Traffic Law Frequently Asked Questions
We have collected some of the most frequently asked questions and answers about traffic law offenses. Here, you can learn about many traffic offenses in Virginia, common defenses to these charges, and more by browsing our FAQs.
- Page 1
What happens if the police didn't give me my Miranda warnings when stopping me for DUI in Norfolk?
We have all seen the police telling people of their Miranda rights on TV, but what happens if the police didn't give you your Miranda warnings when you were arrested for DUI in Norfolk or Virginia Beach? What occurs if they were given to you too late in your traffic stop?
These are critical questions, and your rights may have been violated if the police did not give you these warnings in a timely fashion. If you are facing DUI charges, you should consult with an experienced Norfolk traffic law lawyer at Tavss Fletcher who can advise you if your rights were violated and what defenses may be available to you.
What Are Miranda Warnings?
Miranda warnings are vital to the criminal justice system and are designed to protect your Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights. When a police officer arrests you, they must inform you of your Miranda rights. These rights include:
Right to Remain Silent
You have the right to remain silent and not answer any questions law enforcement officials ask you.
Right to an Attorney
You have the right to a criminal defense attorney. If you cannot afford one, a lawyer will be provided at no cost to you.
The warning that anything you say can and will be used against you in court.
When Must the Police Inform You of Your Miranda Rights?
The police must provide you with Miranda warnings when you are in custodial interrogation. You would be considered in custodial interrogation if you are in police custody and being interrogated. Being in custody means you are not free to leave. Before questioning you when placing you in custody, the police must tell you of your Miranda rights.
What Happens if the Police Don't Give You Your Miranda Warnings?
If the police did not provide you with Miranda warnings during a DUI arrest in Virginia, any statements you made during custodial interrogation without being properly Mirandized may not be admissible in court. This means the prosecution cannot use these statements or a confession as evidence against you during the trial.
However, it is important to note that the failure to give you your Miranda warnings does not affect the admissibility of physical evidence or observations made by the police officer during the DUI stop. If the police have other valid evidence, such as field sobriety tests, blood alcohol content results, or dashcam footage, it can still be used against you.
Should I accept a plea agreement to reduce my reckless driving charges in Norfolk?
Facing reckless driving charges in Norfolk or Virginia Beach can be an overwhelming experience. Reckless driving is not a traffic ticket. An individual would be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor and face severe penalties in our state.
One of the most critical decisions you will most likely have to make in your criminal case is whether to accept a plea bargain. Our experienced Norfolk traffic ticket lawyers at Tavss Fletcher are here to raise your defenses and help you weigh your options carefully if the prosecutor offers a plea agreement.
Benefits of Accepting a Plea Bargain
Most reckless driving cases in Norfolk and Virginia Beach are resolved through a plea agreement. Here are the benefits of this option.
Accepting a plea bargain often reduces penalties compared to a conviction on the original charges. The agreement may involve pleading guilty to a lesser offense, such as a traffic violation or a reduced misdemeanor charge, which can significantly mitigate your consequences.
Certainty and Closure
Accepting a plea bargain can bring closure to your case and avoid a potentially lengthy and uncertain trial. Entering into a plea agreement can relieve the stress and anxiety of being prosecuted and allow you to move forward with your life more quickly.
Mitigation of Collateral Consequences
Reckless driving convictions can have long-term consequences beyond fines and potential jail time. These may include a driver’s license suspension, higher insurance premiums, and demerit points added to your driving record. Accepting a plea bargain may help minimize these collateral consequences.
You will save money if you do not have to pay more expensive attorney fees. The cost would increase significantly if you took your case to a trial.
Drawbacks of Agreeing to a Plea Bargain
Every reckless driving case is unique, and accepting a plea agreement may not be in your best interests. Here are some cons of entering into one.
Accepting a plea bargain requires you to plead guilty to a lesser offense. It is essential to consider the punishments you face when making your decision.
By accepting a plea bargain, you forego the opportunity to present a robust defense in court. If you believe the charges can be successfully challenged, you might consider going to trial to present your arguments and evidence.
Having a Criminal Record
While a plea bargain may offer immediate benefits, assessing the potential long-term consequences is crucial. You would have a permanent criminal record, which may impact future employment prospects, professional licenses, and other aspects of your life.
What are the consequences for refusing a breathalyzer test in Virginia?
Are You Required to Take the Initial Breathalyzer Test in Virginia?
The police would use a small handheld breathalyzer device to administer a breathalyzer test after you are pulled over for DUI. This is known as a preliminary breath test (PBT). The police would use the test results to establish probable cause to arrest you.
In Virginia, you are not required to take a PBT, and your refusal to take the test cannot be used to convict you of DUI. However, if you refuse the test, the police officer would look for other signs of intoxication that they could use to arrest you.
