Out-of-town drivers may have different rules of the road in their home states, but their lack of knowledge will not be an adequate legal defense if they receive a ticket.
When you are visiting Virginia and find yourself in this situation, we are here to help. Partner with a local traffic attorney for help dealing with tickets for out-of-state drivers in Fairfax.
Fairfax County treats traffic offenses differently from other jurisdictions, mainly in how the prosecutors are involved in the cases. Because there are so many traffic cases that go through the Fairfax County court system, county prosecutors do not negotiate plea agreements with people who are not represented by an attorney (also known as “pro se defendants”).
When an out-of-state driver hopes to have their charge reduced or otherwise disposed of, they will need to have an attorney in Fairfax County, not in surrounding jurisdictions.
The state of Virginia also treats traffic offenses differently from other states because it has the uniform demerit point system. One positive “safe driving” point is given for each year that a driver holds a valid Virginia driver’s license and avoids any violations or suspensions. A local resident may accrue a maximum of five safe driving points.
Demerit points, on the other hand, are given after a traffic violation and remain valid for two years from the date of the offense. Depending on how serious they are, different violations have different point amounts.
Virginia’s point system does not translate to out-of-state licenses. Instead, those drivers will be subject to whatever point system their state has in use.
When an out-of-state driver receives a traffic ticket in Fairfax County, depending on what that charge is, Virginia could report the charge to that person’s home state. As a result, their driving record or auto insurance could be negatively affected.
To fully understand what their potential liability will be, any out-of-state driver who gets a ticket should meet with a Fairfax attorney as soon as possible.
Out-of-state drivers need to be aware that Fairfax County takes traffic offenses seriously. In fact, there are many traffic offenses that also constitute crimes or criminal misdemeanors. Failure to appear in court can bring even more severe consequences.
Fortunately, local traffic attorneys could help out-of-state drivers facing a Fairfax ticket contest it by appearing in their place. For any traffic infractions, Fairfax County allows potential offenders to appear by counsel so they do not need to travel back to fight the ticket.
It is not uncommon to see out-of-state drivers get ticketed because they do not know local laws. Being unaware of Fairfax traffic laws does not constitute a defense against any traffic infraction. For help fighting tickets for out-of-state drivers in Fairfax, contact our firm today. It is important you get representation from someone who knows how the rules work.
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