A traffic violation can be as minor as failing to signal when changing lanes or as serious as reckless endangerment. By law, these infractions are considered criminal offenses because they put people in danger. Most people know that traffic violations are a common occurrence, but few people realize how devastating a traffic violation can be and many people wrongly assume that such matters will not require legal services. In the Commonwealth of Virginia, traffic offenses are vigorously prosecuted and had can create havoc in your professional and personal life. Drivers run the risk of a suspended license and notification of a conviction on their driving record, which can affect their insurance premiums. Some seemingly simple traffic violations can result in the far more serious reckless driving charge, and repeat offenses can result in a criminal conviction and record.
Naum Estevez Law Firm, PLLC can assist you in all of these traffic matters, and many more. Whether you’re are a college or university student, hold a Commercial Driving License (CDL) or require military security clearance, we have the experience needed to fight for your rights and reputation. If you are facing such charges, the decision you make as to which lawyer you choose to represent your legal rights is a critical one at this point in your life. Make sure you choose an attorney who is passionate and well-qualified.
Virginia Traffic Violations and Your Driving Record
How long a conviction stays on your record depends on the severity of your violation. If you are found guilty and receive an order of revocation, suspension, disqualification, or cancellation of your driving privileges, that conviction could remain on your record for longer than the time that is normally attached to the conviction.
The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has a demerit point system that attaches a value, or assesses points against your license, following each conviction. These points can remain on your record for a few or many years, depending on the severity of the violation.
Your insurance company may also arbitrarily assign points on your insurance record. They are established by each individual company and do not follow the formula for the DMV demerit point system. However, they can remain on your insurance company’s record for many years. And that means higher rates that you could continue paying long after the DMV demerit points have been removed from their records.
A Few Examples of Traffic Violations and DMV Demerit Points
The following are a few examples of the demerit points for Virginia driving traffic violations. They are grouped by the number of DMV demerit points and length of time they remain on your driving record. For a complete list of violations and their demerit points, visit the “Points and Violations” section of the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles Website.
Six Point Violations – With a few exceptions, these violations remain on your driving record for 11 years:
• Reckless driving
• Driving while intoxicated
• Driving after being declared a habitual offender
• Driving on suspended license
Four Point Violations – Generally remain on your driving record for five years:
• Speeding 10-19 over the posted speed limit
• Passing when unsafe
• Failure to yield right of way
Three Point Violations – Normally remain on your driving record for three years:
• Improper Driving
• Failure to obey highway sign
• No Virginia driver’s license
Reckless Driving and other Major Driving Violations
Reckless driving charges stem from serious traffic violations. While some of these offenses—such as driving in excess of 20 mph over the posted limit—are common and well-known, other reckless driving statutes are complicated and somewhat subjective. Please see our Reckless Driving page for more information on Reckless Driving.
The ramifications of a speeding ticket can vary depending on the speed. First, it is important to make sure you understand whether you have been charged with simple speeding or Reckless Driving by speed. Reckless Driving by Speed is anything that is 20 m.p.h over the speed limit or anything over 80 m.ph. Reckless Driving by Speed is a misdemeanor offense, while simple Speeding is a traffic infraction.
Typically, a simple speeding ticket will result in 3, 4, or 6 points being assessed on your Virginia driving record and a fine. Fines are typically calculated by multiplying every mile over by $6.00. While this offense is pre-payable, paying the ticket without consulting an attorney about your options can be costly.
There may be options that are more advantageous than simply paying the ticket online. For example, in some counties if you have a clean driving record your attorney may be able to negotiate with the Commonwealth Attorney to allow you to complete a driver improvement course for dismissal or reduction of the ticket.
It is also important to consider what potential future implications a pre-paid ticket may have on your driving record. The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles monitors individuals’ records and the accumulation of a certain number of negative points on your record could lead to the Department of Motor Vehicles suspending your license.
Naum Estevez Law Firm believes in working with their clients to achieve the best possible outcome. We use a multi-step approach that includes legal defense and advising our clients with practical ways in which they may help themselves before court. This method in addition to our experience in each county in Northern Virginia allows us to advise clients on the best approach for their case and prepare them for the potential outcomes they are facing; please call Naum Estevez Law Firm, PLLC today for a consultation on your speeding ticket.
