Fredericksburg Traffic Lawyer
Traffic infractions occur every day. If you’ve received a ticket for a traffic violation, the penalties could be severe. Depending on the infraction, possible consequences for a traffic violation include fines, penalties, probation, community service, license suspension or revocation, and in the case of convictions for serious traffic offenses, even jail time. It is essential that you speak with an experienced criminal lawyer right away.
Courts take a number of factors into consideration, from the facts surrounding the violation to the number of previous violations, and the seriousness of the charged offense. Being charged with a crime is not the same as a criminal conviction, so planning your defense with a Fredericksburg traffic lawyer is your best strategy for defending your case in a court of law. En Español.
Common Traffic Infractions
Hundreds of thousands of people are ticketed for minor traffic infractions each year. By staying on top of these violations and ensuring that the ticket is appeared for in court or paid in full, a traffic court defendant can avoid serious consequences. Some of the most common infractions include:
- Improper lane usage
- Using a cell phone (texting or browsing the web while driving)
- Expired inspection sticker
- Expired registration
- Vehicle maintenance (broken light, tinted windows)
- Improper turn signal
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Failure to wear a seatbelt
- Failure to stop at a traffic control device (stop sign, traffic light, etc.)
Categories of Infractions
For more serious offenses, the stakes are higher. Petty offenses are often considered mere violations, which carry varying degrees of demerit points depending on the circumstances. More serious offenses carry with them the potential penalty of incarceration. Infractions can be broken down into three categories: violations (also called infractions), misdemeanors, and felonies.
An infraction is not typically considered a crime and should not appear on criminal background searches. Under Virginia state law, a traffic infraction is considered a violation of public order and not criminal in nature.
A misdemeanor is a criminal offense punishable by fines up to $2,500 and jail time up to twelve months, under Virginia Code §18.2-11. A felony is a criminal offense punishable by incarceration exceeding one year under Virginia Code §18.2-8.
Serious driving offenses include:
- Reckless driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol
- Aggressive driving (road rage)
- Refusing blood/breath test
- Attempting to elude police
- Vehicular manslaughter
- Use of a motor vehicle to commit a felony
- Assault with a motor vehicle
- Failure to stop at the scene of a crash
- Grand theft auto
- Open container while driving
- Operating a motor vehicle with a revoked, invalid, or suspended license
Hiring Legal Representation
If you have been charged with any type of traffic violation, contact a Fredericksburg traffic lawyer for a consultation to learn about your legal rights under Virginia law. A conviction of a traffic violation may increase your insurance premiums, adding to the cost of insurance depending on the length of time the conviction remains on your record. Having a number of traffic convictions might make it difficult for an individual to find affordable insurance.
For those who cannot obtain an outright dismissal, avoiding jail time or retaining driving privileges may be of the utmost importance. Discuss your legal goals with an attorney to prepare a plan for action (especially if you have already missed one appearance).
Hiring a Fredericksburg traffic lawyer shows that you care about your legal responsibilities and take the violation seriously. Your attorney can also assist with clearing prior suspensions and reinstating license privileges. Contact a local lawyer now for more information.