Can You Refuse to Take a Breathalyzer Test if You Are Arrested for DUI?
The police would use a breathalyzer or take a blood sample when they book you for DUI. Under Virginia Code §18.2-268.2, our state’s Implied Consent Law, you impliedly consent to submit to a breathalyzer or blood test if you are driving a vehicle and are charged with DUI. When you are arrested, the police officer must inform you of this requirement and the penalty you face if you refuse to take the test.
What Are the Penalties for Refusing a Breathalyzer Test?
The first violation of Virginia’s Implied Consent Law is a civil infraction. A second or subsequent offense would be a Class 1 misdemeanor offense. You could face these penalties:
- First offense. Your driver’s license would automatically be suspended for one year in addition to any driver’s license suspension for your DUI offense. You would not be able to get a restricted license during the one-year suspension.
- Second or subsequent offense. You could face up to one year in jail and a fine not to exceed $2,500. In addition, your driver’s license would be suspended for three years.
Have you been charged with DUI or a violation of Virginia’s Implied Consent Law in Norfolk or Virginia Beach? Our experienced traffic ticket lawyers are here to mount an aggressive defense strategy to fight the charges you face. To learn more about how we can assist you, fill out our online form or call our Norfolk office at 877-960-3441 to schedule a free consultation today.
Will I have to complete VASAP if I’m convicted of DUI?
If you are convicted of DUI in Virginia, you may be required to complete the Virginia Alcohol Safety Program, which is also referred to as VASAP or ASAP. You will most likely need to successfully complete this program in order to complete the terms of a suspended sentence and to restore your ability to drive in our state.
How VASAP Works After a DUI Conviction
Under Virginia law, you are required to complete the Virginia Alcohol Safety Program if you are convicted of a first or second DUI offense. VASAP is a government program that has the mission of reducing drunk driving crashes.
If you know that you will be convicted of DUI, you may want to take the class early. However, you need to obtain a court order referring you to this program before starting it. Here is what this program entails:
- Assessment. Your first appointment will be an intake meeting with a case manager. They will assess how dependent you are on alcohol and the number of classes you will need to attend.
- Classes. Your case manager will refer you to an approved treatment center or addiction program where you will enroll in the education program. You will most likely be required to attend 10 two-hour sessions, which are mandatory. You may also have to undergo drug and alcohol testing while taking this course.
- Probation. If this is your first or second DUI, you will probably be sentenced to unsupervised probation where you do not have to meet with a probation officer. However, if you violate any of the conditions of VASAP, your case manager could report this to the judge who sentenced you, and you could face harsher consequences.
How Much Does VASAP Cost?
It will cost you approximately $300 to enroll in VASAP, and you will also have to pay an $100 intervention fee. You are required to pay these costs when you enter the program. However, if you cannot afford to pay them upfront, you can work out a payment plan.
Were you arrested for DUI in Norfolk or Virginia Beach? Our experienced DUI lawyers are here to mount a strong defense, so the charges against you are dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense. We will also explain the requirements of VASAP and any other punishments you could face if you are convicted. Call our Norfolk office to schedule your free consultation today.
What is the difference between a traffic ticket for speeding and being charged with speeding as reckless driving?
You may not realize the difference between receiving a traffic ticket for speeding and being charged with reckless driving in Virginia because the police do not put handcuffs on you and take you to the police station when arresting you for reckless driving. Instead, they give you a summons to appear at court that looks similar to the traffic ticket you would receive for speeding. However, there are four crucial differences between a speeding ticket and a reckless driving charge.
#1: Traffic Infraction vs. Misdemeanor Offense
If you get a ticket for speeding, it is a traffic infraction. Reckless driving is a crime in Virginia. It is a Class 1 misdemeanor offense and carries harsher penalties and long-term consequences.
#2: Penalties for Speeding vs. Reckless Driving
If you receive a speeding ticket, you cannot be sentenced to jail, and the maximum fine that you could have to pay is $250. Because reckless driving is a misdemeanor offense, the penalty is much more severe. If convicted, you could be sentenced to up to one year in jail and have to pay a fine of up to $2,500.
#3: Points on Your Driving Record for Speeding vs. Reckless Driving
Points will be assessed on your driving record for speeding and reckless driving. If you are ticketed for speeding, you can be assessed as little as three points. However, you would have six demerit points added if you are convicted of reckless driving. Here are ways this could affect you:
- You may have your driver’s license suspended if you accumulate too many points within a relatively short period of time.
- Your insurance costs will increase more if you have more points on your driving record.
