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Traffic Offenses in Richmond

Richmond prosecutes traffic offenses vigorously. Therefore, it is important to understand what actions constitute a misdemeanor and what actions constitute a felony, as misdemeanors and felonies will have different consequences. If you find yourself facing traffic charges, an experienced Richmond traffic lawyer will be able to represent you in court, and could potentially diminish your charges, or even have them dropped.

Types of Traffic Offenses in Richmond

Traffic offenses in Richmond can range from a speeding ticket to a red light ticket to a reckless driving ticket.

Reckless driving tickets are more serious than one might think. Reckless driving charges in Virginia are Class 1 misdemeanors, which means that they are a criminal offense and carry the possibility of a jail sentence, a license suspension, and up to a $2,500 fine.

A lawyer can help with any traffic case. In Richmond, a traffic attorney can typically negotiate with the prosecutors involved in the case as well as with the judges directly. Sometimes they may be able to get a case reduced or subsequently dismissed.

Potential Penalties

A traffic infraction in Richmond can have significant penalties, depending on what type of infraction it is. It can result in a high fine, a possible license suspension if a person has a bad driving record, and an increased insurance rate which can affect an individual’s ability to drive, particularly if they have a CDL.

A traffic infraction will be considered a misdemeanor criminal offense if an individual is charged with reckless driving. Reckless driving ranges from driving on the roadways in a manner that puts others at risk to driving 20 miles or more over the speed limit, or above 80.

A traffic infraction or a traffic-related charge will be considered a felony if it is related to a habitual offender violation. If the person is considered a habitual offender in the state of Virginia or has multiple DUI offenses, the charge related to driving would most likely result in felony.

How the Point System Works

Richmond operates under the uniform demerit point system which is governed by the DMV. For every moving violation a person receives, points are assessed based on the severity of the charge.

For instance, a reckless driving charge carries up to six DMV demerit points while a speeding ticket for going 1 to 9 miles over the speed limit carries three demerit points. The demerit points typically vary between three to six points, depending on the charge.

Possible Defense Strategies

The defense strategies on a traffic charge could include challenging the officers’ radar equipment. Officers are required to provide information about their radar device if it is a speeding ticket. If it is an issue regarding an accident, attorneys can show that the individual was not at fault. They can also prepare evidence toward mitigation, such as a person going to driving school that courts will sometimes take into consideration to reduce, or even possibly dismiss, a criminal charge.

If a person’s license is suspended by a court in Richmond, the only option they have would be to appeal the charge to circuit court. Otherwise, there is not much that can be done.

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