Count on Northern Virginia Traffic Ticket Attorney Michael A. Pignone to Help You Fight Your Ticket
Getting pulled over for an alleged traffic violation is part of driving. States like Virginia have so many strict traffic laws that never violating one of them is nearly impossible. Sometimes, you are unlucky, and the police catch you in the act.
You may feel like you should pay for the ticket and move on with your life. It might be easier, in the short term, to just pay for your ticket. That’s your choice.
But what about the future? You never know if you will get pulled over again, especially in northern Virginia, where police concentrate a substantial amount of effort on enforcing traffic laws.
You have the right to fight the ticket. The police are not always correct. They make assumptions and rush to judgment just like everyone else. You can fight back if a police officer pulled you over unjustifiably and issued you a ticket. Additionally, you might have to fight the ticket if you accumulated demerit points and are in danger of losing your license.
The question becomes, Are you going to take on the police yourself or hire an experienced Northern Virginia traffic ticket lawyer to fight for you?
Why Should You Have a Northern Virginia Traffic Ticket Lawyer Fight Your Traffic Violation?
Traffic violations in Virginia are not criminal offenses. The penalty for a traffic violation is a fine. You may not have to appear in court for a simple traffic violation like speeding. Instead, you could simply pay your fine online.
Paying a fine without digging deeper for possible defenses comes at a cost. You admit responsibility for the offense cited when you pay your fine online. The penalty could be a surchargeable event on your insurance. Additionally, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will charge you with driving demerits. The DMV will suspend your driver license if you accumulate too many demerits in a year.
Getting your license reinstated after the DMV suspends it is difficult and expensive. The DMV will charge you a reinstatement fee. Also, the DMV might require you to attend safe driving courses. Moreover, it could put restrictions on your license, which allows you to drive during certain times of the day until the DMV reinstates all your driving privileges.
Having a Virginia traffic ticket lawyer review your case could help you avoid license suspension. The DMV counts moving violations against your license. Non-moving violations, such as parking tickets, do not have the same adverse effect on your license. The DMV will not sanction you with any driving demerits for a non-moving violation.
Admitting guilt to a traffic violation remains on your driving history. Convincing a judge or prosecutor to knock your violation down after having a record is incredibly difficult.
You have some leeway if a moving violation never entered against you in the first place. Having an experienced Northern Virginia traffic ticket attorney negotiate a favorable result in your case can benefit you in the long run.
Northern Virginia Traffic Ticket Attorney Explains Virginia’s Traffic Ticket Demerit and Penalty System
The maximum fine assessed for a traffic ticket is $250. If you admit guilt to a traffic ticket in any court in northern Virginia, the court must send a copy of a document, called an abstract, to the Virginia DMV.
Once you pay your ticket, the DMV assigns demerits to your license. The points the DMV assesses against you depend on the severity of the infraction. The points remain on your license until an established period of time passes.
Most offenses stay on your driving record for three years. Some, like speeding, remain on your record for five years. Finally, severe criminal offenses can remain on your record for a decade or more.
The DMV assesses three points for offenses like:
- Speeding from one to nines miles per hour over the posted speed limit;
- Driving too slow or impeding traffic;
- Turning or passing improperly;
- Changing lanes improperly;
- Executing an improper u-turn;
- Turning right on red when prohibited;
- Driving without lights;
- Stopping on a highway or interstate;
- Failing to obey signs;
- Evading a traffic control device;
- Holding a cellphone while operating; and
- Watching television and driving.
All these offenses remain on your record for three years except speeding. Speed violations stay on your record for five years.
The Virginia DMV assesses four demerit points for offenses such as:
- Speeding between 10 and 19 miles per hour over the posted speed limit;
- Failing to yield the right of way;
- Signaling improperly;
- Passing a stopped school bus, not amounting to reckless driving;
- Disregarding a crossing guard;
- Failing to obey traffic signals; and
- Running from an accident after striking unattended property.
Moving infractions such as these remain on your record for at least three years. However, speeding stays on your record for five years. Leaving the scene of an accident could remain on your record for up to 11 years.