#4: No Criminal Record for Speeding vs. Criminal Record for Reckless Driving
You will not have a permanent criminal record if you pay a speeding ticket because it is only a traffic infraction. You will have a permanent criminal record if you plead guilty to or are convicted of reckless driving. This can have long-term consequences on your ability to obtain a job, security clearance, housing, and more.
Were you ticketed for speeding or charged with reckless driving? Our experienced traffic law attorneys are here to explain the consequences you face and how we can build a strong defense so that you achieve the best possible outcome. To learn more, call our Norfolk office to schedule your free consultation today.
When can speeding be charged as reckless driving in Virginia?
Speeding is a serious traffic offense that can result in large fines and points on your driving record in Virginia. However, in some cases, speeding can be charged as reckless driving, which is a much more serious crime that has more severe penalties and long-term consequences in your life.
When Can You Be Charged With Reckless Driving for Speeding?
One of the most common ways that a person can be charged with reckless driving in Virginia is for speeding. Under Virginia Code § 46.2-862, speeding can be elevated to reckless driving in these two situations:
- Driving 20 mph or more in excess of the applicable speed limit
- Driving 80 mph no matter what the posted speed limit is
It is not that difficult to violate this law, especially on the highways around Norfolk, where the speed limit is 70 mph and many drivers are driving at a much faster speed than that.
What Are the Penalties for Reckless Driving?
If you are convicted of reckless driving for speeding, you face harsh penalties. Reckless driving is a Class 1 misdemeanor crime. The punishments include:
- Fine of up to $2,500
- Jail sentence of up to 12 months
- Driver’s license suspension of up to 12 months
- Six demerit points on your driving record
Because reckless driving is a misdemeanor offense, you would also have a permanent criminal record. This can have long-term term consequences on many aspects of your life, such as:
- Increased insurance costs
- Security clearance
- Additional driver’s license suspension if you accumulate too many demerit points over a relatively short period of time
Contact Us for the Legal Representation You Need
Were you charged with reckless driving for speeding? Our experienced reckless driving attorneys can mount a strong defense for you so that the charges are dismissed or reduced to a less serious offense. It is important to understand that you may have good defenses even if you know you were speeding. To find out more about how we can help you, call our Norfolk office to schedule a free consultation today.
Will a reckless driving conviction affect my insurance premiums?
Reckless driving is a Class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia. If you are convicted of this offense, you will face a jail sentence of up to 12 months, a $2,500 fine, and long-term consequences, such as a permanent criminal record. Another ramification you need to be aware of is how a conviction could affect your car insurance premiums.
Does Virginia Have an Insurance Point System?
Some states have an insurance point system, and drivers convicted of reckless driving or other traffic offenses would have insurance points placed on their record that could impact the cost of their insurance premiums. Virginia does not have this type of system.
Our commonwealth does have a demerit system that can result in points being added to a person’s driving record, but this is different than insurance points. Six demerit points would be added for a reckless driving conviction.
How Reckless Driving Can Impact on Your Insurance Costs
In Virginia, insurance companies may have their own point systems or policies on how a reckless driving conviction will affect insurance premium costs. The amount of increase will depend on the insurance company, but many individuals will see their insurance costs increase significantly for up to three years. Here are some guidelines on insurance premium costs:
- If a driver convicted of reckless driving that also caused injuries or property damage over a certain amount, this could result in a greater insurance premium increase, especially if victims were injured. However, the insurance company may also consider whether the driver is over 21 years old, the length of time he has been with the insurance company, and his driving record in determining the insurance cost.
- If a driver is a new or inexperienced driver, the increase in insurance premiums could be greater than for an older driver. Some insurance companies have a policy of adding one point to their system if a driver is young or inexperienced.
How to Avoid the Harsh Consequences of a Reckless Driving Conviction
The best way to avoid the severe punishments and long-term consequences of a reckless driving conviction is to retain an experienced reckless driving lawyer as soon as possible after you are charged with this offense. He can mount a strong defense that can result in the charges against you being dismissed or reduced to a less serious offense. To find out how we will aggressively defend you, call our office in Norfolk to schedule a free consultation today.
What are the potential penalties for driving under the influence with a child in the car?
Any conviction for DUI in Virginia comes with harsh penalties, such as a jail sentence and hefty fines, and long-term consequences of having a permanent criminal record. However, you could face additional charges and more severe punishments if you had a child in your vehicle when you were arrested for DUI.
What Charges Could You Face If You Are Arrested for DUI With a Child in Your Car?
If you are caught driving while intoxicated with a minor child who is 17 years old or younger in your vehicle, you could face aggravated charges. You may also be charged with DUI child endangerment. It is considered child endangerment to put a minor child in danger of being injured or killed due to a parent or other adult’s willful act or omission or refusal to provide the necessary care.
