In Virginia, traffic violations are categorized as either traffic infractions or crimes. Traffic infractions are classified as either moving violations or nonmoving violations. Examples of moving violations include red light violations, minor speeding violations, and highway sign violations. The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, or DMV, assigns demerit points on your driver’s license for a moving violation. As a result, your car insurance rates will likely increase. Nonmoving violations, such as high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) violations, driving with expired license plates or vehicle registration, or having illegally tinted windows, do not result in a point assessment and usually do not affect your car insurance rates. Either way, it’s not necessary for the Commonwealth to prove intent where traffic infractions are concerned.
Crimes, on the other hand, are much more serious matters. Hit-and-run accidents, reckless driving, and driving with a suspended or revoked license are all crimes. Like moving violations, these crimes also result in demerit points, but convictions can also lead to jail sentences, fines, and even the suspension of your driver’s license. Your insurance premiums will almost surely be affected. It’s essential that you take these crimes very seriously and speak to an attorney as soon as possible.
Following a charge for a traffic infraction, you have the option of simply paying the fine and court costs, which typically allow you to avoid a court appearance. However, if a crime is involved, the defendant must appear in court. A driver who has accumulated too many demerit points in too short a period of time (usually one year) due to traffic infractions or crimes will be placed on driving probation by the DMV. If he or she gets another ticket during this period of probation, DMV will suspend his or her driver’s license for 30, 45 or 90 days, depending on how many points the new ticket carries. Insurance companies will not insure a driver whose license has been suspended, and this lapse in coverage usually results in higher premiums down the line. One of the ways a traffic offenses attorney can benefit their client is by negotiating with the prosecutor (or in some cases, the police officer or the judge) to amend the charge to one that carries fewer demerit points.
Of course, sometimes it may be more cost-effective for a driver to simply pay their fine rather than hire an attorney to handle the case. Keep in mind, however, that points and penalties can add up to compromise your freedom and driving privileges in the future. It’s a good idea to contact a knowledgeable traffic attorney to lean more about how the law applies to your own situation and what options you may have moving forward.
B.R. Hicks handles all kinds of traffic violations, including but not limited to those involving:
Contact Mr. Hicks today to schedule a free consultation with a knowledgeable traffic violations lawyer. If he doesn’t think you need to hire an attorney, he’ll let you know. He is not interested in wasting your time. If, however, he thinks you may benefit from legal representation, he’ll advise you on how to proceed. He has decades of experience assisting Virginia drivers in traffic violations matters, and he’s fully prepared to provide you with trusted and effective legal guidance today.