
- Speeding Violations
Speeding is one of the most common traffic offenses in Virginia. It occurs when a driver exceeds the posted speed limit or drives at a speed that is not reasonable under the circumstances.
2.1. Consequences of Speeding
Penalties for speeding can range from fines and demerit points on your driving record to license suspension and even jail time, depending on the severity of the offense and your prior driving history.
2.2. Defenses for Speeding
A traffic lawyer may be able to help you contest a speeding ticket by challenging the accuracy of the officer's speed measurement or proving that the posted speed limit was not properly displayed.
Reckless driving is a serious traffic offense in Virginia, and it can be charged based on either speed or actions.
A driver can be charged with reckless driving if they exceed the speed limit by 20 miles per hour or more, or if they drive faster than 85 miles per hour, regardless of the posted speed limit.
3.2. Reckless Driving by Actions
Reckless driving can also be charged for actions that demonstrate a disregard for the safety of others, such as passing a stopped school bus, racing, or weaving in and out of traffic.
3.3. Potential Defenses
An experienced traffic attorney may be able to defend against reckless driving charges by disputing the officer's observations, presenting evidence that your actions were not dangerous, or negotiating a reduction in charges.
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a severe traffic offense in Virginia. The state has a "per se" DUI law, meaning that if a driver's blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08% or higher, they can be charged with DUI.
The penalties for DUI in Virginia can include fines, license suspension, alcohol education programs, ignition interlock device installation, and even jail time. Repeat offenses carry more severe consequences.
4.2. DUI Defense Strategies
A Fairfax traffic lawyer can help you build a defense for DUI charges, such as challenging the accuracy of the breathalyzer or field sobriety tests, demonstrating that you were not driving, or arguing that the police officer did not have probable cause for the traffic stop.
- Driving Without a License
Operating a motor vehicle without a valid driver's license is another common traffic offense in Virginia.
5.1. Consequences and Penalties
Penalties for driving without a license can include fines, vehicle impoundment, and potential jail time. Additionally, a conviction can make it more difficult to obtain a driver's license in the future.
5.2. Legal Defenses
A traffic attorney may be able to help you avoid these penalties by proving that you had a valid license at the time of the offense or that you were not driving the vehicle.
Leaving the scene of an accident, also known as a hit and run, is a serious traffic offense in Virginia. This applies to accidents involving property damage, injury, or death.
6.1. Penalties for Hit and Run
Hit and run penalties depend on the severity of the accident and the damage caused. They can range from fines and license suspension to significant jail time, especially if someone was injured or killed.
6.2. Defenses for Hit and Run
A skilled traffic lawyer may be able to defend against hit and run charges by proving that you were unaware of the accident or that you made a reasonable effort to locate the other party before leaving the scene.
- Failure to Obey Traffic Signals
Ignoring traffic signals, such as running a red light or stop sign, is another common traffic offense in Virginia.
7.1. Consequences of Ignoring Traffic Signals
Fines, demerit points, and increased insurance rates are common penalties for failing to obey traffic signals. In some cases, a conviction can also lead to license suspension.
7.2. Traffic Signal Defense
A traffic attorney may be able to help you contest a ticket for failing to obey a traffic signal by challenging the officer's observations, demonstrating that the signal was malfunctioning, or proving that your actions were legally justified.
- Insurance Violations
Driving without proper insurance coverage is a traffic offense in Virginia.
8.1. Penalties for Lapse in Insurance Coverage
Penalties can include fines, license suspension, and vehicle registration suspension. In some cases, the state may also require proof of future financial responsibility, such as an SR-22 form.
8.2. Defending Against Insurance Violations
A traffic lawyer can help you defend against insurance violation charges by proving that you had valid insurance coverage at the time of the offense or by negotiating a reduction in penalties.
Traffic offenses in Virginia can carry serious consequences, but an experienced Fairfax traffic lawyer can help you understand your charges and develop a strong defense. By seeking legal counsel, you increase your chances of minimizing the impact of these offenses on your life and preserving your driving privileges. If you are charged with any traffic related offenses, call Mr. Bezilla today for a free consultation.
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Can a traffic lawyer really help me with my case? Yes, a skilled traffic lawyer can help you navigate the legal process, develop a strong defense, and potentially reduce the penalties you face.
- How much does it cost to hire a traffic lawyer in Fairfax, Virginia? The cost of hiring a traffic lawyer can vary depending on the complexity of your case and the attorney's experience. It's essential to discuss fees upfront and consider the potential benefits of legal representation before making a decision. You can also negotiate a payment plan.
- What should I do if I'm pulled over for a traffic offense in Virginia? If you're pulled over for a traffic offense, remain calm and follow the officer's instructions. Provide your driver's license, registration, and proof of insurance when requested. Avoid making any incriminating statements and contact a traffic lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your case.
- How long do traffic convictions stay on my driving record in Virginia? Most traffic convictions in Virginia remain on your driving record for a specific period, usually ranging from 5 to 11 years, depending on the severity of the offense. However, some convictions, such as DUI, can remain on your record permanently.
- Can I contest a traffic ticket if I am from out of state? Yes, you can contest a traffic ticket received in Virginia, even if you are from out of state. A Fairfax traffic lawyer can represent you in court and help you build a defense, potentially saving you the time and expense of traveling back to Virginia for a court appearance.