The DMV reserves six-point violations for the most serious traffic offenses, all of which are criminal offenses. Six-point violations include:
- Reckless driving due to speeding 20 miles per hour over the speed limit;
- Reckless driving;
- Driving on a suspended license;
- Eluding capture; and
- Leaving the scene of an accident causing an injury or property damage exceeding $1,000.
In addition to six points, these offenses stay on your driving history for 11 years, except for speeding and eluding. Speeding violations remain on your record for five years. Eluding could be on your record for either three or 11 years.
Your insurance rates will go up in addition to demerit points because you become a greater risk than a driver with no driving points.
You Have a Chance to Earn Safe Driving Points in Virginia
The Virginia DMV offers motorists an incentive to drive safely. Driving without a ticket or suspension for an entire year entitles you to a safe point. The greatest number of safe points you can earn is five. You can also take approved driving courses to earn safe points.
Getting a Ticket Affects Out-of-State Drivers
Once upon a time, you could blow off a speeding ticket if you resided in another state. Not anymore. Updated computer systems report traffic violations to your home state. Virginia has no authority to suspend your license if you live out of state, but it can suspend your driving privileges in Virginia. Your state could suspend your license for an out-of-state violation and assess demerit points against you.
If you live outside Virginia, you can fight your traffic ticket. An experienced and knowledgeable Virginia traffic ticket attorney could work with you to plan a defense and help you keep your driving record clean.
Contact An Aggressive Virginia Traffic Ticket Attorney Today to Help You Get Your Ticket Dismissed or Reduced
For over 20 years, Virginia traffic ticket lawyer Michael A. Pignone has fought hard for people like you. At the Law Offices of Michael A. Pignone, we have gained a reputation for excellence in representing people who face traffic tickets and criminal offenses. The repercussions of admitting guilt to a traffic ticket far outweigh the benefit of simply paying your fine and getting the incident done.
Our experienced legal practitioner also handles other types of cases, including:
Call Michael A. Pignone right away to learn how he could help you keep a clean driving record. The consultation is free, so call today.
Frequently Asked Questions
Virginia does not require you to show up for court as long as you intend to pay the speeding ticket. If you want to fight the speeding ticket, you or a representative must appear in court. A Northern Virginia traffic ticket lawyer can appear in court to fight the ticket for you.
Other traffic violations might require court appearances in Virginia. For example, reckless driving constitutes a misdemeanor. A misdemeanor is a criminal charge that can lead to jail time and a criminal record. For criminal traffic violations, you will be required to appear in court. Sometimes, even for criminal traffic offenses, the court might allow a traffic ticket attorney to make the court appearance for you.
A speeding ticket lawyer can help you fight a speeding ticket in Virginia. To fight a traffic ticket, either you or a lawyer representing you will have to appear in court. Options for fighting speeding tickets include obtaining a plea deal for a reduced fine or contesting the ticket outright.
Obtaining a plea deal could reduce the fine you must pay and result in fewer points being added to your driving record. However, you will need to plead guilty to the lesser offense.
Successfully contesting your ticket will result in no fine and no points added to your driving record. A Northern Virginia traffic ticket lawyer who understands speeding ticket laws in Virginia can help you contest your ticket.
Officers prove you were speeding by providing witness testimony. During their testimony, an officer will state how they determined your speed and discuss the reliability of the method they used.
Most officers determine the speed of a vehicle using LIDAR or radar. Successfully contesting a ticket will involve undermining the officer’s testimony. This can be done by questioning the most recent calibration date of the LIDAR or radar device. Usually, Virginia courts consider officers reliable witnesses.
A charge for reckless driving is a much more severe offense than regular traffic offenses like speeding. Reckless driving is a criminal offense that can result in jail time. If you are charged with reckless driving, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible.
The number of points added to your driving record will depend upon the violation the police accuse you of committing. The Department of Motor Vehicles in Virginia provides a list of violations and the associated number of points.
An experienced local attorney will have an in-depth understanding of VA traffic ticket laws. If you are assessed a fine for a civil infraction, an attorney can help you fight the accusation or get the penalty reduced. A lawyer can also help you navigate the legal process and fight the charges for violations that constitute a criminal offense in Virginia.