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A traffic offense may result in severe penalties that impact your ability to drive, financial situation, and job. A conviction for an offense, depending on the circumstances, may result in high fines, increased insurance premiums, and the loss of your license. As a result, you should not hesitate to contact a Newport News traffic lawyer for advice.
A skilled criminal attorney could advise you of the potential range of penalties for your traffic offense and your options for resolving the matter. With the legal advice that you need, you can weigh the pros and cons of each option and decide upon the best course of action in your case.
Although minor traffic tickets may result in only a fine, they still may have an impact on a motorist’s driving record and insurance rates. Furthermore, more serious traffic violations may constitute a criminal misdemeanor or felony offense. These offenses may result in criminal convictions that remain on a person’s record and may appear during background checks by prospective employers.
Drivers may receive traffic tickets for minor violations like speeding slightly over the limit, failing to use a turn signal, or neglecting to stop at a red light or stop sign. Additionally, some common offenses that result in criminal charges may include:
While many of these offenses are misdemeanor charges, felony charges may happen when individuals commit a traffic violation with multiple prior convictions. Furthermore, DUI or reckless driving offenses that result in bodily injury to others also may lead to felony charges. A lawyer in Newport News could be critical in defending the rights of individuals who are facing these criminal traffic charges.
Criminal charges that arise from traffic offenses can have severe consequences, depending on the severity of the charge. For instance, aggressive driving generally is a Class 2 misdemeanor, which may result in a jail sentence of up to six months and a $1,000 fine. Likewise, both reckless driving and first-time DUI offenses are Class 1 misdemeanors that carry the potential for up to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine.
Administrative penalties also accompany many of these criminal offenses. For example, a first DUI offense may result in a license suspension of up to one year, and a reckless driving conviction may cause someone to lose their driving privileges for up to six months.
Depending on the nature of the offense, individuals are likely to experience increased motor vehicle insurance premiums, and in some cases, may have to purchase high-risk coverage. A Newport News attorney could review all potential sanctions for a criminal traffic offense so that individuals are fully aware of the potential outcomes.
Both traffic tickets and criminal offenses cause the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to assess demerit points. The number of points assessed depends on the severity of the crime. Drivers may receive three, four, or six points assessed to their licensees for each separate offense.
Demerit points remain on a person’s driving record for two years from the date of assessment. Even the least amount of demerit points, such as three points for a minor speeding ticket, may result in increased insurance premiums for years. Fortunately, some drivers may be eligible to attend driver improvement courses to earn safe driving points to lower the number of demerit points on their records.
While receiving a traffic ticket may not seem like a significant problem, it still can harm your driving record and insurance rates. When you are facing criminal traffic offenses, however, the stakes are even higher. A Newport News traffic lawyer could help you defend yourself against these charges. Contact legal counsel today for the information that you need.
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