Defending Traffic Charges in Alexandria

Anyone facing charges from a routine traffic stop should consider contacting an Alexandria traffic lawyer if they have any desire to avoid added points on their license or any kind of traffic infraction on their driving record. If an individual drives for a living, they should contact an attorney. If someone does not want their insurance rate to go up, they should contact an attorney. Even if a driver simply believes they have reason to not accept charges and the fines and points that come with those charges, they should contact an attorney. There are many reasons why people facing traffic charges should contact a locally experienced lawyer who has the knowledge to build a robust defense to challenge the charges.

The best defense to a traffic offense is contacting a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible–as soon as a driver receives the ticket, or as soon as they are otherwise notified that the court date is approaching. The sooner the better, as far as being able to discuss strategy, because if there is anything that the driver can do in advance, then their attorney will likely get them started as early as they can.

Defense Strategies

The defense strategies that traffic lawyers use when defending a traffic charge really depend on what exactly the charge is.

If the infraction is a speeding charge, or the charge was a misdemeanor reckless driving offense, the attorney can prepare a defense by looking at how the officer gauged the speed. If the officer used a LIDAR or radar, an attorney will ask if the calibration was up to date, if the officer accurately caught the vehicle or if he caught somebody else’s vehicle, and if the officer was able to observe the car for the right amount of time at the correct angle. If the officers paced someone, which means they followed the vehicle to calculate its speed, did they follow at the right distance or for the right amount of time, and was their own vehicle calibrated correctly? These are all things that can be reviewed if one is charged with a speeding offense.

If someone is charged with another type of traffic infraction, the defense would certainly depend on what the elements of that infraction were. For failure to pay full time and attention, the defense attorney will look at who saw it, who the witnesses are, why the officers had cause to think that the driver was not paying full time and attention to their vehicle, and what the officers are going to testify to. Then the attorney will go ahead and take that into consideration when looking for weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case.

Challenging a License Suspension

If a person’s license is suspended, the first thing to do when attempting to challenge it is to find out why it was suspended, and who is upholding the suspension. The easiest way to do this is by asking the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles for what is called a client summary. The client summary will go ahead and list for the person exactly what the reason is that the license is suspended. If there are any actions the individual needs to take on the side of the Department of Motor Vehicles, it will list what those actions are.

If somebody’s license is suspended pursuant to having, for example, too many negative points on a license, there are certain ways that drivers can take classes to get positive points for their license, if eligible. If someone’s license is suspended pursuant to a conviction, if the person is within ten days of the conviction, they can go ahead and appeal the conviction. They can get an attorney to try to fight either the conviction itself or to try to negotiate an outcome that would impose fewer points on the license to try to avoid that suspension. If the suspension is something that is discretionary, so the prosecutor asked for the suspension but it is not mandated by the statutes, that would be a situation where, if it was in within the appropriate amount of time, the defense attorney could appeal that and attempt to work out a deal where there would not be a suspension.

If that does not work, then a defense attorney can petition in many cases for a restricted license for their client. That would be another scenario where an attorney can help someone with the suspended license situation.

Role of an Alexandria Traffic Lawyer

A criminal lawyer will work with clients and help them receive the result that they want. If somebody is charged with a traffic infraction in Alexandria, a criminal defense attorney will be able to help obtain the client’s desired outcome by using a person’s driving record and various other elements of mitigation—sometimes traffic schools, calibration certificates, or community service—to help negotiate with the prosecutor to get the client a favorable result.

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