It is easy to forget that traffic violations are recorded and can accumulate as criminal charges on a person’s record. Traffic offenses in Alexandria can be anything from a parking ticket to a moving violation and other vehicular charges.
You probably were not operating your vehicle with the intent to commit a crime, but Virginia police are extremely tough on traffic violations and catch unsuspecting drivers all the time. If you are facing traffic-related offenses, contact an Alexandria criminal lawyer today to begin building your defense and to keep your driving record clean.
In Alexandria, the most common traffic infractions are speeding charges. If somebody is speeding 20 miles or more over the speed limit, they can be charged with reckless driving, which is a misdemeanor offense, but many people do not know the seriousness of the charge. They think that if they are charged with speeding, then the prosecutors cannot amend the charge to a misdemeanor offense when the prosecutor can absolutely amend the charge if they are so inclined.
Additionally, there are charges such as failure to yield resulting in an accident. This can have significant effects on one’s insurance and could garner a driver negative points on their Virginia driver’s license. Charges for these kinds of traffic infractions in Virginia carry a $250 fine.
Traffic infractions in Alexandria can be punished by up to $250 or $350 in fines plus court costs, depending on the charge. Although, certainly, if one’s infraction occurs in a special zone–for example, a school zone, work zone, or safety corridor–the fines and fees can double and there are other provisions that can impact the severity of a driver’s infraction. For example, if the driver only holds a learner’s permit or is under the age of 18, they will have other elements that would apply to their traffic infractions if found guilty.
If someone is charged with a traffic infraction, for example, speeding 20 miles or more over the speed limit, the actual speeding charge is the charged infraction. However, the police could also charge that person with reckless driving for anything 20 miles or more over the speed limit or any speed over 80 miles per hour. Reckless driving is considered a misdemeanor offense in Virginia, and so that infraction will be on a person’s criminal record, which is much more serious than a traffic infraction.
The police officers are free to charge it as an infraction instead and charge someone driving recklessly only with speeding, but there is a potential that if a driver is 20 miles or more over the speed limit, that person could be charged with a misdemeanor reckless driving.
There are several situations where a traffic infraction can be considered a felony. For example, if an individual is in an accident, leaves the scene of the accident, and the damage to the vehicle is $1,000 or more, or if an individual is in an accident, leaves the scene of the accident, and there has been an injury sustained by a passenger or someone in the other vehicle, that is considered a felony offense. The act of fleeing the scene elevates the accident to a much more serious criminal status.
A traffic lawyer can help at every stage of the traffic infraction. When a driver is first given a ticket, they can call an Alexandria traffic attorney and the attorney can tell that person exactly what to expect in court and what is likely to happen in the case. Certainly, the attorney can tell someone what effect this will have on Virginia license points and whether or not one’s insurance will go up as a result. A traffic lawyer can tell the individual how long the charge will stay attached to their license if convicted and what effect that will have on their ability to continue driving in Virginia. An attorney can also talk about what fines or court costs may result from one’s infraction should the driver decide to fight it.
If you have been cited with traffic violations in Alexandria, do not waste time in contacting a successful Alexandria traffic lawyer to fight the charges against you and help protect your mobility and clean record on Virginia roads.