If you are pulled over by the police and issued a traffic ticket in Virginia, you may be tempted to pay the ticket and go on with your life. However, by taking this approach, you would be pleading guilty to the offense. Traffic violations come with severe consequences in Virginia that can include a misdemeanor or felony conviction, jail time, and fines. In addition, you could face demerit points on your driving record, higher vehicle insurance rates, and a permanent criminal record that limits your ability to obtain a job, loan, professional license, and more.
At Tavss Fletcher, our experienced traffic law attorneys work hard to prevent the serious ramifications a traffic ticket can have on a client’s life. We are committed to aggressively raising all defenses to traffic tickets to reach the most favorable outcome possible so that our clients can move on with their lives. If you have been charged with a traffic law offense, you do not have to go it alone. Call our office to schedule a free consultation to get your questions answered and learn how we can help you.
Common Traffic Infractions in Virginia
In Virginia, traffic law violations can be a traffic infraction, which is often referred to as a traffic ticket, misdemeanor, or felony charge. Traffic infractions do not result in a permanent criminal record, but come with fines, demerit points, and a conviction on your driving record. Demerits stay on a driving record for two years. If you accumulate too many points, your driver’s license could also be suspended. Common traffic infractions include:
- Running a red light
- Failing to yield
- Improper turn
- Illegal U-turn
- Improper passing
Misdemeanor Traffic Offenses That Our Experienced Traffic Law Attorneys Handle
Many traffic violations are misdemeanor offenses in Virginia, and you should not treat getting one of these tickets lightly. Besides demerit points, escalating insurance costs, and a driving record, you may be facing a suspension of your driver’s license, hefty fines, a jail sentence, and a permanent criminal record. Traffic violations that are misdemeanors include:
- Reckless driving. A number of traffic violations constitute reckless driving, such as driving 20 miles per hour over the speed limit or over 80 miles per hour no matter the posted speed limit is. This is a Class 1 misdemeanor, which is the most serious misdemeanor offense in Virginia. Penalties include one year in jail, fines of not more than $2,500, and driver’s license suspension for up to one year.
- Driving on a revoked or suspended license. Driving on a suspended license is a Class 1 misdemeanor. Jail time of at least 10 days is a real possibility, along with additional fines and the suspension of your driver’s license. A first offense driving on a revoked license is a Class 1 misdemeanor, but a third offense is a Class 6 felony, which could include a prison sentence of one to five years.
- Drag racing. Drag racing is the engaging of racing between two or more motor vehicles and can be a Class 1 misdemeanor offense or a Class 6 felony charge if someone is hurt or killed. In addition to the Class 1 misdemeanor penalties, you could have six demerit points on your driving record for 11 years.
- Eluding a police officer. It is considered eluding a police officer to fail to stop when he advises you to do so. You may be charged with a Class 2 misdemeanor that carries a fine of up to $2,500 and one year in jail. If you endanger the life of another person, you could face a Class 6 felony charge. When a police officer is killed, the charge could be a Class 4 felony with two to ten years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.
- Driving under the influence (DUI). A first and second offense DUI is a Class 1 misdemeanor while a subsequent conviction could be a Class 6 felony. In addition to serious fines and jail time, your driver’s license may be suspended for one year for a first offense, three years for a second offense, and indefinitely for a third offense.
- Underage drinking and driving. It is unlawful for a person under 21 years old to drive with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.02 percent or greater. Given the long-term ramifications on a young person life, it is critical that you retain an experienced traffic law attorney if you are charged with underage drinking and driving.
- Hit and run accident. Leaving the scene of an accident—also known as a hit and run accident—can be charged as a Class 1 or Class 4 misdemeanor or a more serious Class 5 felony if the accident resulted in an injury, death, or more than $1,000 in property damage.
Contact Our Experienced Traffic Law Attorneys for Help With Your Traffic Offense
Have you been charged with a traffic violation? The experienced legal team at Tavss Fletcher can help investigate the charges you face, raise any possible defenses, and fight to get the ticket dismissed or reduced to the least serious infraction. Call our office today to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation to learn what you can expect in your criminal proceeding.