Fairfax Traffic Offenses Lawyer
Consequences of Traffic Offenses in Virginia
The possible penalties depend on the type of offense. Traffic infractions are the least serious type of offense but may result in fines and points on a driving record. These points remain on the record for two years, and if an individual accumulates too many points, they could have their driver’s license suspended.
Traffic misdemeanors carry more serious penalties than infractions, but the specific consequences will depend on the violation. If a driver is found guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor, they could be facing up to 1 year in jail, fines of up to $2,500, and driver’s license suspension or revocation for 1 year or more.
Traffic felonies are the most serious charges, and the consequences can be significant. For example, a third offense DUI can result in a 3- to 6-month prison sentence, up to $1,000 in fines, and loss of driving privileges for 3 years. Hit and run felony convictions carry up to 10 years in prison, a $2,500 fine, and a driver’s license suspension.
Virginia has set traffic laws that drivers are required to obey. Depending on the type of offense and other details of your case, if you are found guilty of a traffic offense, you could be facing a variety of consequences. At The Law Office of Ann Thayer, PLLC, our attorney represents individuals charged with all types of traffic crimes.
Before you make any decisions about your traffic ticket, seek skilled legal advice. Call (703) 940-0001 for a free consultation.
Types of Traffic Offenses in Virginia
People often don’t take traffic offenses seriously, but that’s a mistake because the consequences can be severe. They could lose their driver’s license, see substantial hikes in their insurance rates, and face other legal penalties.
In Virginia, traffic offenses are classified into three categories, which include:
- Traffic infractions: Speeding, failing to stop at a red light or stop sign, driving to close, running a red light, improper passing or turning, failing to obey signs or markings on roads or highways, making an illegal u-turn, and others
- Traffic misdemeanors: DUI, reckless driving, driving with a suspended license, and driving with a revoked license
- Traffic felonies: Third offense DUI, and hit and run accidents that result in injury, death, or property damage
Traffic infractions are the least serious offense, followed by misdemeanors, and felonies are the most serious. Individuals charged with traffic felonies often seek legal representation immediately, but those charged with lesser offenses just think it’s easier to pay the ticket. However, paying a fine is like admitting guilt. Due to the consequences of a conviction, it’s in a driver’s best interest to consult with an attorney before deciding whether to pay the citation or fight the charges.
What to Do If Pulled Over in Virginia
When you see those blue lights in your rearview mirror, you probably get a knot in your stomach because a ticket is the last thing you were expecting or need. Here are some good tips to follow if you are pulled over by the police for a traffic offense:
- Have Your Items Ready: Once you pull over, get out your insurance proof, car registration, and license because the police officer will ask for them. Ask for permission before reaching into the glove compartment for these papers.
- Be Polite: Understand that police officers are doing their job. If you can make it easier for them, your chances of getting a warning versus receiving a ticket may increase. If it is night time, you can turn on the light inside your vehicle so they can see while speaking with you or turn off your vehicle so the officer is not concerned about your driving off. If you are smoking, put out your cigarette so smoke does not blow on the officer.
- Do Not Lie: When you are honest with a police officer, it can go a long way. Even if does not prevent a ticket, being honest could help you get a better result in court once the officer tells the Judge or Commonwealth Attorney you were truthful.
Our Fairfax traffic offenses lawyer provides knowledgeable and dedicated counsel for clients charged with traffic infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies. We can discuss your options and start planning your defense during a free initial consultation.