Ignoring a traffic violation is never a good idea. While many drivers are inclined to dismiss them as minor charges, a conviction on driving offenses can have lasting consequences on your life. As experienced traffic attorneys in Virginia, we encourage all of our clients to take these violations seriously and seek expert legal counsel before going to court.

Penalties for Traffic Violations in Virginia

The State of Virginia takes traffic safety seriously, and this is evident in the harsh penalties suffered by those that break the law. Even minor speeding of fewer than 10 miles per hour over the posted limit can put points on your license, which last for years and accumulate with any other offenses.

This information is shared between the legal system and the DMV, which monitors the number of points accumulated by a driver over time.

While even smaller charges can carry steep fines, individuals convicted of more serious offenses can see costs well over $1,000. Reckless driving is a serious charge in our state and is treated as a class 1 misdemeanor in court.

Exceeding the posted limit by 20mph or going over 80mph on any road is grounds for a reckless driving charge. You may also be charged with this crime if you fail to show sufficient care and prudence while behind the wheel.

Piloting a vehicle on public roads while under the influence of alcohol or any other intoxicating substance is also considered a criminal act. A person is considered intoxicated if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08 percent or greater.

First-time offenders can see up to $2,500 in fees, which increase greatly increases with additional convictions. Individuals with a BAC of 0.15 percent or more also face a minimum jail sentence of five days.

Don’t Go to Court Without a Plan

If you are facing traffic charges in Virginia, the worst thing you can do is proceed without a plan of action. Your first step towards fighting the charges is to contact a reputable and experienced traffic attorney in Chesterfield Virginia, like Law Office of David A.C. Long. Talk to an expert who understands the ins and outs of the law, so you can create a strategy to deal with the charges.

New Virginia Traffic Laws Taking Affect in Virginia

Most states have similar laws regarding common traffic violations. However, Virginia traffic laws are some of the nation’s toughest ones, as they treat speeding over 80 mph, or any speed of 20 mph or more over the speed limit, rather harshly. This kind of speeding offense is considered reckless driving, a class I misdemeanor equivalent in level to a DUI one, that carries the possibility of a suspended license, substantial fines that vary from $350 up to $ 2,500, and even jail time.

New state laws in Virginia have now changed the law regarding slow drivers, setting the fine for failing to drive on the right side of the highway or for failing to observe traffic lanes at $ 100. Furthermore, the law has now changed regarding driving on a suspended or revoked license. Suspensions can now run concurrently, meaning that if a license is suspended for any reason, and the driver is convicted of driving on a suspended license, then the two suspensions can now run at the same time.

The new state laws also changed the criminal procedure regarding the suspension of a driver’s license in cases of marijuana possession charges. Previously, these charges entailed a six-month license suspension, but as of July 1, there will be a requirement to perform 50 hours of community service instead.

Conviction of a criminal traffic offense leads to a permanent criminal record that can affect one’s future, jeopardizing prospective employment, housing, and education opportunities. That is why it is crucial to get the help of a Virginia traffic lawyer who has the relevant knowledge and experience in dealing with traffic violations. A local traffic lawyer comprehends the seriousness of this type of charges and can protect the rights of those facing them, by aiming to dismiss or reduce the charges as much as possible. In the event of a conviction, a traffic lawyer in Richmond can also give legal assistance post-conviction by explaining the obligations and restrictions that a conviction might entail, and by working to make sure the client can regain his or her full driving privileges as early as possible.