The costs of receiving even one traffic ticket can be high, so you might think twice before admitting guilt and mailing in your fine. Between the fine for the ticket, increased insurance premium for the next few years, and steadily accumulating points on your license, even a single traffic ticket can be costly. When you receive a traffic ticket, you may wish to consult a Manassas traffic lawyer for advice first.
In some cases, there may be defenses available to the traffic ticket that you have received. Rather than risk losing your license due to accruing too many points within a specific period, you may wish to explore all your options before giving up hope.
An experienced attorney can explain the various alternatives for resolving your ticket and help you select the solution that is right for you.
Some traffic violations are more severe than others. For regular traffic infractions or moving violations, individuals can admit guilt and pay the ticket without appearing in court. Even so, the court sends notice of all traffic tickets to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), which adds them to driving records.
Each traffic ticket results in the accrual of three, four, or six demerits points on driving records, depending on the seriousness of the offense. An excellent example of the differences in demerit points is a speeding ticket. The points that the DMV assigns as a result of a speeding ticket are:
Six-point offenses are those that have serious consequences, such as reckless driving and DUI. Three-point violations, on the other hand, include the least severe traffic violations, such as making an improper U-turn.
Individuals who accumulate too many demerit points on their driving records within a specific period may be subject to license suspension. All traffic offenses, regardless of the number of points they accrue, also can have an impact on motor vehicle insurance rates. As a result, individuals who have received a traffic ticket may wish to first talk to a traffic lawyer in Manassas about the situation before taking any further action.
Some driving offenses are so severe that they go beyond a mere traffic ticket and result in criminal charges. For instance, driving while intoxicated or while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a Class I misdemeanor under Virginia law. A conviction for this offense, according to Va. Code § 46.2-868, may result in a jail sentence of up to one year, a fine of up to $2,500, and license suspension.
Another common criminal driving offense is reckless driving. Under Va. Code § 46.2-852, various unsafe driving maneuvers can constitute reckless driving, which also is a Class 1 misdemeanor under Virginia law.
However, the charge increases to a Class 6 felony if the DMV has revoked or suspended the licenses of individuals for moving violations and the reckless driving results in death to another person.
A Class 6 felony conviction has the potential to result in a prison sentence ranging from one to five years, and a fine of up to $2,500. When facing severe charges such as these, individuals may need the help of a traffic attorney in Manassas.
Although a single traffic ticket may seem inconsequential, it can have significant repercussions for your future in many instances. One severe traffic offense may be enough to exceed the maximum number of allowable points on your driving record, increase your insurance rates, and lose your license.
If the police have given you a traffic ticket or been charged with a driving-related criminal offense, a Manassas traffic lawyer may be able to assist you in avoiding some or all these unwanted outcomes.
Working with legal counsel may be instrumental in your ability to overcome a traffic ticket or driving-related criminal charges. With legal guidance, you may be in a better position to alter the outcome of your case.
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