Like many other states, the Commonwealth of Virginia considers it a form of child endangerment to drive a vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher with a child in the car. The risk that a child will be seriously injured or killed in a car accident increases significantly if the driver was drunk. In addition, it is less likely that the child will be wearing his seat belt.
DUI child endangerment is a misdemeanor offense, and you could be charged with is as well as DUI when pulled over for drinking with a child in the car. If convicted of DUI child endangerment, you face these punishments in addition to those for DUI:
- First offense. You will be sentenced to a mandatory minimum jail sentence of five days and a fine of between $500 and $1,000.
- Second offense. You face the same penalties as for a first offense and will be required to perform 80 hours of community service.
You could be charged with additional crimes if the child was injured or died. You also risk losing your right to custody and visitation if the child in your vehicle was yours
Were you charged with DUI or DUI child endangerment? You could have strong defenses to the charges you face—even if you believe you were guilty. Let our experienced DUI lawyers in Norfolk mount a strong defense for you so that you achieve the best possible outcome given your situation. To schedule a free consultation to learn more, call our Norfolk office or fill out the convenient form on this page.
Will it help me to attend traffic school before my reckless driving hearing?
It may help you to avoid the harsh consequences you face if you attend traffic school before your court hearing in your reckless driving case. However, whether this will be beneficial will depend on your driving record and why you were charged with reckless driving.
What Is a Driving Improvement Course?
In a driver improvement class, you are taught defensive driving techniques that can help you avoid causing an accident. These courses are approximately eight hours, and they can be taken in a classroom or online. You must take an exam at the end of the class.
The cost of attending traffic school varies, but is generally less than $100. If you decide to enroll in a class before your reckless driving hearing, it is important to pick one on the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicle’s list of approved clinics.
Ways That Attending a Driver Improvement Clinic Can Help You
An experienced traffic ticket lawyer can help you decide whether taking a driver improvement course before your reckless driving hearing is a good idea. Here are ways that it may help you:
- Reduced charges. The charges against you may be reduced or dismissed if you attend traffic school if you have no speeding tickets and this is your first reckless driving charge. In more serious cases, such as if you have a poor driving record, were driving at an excessive speed, or risked injuring someone, taking a driving improvement course can show the judge that you take your actions seriously.
- Reduce your DMV points. Successfully completing a traffic school class will result in a five point reduction in your DMV points. This will improve your DMV record and may help you when you are sentenced in your reckless driving case.
- Lower your insurance rates. Depending on your insurance company, you may be able to reduce your auto insurance costs by attending a driver improvement class.
Have you been charged with reckless driving or another traffic offense in Norfolk? Contact us to schedule a free consultation with a member of our reckless driving legal team to learn about what you can expect in your criminal case and how we can help you mount a strong defense to the charges you face. Call our Norfolk office to schedule your appointment today.
Can I be charged with reckless driving in Virginia if I live in another state?
Unfortunately, you can be charged with reckless driving in Virginia even if you are an out-of-state resident driving in our commonwealth. Whether you’re here on business, vacation, or commuting to your job—reckless driving is a serious offense in Virginia that is aggressively prosecuted and carries stiff penalties upon conviction. If you live in another state and are charged with this offense, it is crucial to retain an experienced reckless driving attorney in Virginia as soon as possible.
Why You Need to Take Reckless Driving Charges Seriously If You’re an Out-of-State Resident
There are at least 15 separate violations that are considered reckless driving in the Commonwealth of Virginia. While some involve speeding over 80 miles per hour or 20 miles over the posted speed limit, others are for offenses that are often minor traffic infractions in other states, such as failing to yield the right away or not using a turn signal.
If you have been charged with reckless driving and live in another state, you still need to take these charges seriously. Here are some important reasons why:
- Misdemeanor offense. Reckless driving is a misdemeanor offense. You will have a permanent criminal record if convicted that can affect your employment prospects, security clearance, ability to obtain a loan, and more.
- Harsh penalties. If convicted, you could be sentenced up to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine. Your driver’s license may also be suspended for up to six months, and six demerit points would be added to your driving record, which could increase your auto insurance costs for many years.
- Required court hearing. Reckless driving is not like a traffic ticket where you can just plead guilty and pay a fine. In Virginia, you must attend a court hearing when charged with this offense. However, if you retain an experienced reckless driving attorney, he may be able to attend the hearing on your behalf.
- Interstate compact. Most states participate in the Interstate Driver License Compact where they share information about traffic offenses and treat traffic violation convictions and punishments the same as if they occurred in their state. Virginia is part of this compact and would forward information about your reckless driving offense to the state where you live.
We Represent Out-of-State Residents Facing Reckless Driving Charges
If you live in another state and have been charged with reckless driving in Norfolk, the experienced reckless driving attorneys at Tavss Fletcher are here to mount a strong defense to the charges you face so that you achieve the best possible outcome. To learn more about your options, call our Norfolk office to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation today.
