Motor carrier drivers and the companies employing them to work on Virginia roadways need to be aware of the fact that any violation of the laws concerning truck transportation within the Commonwealth is considered very serious and will have the potential to bring substantial monetary fines and penalties.
Virginia overweight truck tickets can be particularly onerous in terms of the financial sanctions they yield, and it is therefore important for those subjected to such citations to know that it is often possible to successfully contest them in court. Enlisting the help of a traffic lawyer in Virginia who understands the nuances of this distinct area of law is the best way to seek relief from the often exceptionally high costs of overweight truck tickets.
In essence, an overweight citation in Virginia will be issued if a motor carrier is found to be driving a vehicle that has exceeded the weight limits statutorily imposed by Virginia Code 46.2-1133. Determination of acceptable weight is made based on consideration of a vehicle’s number of axles and also the length of the span between them.
Generally speaking, a citation of this type will be directed towards the trucking company owner or any other individual(s) deemed responsible for the violation, something which will be determined by the agent or officer who issues it.
Payment of fines stemming from Virginia overweight truck tickets are collectible by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), and the agency is not empowered to adjust or waive any penalties assessed.
Considering that overweight fines regularly total several thousand dollars per offense, it is vital that motor carrier operators realize that processes for contesting the tickets are in place and readily available to them.
While it is certainly true that those who have received overweight citations in Virginia have the right to fight the assessment in court, time is of the essence in terms of preserving the ability to do so.
If a ticketed party does not render payment in full of the assessed fine within 21 calendar days of receipt or alternatively does not submit a written Notice to Elect to Contest request to the DMV within the same time period, that entity’s privileges to operate a motor carrier on Virginia roadways will be suspended. A reinstatement fee will attach and it is possible that subject vehicles will be detained within the Commonwealth until remittance is made.
Provided that notice of intent to do so is filed within 21 calendar days of receipt of the citation, motor carriers are free to contest their penalty assessment. The DMV will then process such a request and provide written notification within five business days that the matter has been referred to the appropriate court for trial. Treated as a civil matter, a case involving an overweight citation can be contested in a number of ways.
For instance, an attorney in Virginia may be able to demonstrate that the vehicle in question was improperly weighed by faulty equipment or that a computational error was made by a compliance agent. It may also be possible to present evidence showing that the documentation of the alleged violation was insufficient to justify the penalty.
Given the considerable sanctions that Virginia overweight truck tickets can yield, it is crucial that truck drivers and motor carrier companies alike realize that aggressive legal advocacy on their behalf is within arm’s reach.
To learn about how an attorney with our firm can help you contest a potentially costly overweight truck citation in the Commonwealth, contact us today.
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