Virginia has a wide range of traffic violations, which could include everything from minor offenses to misdemeanors to felonies. Being convicted of a major traffic-related criminal offense or accumulating several minor traffic offenses may have unwanted and unexpectedly harsh consequences, some of which could adversely affect your job and your ability to drive.
If you are facing any sort of traffic-related charge, you may need to speak to a Virginia traffic lawyer to understand all of the potential consequences of a conviction before you automatically pay a ticket or plead guilty to a charge on your own.
Contact a knowledgeable attorney to learn how you may be able to avoid the potentially negative repercussions of traffic violations.
Some traffic offenses are violations or infractions under Virginia law, which means that they are neither misdemeanors nor felonies. There may be no requirement that individuals appear in court or do anything other than pay the ticket for the offense. There may be no evidence of intent required for these types of offenses; if there is proof that individuals committed the offense, then they could be guilty of it. Traffic infractions or violations may include offenses such as speeding, failing to yield, failing to use turn signals, or failing to completely stop at a stop sign or traffic light.
Depending on the circumstances, a traffic violation could be charged as misdemeanors or felonies. Less serious traffic violations are misdemeanor offenses, which carry potential penalties of up to a year in jail and stiff fines.
Reckless driving could occur pursuant to Code of Virginia § 46.2-852 whenever individuals drive recklessly or at a speed or in a manner that endangers the life or property of another. There are multiple types of acts listed in this code section that may constitute reckless driving, which is a Class 1 misdemeanor under Virginia law.
Felony offenses related to traffic violations nearly always involve injuries to others or destruction of property. Reckless driving could constitute a felony offense under Virginia law in some circumstances.
If individuals are driving without a license because it was suspended or revoked for moving violations at the time of the reckless driving, and they cause the death of another, the offense becomes a Class 6 felony offense. When traffic violations become felonies, the potential range of penalties could be far more severe, and consulting with a traffic attorney in Virginia may be a wise choice.
The only potential penalties that may result from minor traffic violations or infractions could be the costs of paying a ticket, points on individuals’ driver’s licenses, and increased insurance rates. Individuals need not appear in court so long as they pay the fine listed on their tickets.
Accumulating multiple minor traffic violations might result in more points on individuals’ licenses, which, in turn, eventually may adversely affect their ability to drive with a valid license or require them to complete driver’s safety courses.
In the case of a Class 1 misdemeanor traffic offense, such as a DUI, the potential penalties may include up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $2,500, and a six-month driver’s license suspension.
As is the case with traffic violations, there are points assessed on individuals’ driver’s licenses and insurance rates may likely increase as a result. A misdemeanor traffic offense is a criminal conviction that individuals may have to disclose on applications for jobs and professional licenses.
If reckless driving or a similar offense is charged as a felony, the penalties could be far more severe. Individuals may face anywhere from 12 months to five years in prison and a fine of up to $2,500.
A felony traffic conviction also may result in points being assessed on drivers’ licenses, driver’s license suspensions, and drastically increased vehicle insurance rates. A Virginia lawyer could help a person avoid such traffic violation penalties.
Rather than subjecting yourself to negative consequences that might affect you for years to come, consider contacting a Virginia traffic lawyer for advice before you do anything else.
Since traffic-related court cases and administrative penalties may occur quickly, do not hesitate to contact an experienced traffic offense attorney in Virginia for help in exploring your options for resolving your case.