Do I have to install an ignition interlock device on my vehicle if I am convicted of DUI?
Any person who is convicted of DUI in Virginia is required to install an ignition interlock device on his vehicle in order to obtain a restricted license. Even if this is your first offense, you will need to have one installed for at least six months. You must obtain it from an installer approved by the court.
You will also be required to enroll in the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program (VASAP), which would monitor compliance with the ignition interlock device requirements. During this time period, you would be prohibited from driving any vehicle that is not equipped with this system.
What Is an Ignition Interlock Device?
An ignition interlock device is similar to a breathalyzer test, but it is installed on your vehicle. Once installed, you must blow into the device so that your blood alcohol content (BAC) is measured before starting your engine. If your BAC is over 0.02 percent, the engine will not start.
The device can also require a retest every 20 to 30 minutes while the vehicle is being driven, and this is referred to as a “rolling test.” Its purpose is to ensure that you do not consume alcohol after starting the engine. If you fail the test, an alarm and flashing lights would go off until the engine is shut off.
The device will also contain an electronic log that records breathalyzer test results. You would be required to submit the printout from the electronic to your VASAP case manager.
Who Pays the Costs of an Ignition Interlock Device?
You would be required to pay the cost for installing and maintaining the ignition interlock device. It must be monitored and calibrated on a monthly basis. Currently, the court-approved companies are not charging an installation fee, but this could change. The monthly maintenance fees are between $60 and $80.
If you have been charged with DUI in Norfolk, you need an experienced DUI attorney on your side. To learn about our extensive experience helping clients charged with DUI and how we can assist you, fill out our online form to schedule your free initial consultation.
What types of evidence do I need in my reckless driving case?
When you face reckless driving charges, you need to mount a strong defense to the charges you face. A strong defense can help reduce the chances that you will be convicted of a misdemeanor offense that carries serious penalties that often result in a permanent criminal record. This is done through the presentation of evidence that supports your defenses. To present effective defenses that get you results, you need the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Evidence That Can Help Fight Reckless Driving Charges
A lawyer can help identify the evidence that is needed and collect it. Here are some common types of evidence that may be beneficial:
- Calibration. When your reckless driving charges are based on speeding, a speedometer calibration can help you prove what speed you were going. If you were charged with traveling at close to 80 miles per hour, or 20 miles over the speed limit, GPS data along with a speedometer calibration can raise serious doubts that you were driving recklessly.
- Witness testimony. There are many different grounds for reckless driving charges in Virginia. Depending on the specific charge that you face, the testimony of witnesses—especially neutral bystanders—can help show that you were not driving recklessly.
- Problems with signs. You can only be expected to travel at a speed that is posted. If a sign is missing, damaged, or obscured, photographs of this can help establish that you legitimately did not realize that you were speeding.
- Traffic camera footage. In some cases—such as if you were not the driver or are accused of passing a stopped school bus near an intersection—traffic camera footage can help you prove that you did nothing wrong.
How Your Commitment to Safe Driving Can Help
While not a defense per se, showing your commitment to safe driving through a clean driving record up to the time of your reckless driving charges can be used when asking the judge to be lenient during a plea agreement or sentencing. Even if you have some problems with your driving record, successfully completing a driver improvement class can help.
Let Us Build a Strong Defense to the Charges You Face
The experienced criminal defense attorneys at Tavss Fletcher are here to assist you in building a strong defense to the reckless driving charges that you face. To learn more about effective defenses and the evidence you will need, call our Norfolk office today to schedule your free initial consultation.
Will my reckless driving conviction affect my ability to obtain a green card?
If you are applying for a green card in an attempt to become a U.S. citizen, you may be worried if you are charged with reckless driving. While a reckless driving conviction may not automatically preclude you from obtaining a green card, it can be a problem. That is why it is crucial to retain an experienced reckless driving attorney to help you avoid the harsh penalties associated with a reckless driving conviction and its effect on your application for a green card.
How a Reckless Driving Conviction May Impact Your Green Card Application
Some people are under the mistaken impression that reckless driving is a traffic ticket. However, reckless driving can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony in Virginia. On the application for a green card, you will be asked if you were "arrested, charged, indicted, convicted, fined, or imprisoned for breaking or violating any law or ordinance, excluding traffic violations." This means that you would need to disclose a reckless driving conviction on your application whereas you would not be required to do so if you received a traffic ticket, such as for speeding.
