Many people in Brunswick County would never consider talking to an attorney about a traffic violation. Others know that in the long run, any time, effort and expense invested to protect your driving privileges can be well worth it. Paying a ticket is an admission of guilt, but many people choose this route for convenience even if they are not guilty. But this approach is rarely best for numerous reasons.
At the very least, traffic violations often cause insurance rates to rise substantially, which adds expense for many years to come. In addition, if a driver is stopped for a subsequent violation after pleading guilty to an earlier offense, that driver begins to look like a habitual offender. Too many violations can lead to suspension of driving privileges.
As a result, it is typically worth your time to consult a Brunswick County traffic lawyer who could explain your options for fighting the charges and help you protect your rights and your driving privileges. A dedicated criminal defense lawyer may be able to minimize the damage to your driving record and your wallet.
With large stretches of I-85 running through Brunswick County as well as popular routes such as Route 58, law enforcement officers routinely issue a number of speeding tickets in the county.
Under Va. Code Ann. §46.2-862, a motorist driving 20 miles per hour over the speed limit may be charged with the crime of reckless driving. Those driving over 80 miles per hour face reckless driving charges regardless of the speed limit.
Reckless driving may also be charged when a driver is alleged to be exceeding “a reasonable speed under the circumstances.” under Va. Code Ann. §46.2-861.
Reckless driving is treated as a Class 1 misdemeanor and may be aggravated to a felony if the driver’s license has been revoked or suspended for a moving violation or if the reckless driving causes the death of another. This is a criminal offense rather than just a traffic violation.
Those convicted may be sentenced to up to one year of imprisonment and a fine as high as $2,500. In addition, it may not be easy to have the offense expunged from the record.
It is important to give careful consideration to citations issued for “speeding,” because they may in fact involve a criminal reckless driving charge. However, a well-versed Brunswick County traffic lawyer could advocate on an accused person’s behalf in court and review the factors surrounding the allegation to better inform an individual’s defense.
Driving while intoxicated or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is also a criminal offense with the potential for criminal penalties. Moreover, drivers who refuse to take a chemical test may face additional consequences.
A first-time offense where the driver’s blood alcohol concentration is not higher than .15 percent should be treated as a misdemeanor, although a minimum fine will apply. For a second offense or a higher BAC, a minimum term of imprisonment applies. And a DUI may be treated as a felony for a third or subsequent conviction.
We rely on our driving privileges to get to work and make life function on a daily basis. If you are charged with a traffic violation, your ability to continue to drive may be at risk.
It is wise to consult a knowledgeable Brunswick County traffic lawyer who could advise you of your options for fighting the charges. It may be possible to have consequences substantially reduced. For more information about what to expect based on the record in your case and to learn how to protect your rights, call now.