Few things that can be as disruptive to your day as getting a traffic ticket. While getting a ticket is bad enough, we all know that there are far worse consequences for careless or inattentive driving.
Michael Pignone is a criminal defense lawyer who handles everything from traffic tickets to criminal traffic offenses like DUI. For certain offenses, a lawyer is your best chance to avoid jail time. Even for speeding and other traffic violations, it’s smart to have representation from a reputable Manassas traffic ticket law firm. Call the Law Offices of Michael Pignone to discuss your traffic ticket or arrest.
Types of Virginia Traffic Violations
Like most states, the Virginia justice system categorizes traffic violations in several ways. Here are some of the general categories of traffic offenses.
These offenses are non-criminal violations that are not related to driving behavior. Examples include parking violations, faulty equipment, and expired license plates. These violations usually don’t result in points on your driver’s license. However, if you don’t address the citation, it can result in the suspension of your driving privileges.
Examples of moving violations include running a red light, speeding past the posted speed limit, and speeding in a special hazard area. These violations usually result in the police issuing you a traffic ticket but not in an arrest. Most administrative moving violations result in three or four points added to your driver’s license if you’re found guilty.
These are criminal offenses that can result in your arrest — although, in many instances, the police issue you a traffic ticket with a mandatory court date. Penalties for traffic misdemeanors include jail, license suspension, driving school, and fines. Additionally, you may have six points added to your driver’s license. Examples of traffic misdemeanors include driving on a suspended license, driving more than 20 mph over the speed limit, and reckless driving.
The Virginia government has responded to public concern over the dangers of drunk driving. Consequently, it has followed the course of other states and made it illegal to drive with a BAC over .08. If you’re convicted, you could be sentenced to jail, mandatory substance abuse courses, fines, community hours, and more. Additionally, your license will be suspended, and you will have six points assessed for it.
Felony Traffic Crimes
Felony traffic crimes usually involve causing serious bodily injury to another. Examples include vehicular manslaughter, leaving the scene of an accident with injuries, or intentionally striking a person or vehicle. Traffic felonies can lead to prison sentences and license revocation, and other punishments.
Penalties for Traffic Violations
For most moving and non-moving violations, jail time is not on the table. For non-moving violations, you usually only have to pay the fine or go to court to contest the ticket. With moving violations, if you pay the fine, points will be added to your license, which is why many drivers hire a traffic violation law firm to represent them.
For misdemeanor offenses, driving on a suspended license, reckless driving charges, and speeding in excess of 20 mph, you will have a mandatory court date. Drivers charged with this type of traffic offense should retain the services of a traffic ticket law firm.
For more serious criminal violations, like DUI or fleeing and eluding the police, the offense is handled through the criminal justice system. If you’ve been charged with this type of offense, you should retain the services of a Manassas, VA, criminal defense attorney.
How the Points System Works in Virginia
The state of Virginia has a demerit points system that allows you to earn back points with good behavior. For drivers over 18 years of age:
- If you receive 8 points in 12 months or 12 points in 24 months, you will be required to complete a driver improvement clinic.
- If you receive 18 points in 12 months or 24 points in 24 months, it will result in a suspended license for 90 days. You must also attend a driver improvement clinic and be placed on a probationary period of six months.
While these numbers may seem high, it’s important to remember that the police can issue you multiple citations on a single stop. For instance, they could issue you a speeding ticket — four points — and a ticket for an illegal lane change — four more points. The points remain on your license for a period of two years.
Virginia Speeding Statistics
Speeding is still one of the most common reasons for traffic fatalities, and the highest concentration of speed-related crash deaths occurs in Prince William County and the rest of North Virginia:
In 2021, 12,902 individuals were injured due to speeding accidents, and 445 were killed. Many of the at-fault drivers were also drinking.
How a Manassas Traffic Violations Attorney Can Help You
Whether you were issued a traffic ticket for reckless driving, a speeding ticket for exceeding the posted speed limit, or a charge for a more serious offense, Manassas traffic ticket lawyers can represent you in court.
Michael Pignone is a criminal defense lawyer who also represents individuals who have been charged with traffic violations. If you were pulled over by the police and issued a ticket, it’s often in your best interest to take it to court. Don’t let a speeding ticket or misdemeanor traffic offense disrupt your life by losing your license. Instead, contact a Virginia criminal defense lawyer to handle your traffic offenses.