Certain criminal convictions would automatically disqualify you for a green card. They are serious crimes that include the following:
- Sexual abuse of a minor
- Drug or gun trafficking
- Child pornography
Fortunately, you are not automatically disqualified from getting a green card if you are convicted of reckless driving. Its effect on your application will depend on the circumstances surrounding the charges you face. If you seriously injured another person, this was a second or subsequent offense, or drugs were involved in your reckless driving, a conviction could be a serious concern. However, when this was your first offense and you otherwise have a clean criminal record, it may not impact as much on your application.
Contact Our Firm for Assistance
Our experienced reckless driving attorneys can help you build a strong defense to the reckless driving charges you face that may result in their dismissal or reduction to a less serious offense, such as a speeding ticket. When you are applying for a green card, this may allow you to complete the application without having to disclose a reckless driving conviction. To learn more about how we can help, call our Fairfax office to schedule your free initial consultation.
What are the safety concerns surrounding Palcohol?
Drinkers who are looking for an easy and convenient way to knock back a few may look into using Palcohol, a powdered alcohol substance that is set to hit the stores in the summer of 2015.
This freeze-dried alcohol, which is available in five different flavors, turns into a mixed drink when water is added. Although this may sound like a dream come true for those who wish to consume alcohol on hiking or camping trips, others are doubtful of its safety.
Palcohol: It is Safe to Use?
The makers of Palcohol praise its convenience and claim it is just as safe as conventional liquid alcohol. Others, however, are more critical of the product and its safety for consumers, and here’s why:
- The potential for overdose is high. Since the alcohol is in powder form, critics worry that consumers will inhale the powder, which can offer an immediate high. Additionally, they fear that youngsters and others will eat the powder itself, which could end up in overdose. In fact, the company claims consumers can sprinkle the powder on their food for an “extra kick.”
- Palcohol is easily accessible. A child may know not to drink alcohol, but what about eating it? A youngster could easily confuse the powder with sugar or another edible substance and ingest the product. Although the company claims ingesting the powder isn’t pleasurable because it turns gummy when mixed with saliva, the child could still feel the effects of the alcohol even if he stops eating it after a few bites.
- Drinking and driving is now easier. Some critics fear that drivers will be able to get away with drinking alcohol when behind the wheel more easily with Palcohol, which could result in more deadly crashes.
Do You Have Questions About Your Rights?
If the driver who hit you and caused injuries was under the influence of Palcohol or other alcohol, you may have a claim. The attorneys of Tavss Fletcher want to help you find out. Contact us today to speak with a legal professional about your situation.
Who doesn’t have to buckle up behind the wheel in Virginia?
After an officer pulled you over for speeding on Rte. 60, he issued you two tickets: one for speeding and the other for your 16-year-old daughter who was riding in the front passenger seat without a belt. Although you know the importance of wearing the safety gear, you didn’t think to check that your daughter was buckled up. Now you’re facing fines.
Who Isn’t Required to Wear a Seat Belt?
This has left you wondering: is every driver required to wear a seatbelt in Virginia? As a driver, are you responsible for your passengers buckling up? Virginia law says that, while you are liable for underage passengers who are not wearing seatbelts, passengers over age 17 are responsible for themselves and could be ticketed for not wearing a seatbelt. While it is always safer to be bucked up, the truth is, not every driver is required to wear a seatbelt. Some exceptions to the law are:
- People with medical reasons aren’t obliged to buckle up. Those for whom a licensed physician determines that they are medically incapable of wearing seatbelts are pardoned from doing so.
- Law-enforcement officers. When law enforcement officers are transporting people in custody or are traveling in circumstances in which wearing a safety belt is impractical, they aren’t required to buckle up.
- Certain professional deliverers. Those who are actively delivering mail for the United States Postal Service and those who are performing duties as newspaper route carriers, newspaper bundle haulers, or newspaper rack carriers are exempt from wearing seat belts.
- Other drivers and passengers. Taxi cab drivers and passengers, along with certain personnel of public works, don’t have to wear seatbelts when driving or being transported in such vehicles.
Do You Need Help With an Alleged Driving Infraction?
If you’ve been wrongly accused of driving without wearing a seatbelt or are facing another driving infraction, the legal team of Tavss Fletcher may be able to help. Contact us today to speak with an experienced attorney about your situation and find out if we can help.
Do I really need to hire a lawyer for my work zone accident? What will one do for me?
The construction work on N. Shore Rd. seems like it has gone on forever, and it doesn’t look like it will stop anytime soon. You’ve passed by the work zone hundreds of times to and from your job and never had any problems with it, until today, that is.
Misplaced cones caused you to drive into the guardrail. As a result, your airbags deployed and you suffered injuries. You were taken to Sentara Leigh Hospital where you received treatment for your injuries and underwent lots of expensive testing.
