Whether you are facing a speeding ticket, charges for reckless driving, or a DUI, you may encounter some harsh consequences if found guilty. From the financial fallout of increased insurance rates and fines to a license suspension and jail time, you may experience many unanticipated ramifications of a traffic offense conviction. A McLean traffic lawyer could work to minimize some of these potential outcomes while building a case in your defense. More importantly, a seasoned criminal defense attorney could help protect your rights and advocate on your behalf.
When an individual receives a ticket or faces charges for traffic offenses, they may receive points on their license that could affect their ability to drive. The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) issues demerit points to a driver depending on the severity of the offense. Drivers accrue marks on their license in three, four, or six-point increments.
For instance, if a motorist receives a speeding ticket for going five miles over the posted limit, it may result in the assessment of three demerit points. DUI offenses, however, may lead to six demerit points.
All marks on an individual’s license remain on their records for two years. Additionally, demerit points may lead to significant increases in motor vehicle insurance premiums.
Individuals may be able to attend driver improvement courses to earn safe driving points, which could remove demerit points from their record. A McLean traffic attorney could explain the points system to an individual and how it may impact their ability to drive
Some traffic offenses are mere tickets, which are civil violations whose sole punishment is a fine. Others are criminal charges, which can be misdemeanor or felony offenses, depending on the nature of the crime. Regardless of the level of the offense, multiple charges can have substantial financial effects and may lead to license suspension.
Some examples of misconduct that could result in a ticket include speeding, running red lights, and failing to yield. A traffic ticket carries no possibility of jail time. However, it can result in increased insurance premiums, and demerit points added a driver’s license.
Misdemeanor traffic offenses that are generally more serious include operating a motor vehicle on a suspended or revoked license, DUI, and reckless driving. Motorists convicted of these offenses may serve jail time in addition to receiving fines and demerit points. These drivers also may face other consequences, such as license suspension and required completion of driver improvement programs.
In some cases, drivers commit offenses that are so severe that they merit felony charges. Crimes that usually are misdemeanor offenses also may rise to felony charges if a driver has one or more prior convictions. For instance, a third-offense DUI or a hit and run accident in which others are seriously injured or may result in felony charges.
The penalties for felonies are far more significant than those for misdemeanors. Felony offenses may carry the potential for a prison sentence greater than one year, as well as thousands of dollars in fines. A McLean lawyer with experience litigating traffic cases could represent an individual if they are facing a felony offense.
While some traffic offenses may seem minor, they can have harsh consequences. A McLean traffic lawyer could help you if law enforcement has accused of violating the rules of the road. To get started on your case, call today.
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