The following is what you should know about the enforcement of traffic laws in and around the Virginia Beach area. If you are facing a traffic charge or citation, especially reckless driving, it is important you consult with a lawyer in Virginia Beach as soon as possible.
Virginia Beach is the city that is farthest east in the Hampton Roads area. It is a popular tourist location because it borders the Atlantic Ocean and has a lot of beaches and a long boardwalk. It is part of the south side of Hampton Roads and it’s about two hours away from Richmond and about four or five hours away from Washington DC.
There are not many highways going through Virginia Beach. The main one is Interstate 264 which goes west from the city of Norfolk right up until it hits the water. Interstate 64 goes through a small piece of Virginia Beach near Norfolk as well.
Traffic laws are absolutely heavily enforced in Virginia Beach. Some violations are charged as criminal offenses. Some examples of these are reckless driving, DUIs, and driving on a suspended license. All of these offenses are class 1 misdemeanors for the first offense. Class 1 misdemeanors are punishable by up to twelve months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. The difference between a traffic violation and a criminal charge is that traffic conviction impacts only someone’s DMV record while a criminal conviction for reckless driving impacts the DMV record as well as results in a permanent criminal record.
A criminal record can have an effect on other aspects as well such as someone’s career including security clearances, their ability to obtain housing or student loans, and insurance rates amongst other things. A criminal charge is a very big deal that should be taken seriously by anyone charge because the long term effects can be life changing.
One very common misconception about reckless driving in Virginia Beach is the belief that it is just a traffic offense rather than a criminal offense. Many times the officers will be really quick with issuing the summons and having the driver sign it and don’t offer a lot of explanation, so the driver can be surprised to look at what they believe is a ticket and see that it’s actually a reckless driving charge.
The reason for this mistake is often because these charges are treated very similarly and someone unaware of the differences between a criminal charge and traffic charge could easily miss the differences if they have already experienced the regular speeding ticket before. Reckless driving in court is typically heard along with the speeding and traffic cases and is handled in court exactly the same way.
So, people make this mistake often and it can be very costly in the long term. The differences between a traffic conviction on a DMV record and a criminal conviction on a criminal record is pretty big.
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