Thinking of Fighting Alone? You May Want to Think Again
The insurance company will attempt to nickel and dime you when it comes to a settlement. Not only will a representative not give you the compensation you deserve now, but you likely won’t get enough to cover problems that happen in the future because of your injuries. When you hire a law firm, however, they will go the extra mile to help you, by:
- Dealing with your medical bills and paperwork so you can focus on recovery, not fighting with an insurance company that doesn’t have your best interests in mind.
- Collect evidence, work with experts, interview witnesses, and speak with investigators to help build your case and present compelling evidence to the judge and jury so that you have a better chance of winning.
- Answer your legal questions and track your deadlines so that you have one less thing on your mind and feel confident in your case.
Don’t Trust the Insurance Company to Give You What You Deserve
The insurance company doesn’t have your best interests in mind, but the legal team of Tavss Fletcher does. Contact us today to learn what we can do so that you can get over your injury and on with your life again.
Is there a link between Daylight Savings Time and road rage?
The saying “fall back, spring forward,” was created as a way for folks to remember the rules of Daylight Savings Time: in the fall, we turn out timepieces back an hour, and in the spring, we change the clocks forward by an hour. However, most people would agree they don’t necessarily feel very “springy” after losing an hour of sleep.
Studies conducted over the years have revealed that Daylight Savings Time affects people in a variety of different ways. Folks tend to have more heart attacks during the first three days after the spring time change, and an increase of car accidents typically occurs.
Does Daylight Savings Time Cause Road Rage?
Daylight Savings Time can also alter motorists’ personalities. People respond to lack of sleep in different ways, and sometimes, it brings out the worst in them:
- Irritability. You were traveling along SR 168 when a driver cut you off. You’re already feeling tired because of the time change, and this person almost caused you to get into an accident. Because you lost an hour’s worth of sleep last night, you’re on edge and this motorist is about to take you all the way over it. Daylight Savings Time triggers this type of reaction in many drivers, and when their tempers take the best of them, the result is road-rage-fueled accidents.
- Loss of focus. No one is perfect and on this day you proved it. You accidentally ran through a stop sign and almost caused a serious accident. The time change has left you drowsy and groggy, which is likely why you missed seeing the sign. The driver you almost struck was livid, and decided to follow you for a few miles while honking his horn. Both the cause and the effect of this situation were likely the result of the time change.
We Can Help
If you were injured in an accident in the Virginia Beach area caused by an irresponsible or angry driver, you may be eligible to receive compensation that can cover your vehicle repairs, medical expenses, and time away from work. The legal team of Tavss Fletcher wants to help. Contact us today to learn what we can do for you.
Can I get out of being charged with driving on a suspended license?
You just enjoyed a wonderful trip with your family to the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk. On your way home, as you were traveling on 460, a police officer pulled you over for speeding. Upon running your license and registration, he informed you that you shouldn’t have been driving to begin with: your license was suspended.
An acquaintance of yours experienced the same sort of situation and ended up paying large fines and spending time in jail. Will this happen to you?
Defenses for Driving on a Suspended License
Before you lose hope, know that some defenses for driving on a suspended license exist, and they include:
- You didn’t receive a notice of suspension. If you didn’t receive a notice in the mail that your license was suspended, you may not have known that it was. If you moved without informing the Department of Motor Vehicles or the notice was simply lost in the mail, a judge may not convict you because you simply had no way of knowing about the license suspension.
- You were stopped without probable cause. A police officer can’t pull you over simply because he wants to; he has to have probable cause to do so. You have to perform an action that is unlawful, such as driving through a traffic light or displaying signs of intoxication. If you can prove that the officer didn’t have probable cause to pull you over, the court should not allow evidence related to the suspended status of your license to be admitted into evidence for the state.
Tavss Fletcher Can Help
Attempting to represent yourself in such a matter will likely end in harsh penalties. Instead of taking on the extra stress and pressure, allow an experienced legal professional to do the job for you.
Tavss Fletcher has helped many drivers in the Norfolk area with their legal matters and may be able to do the same for you.
I see a lot of drivers use the shoulder as a passing lane. Isn’t this dangerous?
About once a week, when you’re stuck in rush hour traffic, you see at least one person bypass the congestion by driving on the shoulder. This infuriates you because not only is it illegal, but that kind of reckless driving could make traffic worse if it causes an accident. Then again, there are days that you wish you could do the exact same thing, but you’re worried about the dangers.
The AAA Foundation estimates that 12% of all interstate highway deaths result from shoulder accidents. In other words, 600 people a year are needlessly killed and thousands more are injured due to the misuse of highway shoulders. Some of these victims obeyed emergency laws and used the shoulder for safety. Instead of continuing to drive during an emergency situation, they pulled off the highway, thinking they’d be safer on the shoulder. Unfortunately, poor decisions by other drivers turned their lawful actions into horrific accidents.
