Traffic Lawyer in Manassas, VA
Statistics show that about one fifth of all drivers in America have received at least one traffic ticket, which means that odds are pretty good that at some point of your life, you will be pulled over and cited for a traffic offense.
While some traffic offenses may seem like no big deal, others can have serious consequences. What’s more, a lot of minor traffic offenses can add up over time, resulting in an accumulation of points on your driving record. This can mean a license suspension and increased insurance rates.
At the law offices of Olmstead & Olmstead, P.C., we know that traffic offenses may not be the most severe of legal breaches that occur in Virginia, but we still handle all traffic offense matters seriously. Before you pay your traffic ticket and move on with your life, contact our experienced Virginia traffic ticket attorneys to schedule a consultation in person or on the phone, and learn about your options.
Traffic Offenses in Virginia
There are myriad traffic laws in Virginia, and a breach of any one of these is a traffic offense. Because each state is responsible for setting its own laws for the rules of the road, it is important that if you live in Virginia, you work with a legal professional whose background is in Virginia traffic offense law.
We have helped a great many clients who have been charged with traffic offenses understand their options, fight the charges, or have charges dropped or reduced to lesser offenses. Some traffic offenses in Virginia that we have experience representing clients in regards to include:
- Driving a motor vehicle while intoxicated (DUI);
- Driving without a license;
- Driving without any or sufficient insurance;
- Driving without registration;
- Leaving the scene of an accident;
- Failure to use a seatbelt;
- Child safety seat violations;
- Running a red light;
- Running a stop sign;
- Reckless driving;
- Illegal U-turn;
- Unlawful vehicle modifications; and
- Mechanical violations.
As can be assumed from the list above, some of these offenses carry more serious penalties than do others. Further, subsequent offenses, or multiple offenses at the same time (i.e. running a red light and speeding while not wearing a seatbelt) can result in harsher consequences. We help you whether you are facing felony charges, or the consequences of a minor traffic offense.
What Happens After Getting a Ticket
If you are given a traffic ticket, there are two paths you can take. You may either:
- Pay your ticket, which is essentially the same as pleading guilty to the offense; or
- Contest your ticket, which is equivalent to pleading not guilty.
Each of the above options has some benefits and some drawbacks. For example, if you pay your ticket, you are accepting the consequences for your actions, and then moving forward. However, paying your ticket, or pleading guilty, also means that:
- You may be responsible for paying a sizeable fine depending upon the offense;
- You may incur points on your driving record, which can in turn increase your insurance premium rate;
- You will have the offense listed on your driving record;
- You may have your license suspended or revoked (depending upon the offense and whether or not you have any previous offenses); and
- You may be ordered to attend a driver education clinic.
Again, if you have a perfect driving record and get a ticket for going five miles over the speed limit, paying your ticket or taking a driver improvement course to reduce penalties may be in your best interest. For more serious offenses, or subsequent offenses, however, it may not be that simple.
If you plead not guilty by contesting your ticket, here’s a look at how the process works:
First, you will need to hire an experienced Virginia traffic offense attorney. Then, you will contest your ticket in traffic court, which will include presenting evidence of why you should be found not guilty by the court.
At the conclusion of traffic court, you will either be found guilty or not guilty. If you are found not guilty, you will not have to pay any fines associated with the offense for which you were charged, nor will you incur any points on your record. You will, however, have to pay court fees. If you are found guilty, the consequences associated with the traffic offense will be carried out.
Point Violations for Traffic Offenses in Virginia
Whether or not you seek legal counsel may depend upon how many points the offense you have been accused of committing carries. In Virginia, there are three, four, and six point violations. These points stay on your record for two years (although the offense itself may stay on your record for longer, depending upon the specific offense), and if you accumulate too many, your license may be suspended. Here are some examples of three, four, and six point violations, although the full list can be viewed online on the website of the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.
Six point violations:
- Speeding more than 20 miles per hour over the speed limit;
- Driving under the influence;
- Reckless driving;
- Driving on a suspended license; and
- Failing to stop at the scene of a crash.
Four point violations:
- Speeding between 10 and 19 miles per hour over the speed limit;
- Passing when unsafe;
- Failure to keep to the right half of a highway;
- Failing to obey a railroad crossing signal; and
- Passing a stopped school bus.
- Three point violations:
- Improper passing;
- Speeding one to nine miles per hour over the posted speed limit;
- Improper U-turn;
- Failure to obey highway sign; and
- Driving without a license.
Talented Virginia Traffic Offense Attorneys You Can Count On
Traffic offenses may seem insignificant, but in the majority of cases, reviewing your options with an experienced Virginia traffic offense attorney is a smart idea. This is especially true if you have been charged with a more serious traffic offense, like reckless driving or driving while intoxicated, as these offenses can have a huge impact on your future if you are convicted.
At the offices of Olmstead & Olmstead, P.C., we have decades of experience helping clients like you. For a consultation with our law firm, write us a brief message using the contact form on our website, or feel free to call us at (703) 361-1555 at your earliest convenience.