The Commonwealth of Virginia has some of the harshest traffic laws in the country. Out-of-state drivers can be very surprised when they are ticketed for a criminal traffic offense that in their home state may be a simple traffic infraction.
With major highways running through Northern Virginia and a high amount of commuter traffic, out-of-state drivers face the potential of receiving a ticket in Virginia for Speeding, Failure to Obey a Highway Sign, HOV violation, or Reckless Driving. Tickets could result in a fine or potential jail time depending on the offense and there may be potential effects on their ability to drive in Virginia. Further, Virginia is a reporting state, which could result in negative consequences on your home-state driver’s license.
It’s important that an out-of-state driver contact an attorney who has experience with the Virginia traffic laws and the court in the county that they were ticketed in. An attorney can advise an out-of-state driver on what the potential consequences they are facing in Virginia and what possible effect the outcome will have on their out-of-state license.
An attorney can also advise you on whether you can retain them to appear on your behalf depending on the charge you are facing. This can be helpful to individuals who are unable to travel back to the Commonwealth of Virginia for their court date.
At Naum Estevez Law Firm it is important to us that you understand the charges you are facing and the options that are available to you. We use an individualized, multi-step approach in every case we handle. Please contact us at Naum EstevezLaw Firm today for a consultation if you’re an out-of-state driver that has received a ticket.
Commercial Driver’s License
If you are a Commercial Driver’s License holder and are issued a traffic ticket it is especially important that you consult an attorney who has experience with the law, the county where you were ticketed, and the potential consequences that a traffic conviction can have on your commercial license. A traffic ticket for a Commercial Driver could affect not only their personal driving record but also their ability to maintain their livelihood.
There is a variety of ways a Commercial Driver could receive a traffic ticket. The Commonwealth of Virginia has specific statutes for certain traffic offenses when the driver and vehicle involved are commercial. For example, there is a separate section in the Virginia Criminal Code for Texting While Driving a Commercial vehicle. Where a regular driving may face a simple fine, a Commercial Driver is looking at the potential for a several thousand dollar fine and major ramifications on their commercial license.
There are Federal and State Codes involving equipment regulations that if in violation, will result in a ticket. Commercial drivers also have to be mindful of paying attention to weigh stations and highway signs that limit the lanes which they may legally be present in on Commonwealth highways.
Additionally, Commercial Drivers can face different consequences for simple everyday traffic infractions such as speeding. For instance, commercial drivers are not able to take a driver improvement course for dismissal or reduction of their ticket. However, an attorney may be able to negotiate your case for a reduction in a ticket resulting in lower fines and less points incurred on your driving record.
Naum Estevez Law Firm has the experience necessary to handle cases involving Commercial Drivers and with the Virginia Criminal Code regarding Commercial Driver statutes. We use a multi-step approach that includes legal defense and advising our clients with practical ways in which they may help themselves before court. This method in addition to our experience in each county in Northern Virginia allows us to advise clients on the best approach for their case and prepare them for the potential outcomes they are facing; if you are a Commercial Driver facing a traffic ticket please call today for a consultation.
Don't Wait to Take Action
If you were recently cited for a traffic violation such as speeding, it’s important that you take legal action as soon as possible. While one traffic infraction may not seem like a big deal, if you’re found guilty of committing such a violation, you may face monetary fines and in some cases, jail time. Additionally, multiple violations may result in the loss of your driver’s license.
Naum Estevez Law Firm, PLLC represents individuals facing traffic violations and welcomes the opportunity to speak with you about your charges. Even though you may think that you’re dealing with a simple infraction, the reality is that you’re being accused of breaking the law. You should therefore do everything you can to protect yourself from tough legal penalties, and the first step includes obtaining representation from an attorney.
How a Lawyer Can Help
Once Naum Estevez Law Firm, PLLC gets involved, you'll be advised of the steps to take in order to help avoid or minimize additional legal consequences. If you’re facing a serious traffic offense, Naum Estevez Law Firm, PLLC will act in your best interest to try to have your charges dismissed or reach an agreement with prosecutors. And should your case progress to trial, you'll get aggressive representation every step of the way.
If you’re ready to become informed of your legal options following a traffic violation, please call Naum Estevez Law Firm, PLLC today to set up a consultation. Please be sure to bring all paperwork given you by the police that is in you possession, a detailed account of what occurred to the best of your memory, your driving record and any other information that you think might be helpful to your case.