Shoulder Passing Stupidity
If shoulders are supposed to be a safe place to pull off for emergencies, as stated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, why are so many people dying? The answer to this question is actually sadder than you may think. Over 90% of these deaths occur because other motorists, for whatever reason, use the shoulder as their own personal passing lanes.
When stuck in traffic, or behind a slow-moving vehicle, some motorists decide that their time is more precious than the drivers around them. Instead of obeying traffic laws, they use the empty shoulder as an easy way to pass slow traffic. However, when traveling at speeds close to 60 mph, the shoulder can quickly become hazardous.
If you’ve ever wondered whether or not it would be a good idea to drive on the shoulder, remember these potential shoulder risks:
- Emergency pullovers blocking the lane. Due to the speed at which you’re traveling, it can be difficult to see stopped cars, let alone the drivers who are bent over changing tires, calling a tow truck, or comforting their children. If you can’t see them, you can’t avoid causing a disastrous collision.
- Pedestrian accidents. Since the shoulder is used for emergency situations, there is the potential that pedestrians are standing near their cars to wait for assistance.
- Driver confusion. Drivers don’t expect to see cars driving on the shoulder; this confusion can lead some drivers to swerve toward you or to completely ignore your presence when you’re attempting to reenter traffic.
- Road rage. Never underestimate the danger of anger and frustration. By using the shoulder to pass traffic, you’re basically telling the drivers you pass that you’re more important than them. This is a bad idea when they’re already stressed and tense from sitting in a back-up. Some drivers may even take that rage and focus it on you by moving in front of you, blocking you, or running you off the road altogether.
- Re-entering collisions. If you successfully manage to pass traffic without road rage incidents or encountering shoulder hazards, you still must be able to re-enter traffic. If you’re not careful, the few seconds it will take to match highway speed could be your last.
Staying Safe Before and After a Shoulder Collision
You’re a smart person who knows that you should always obey traffic laws. However, other motorists aren’t so inclined to put caution and security above their egos. Unfortunately, their ignorance can put you and your family in jeopardy.
If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a shoulder accident, contact us today. We can help ensure that you get the compensation your injuries deserve. Don’t let your insurance company make you pay for someone else’s mistake. Call now!
Do you want to protect your friends and family from a highway shoulder accident? You can use your social media connections to make sure they have the knowledge and resources they need to stay safe and make good decisions. Simply click the Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus icons to keep your loved ones safe and our roads clear.
How can I tell if I’m too drunk to drive and need a designated driver?
Your 21st birthday was an absolute riot. Your buddies met you on Granby and took you on an epic pub crawl. First you stopped at the Vineyards Norfolk where your pals bought you a few shots, then you had a few pints at Mo and O’Malley’s, and finally wound up at the Norfolk Tap Room. The Tap Room, however, is where the evening took its downturn.
Around 1:45 a.m., right before last call, your best friend informed you that he had to take your keys away from you, and that he would be driving you home. You looked at him with a mix of confusion and defiance when you told him you’d be driving yourself. He tried to laugh off your remark, and told you that he promised your mom that he’d be the designated driver.
As soon as he mentioned your mom, you flew off the handle, and shouted to him (and the entire bar), that you were an adult, and could make your own “deslesions.” Besides, you’re the best judge of whether or not you’re too drunk to drive, right?
Signs That You Need a DD
No matter how much you may think you are sober enough to drive, if someone suggests that you should call a cab or have a DD (designated driver), take his word for it. It’s hard to notice signs that you’re becoming too impaired to drive, especially when you’ve been drinking. Therefore, when someone else notices that you shouldn’t be behind a wheel, let his opinion decide for you.
If you’re otherwise not sure if you should be driving, but are experiencing the following symptoms, it’s best for everyone for you to call a DD:
- Slurring speech
- Walking erratically
- Falling down
- Running into stationary objects or people
- Blurred vision
- Numbness in arms, legs and fingers
All of the above symptoms can be dangerous when your traveling on your own to feet, let alone in a metal box moving at 70 mph.
Don’t allow a stupid decision to ruin the rest of your life and the lives of others. Don’t drink and drive…period! This is why it is always a good idea to have a designated driver or cab fare whenever you go out drinking. Time is the only thing that can reverse the effects of alcohol. Don’t get behind the wheel unless you’ve given your body enough time to flush out the amount of alcohol you’ve consumed—it’s safer for everyone and smarter for you.
Already been injured by a drunk driver and need advice about your car accident claim? Contact us today for a consultation and more information about how our experience can help you and your family.
Help make a difference by sharing this article with your friends, family, co-workers and Facebook pals. So often things that don’t matter get posted, reposted, and talked about. Just this once, help us spread information that can truly make a difference. Share now and help us keep our roads clear and our families safe.