Traffic tickets, such as for speeding, may not seem to be the types of cases that require the assistance of an attorney. However, traffic defense attorneys dedicate much time advocating on behalf of those who have received violations resulting from their operation of a motor vehicle.
A traffic defense attorney can help you to achieve a more favorable outcome in your case when possible. To appreciate the possible benefits of having an attorney, it is important to understand the various types of violations that you can be subject to in Virginia.
Moving Violations In Virginia
Moving violations are some of the most common cases that traffic attorneys represent, with speeding being primary among them. As the name implies, a moving violation occurs while the vehicle is being operated.
Violations of this type include not only speeding, but also reckless driving, driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol or even failing to make a complete stop at a stop sign. Depending on which violation you have been charged with, you may be facing a misdemeanor, or even a felony, each of which can have long-term impacts on your record and ability to keep and use your driver’s license.
Non-Moving Violations In Virginia
Non-moving violations also make up a portion of the cases attorneys represent. As with moving violations, the term “non-moving” indicates that the activity took place while your vehicle was not in motion. Examples of this type of violation include parking in a designated handicap space, parking in a no-parking zone or fire lane, failing to maintain an up to date vehicle registration or even illegally tinting your windows.
You may be ordered to pay fines and court costs if you are convicted of a non-moving violation, which is why many people rely on a traffic defense attorney to reduce the penalties if possible, or even have the case dismissed. Just because a vehicle was not moving during the violation does not mean that the penalties are any less severe than for a moving violation, and your long-term ability to drive may still be impacted.
Potential Penalties When Being Convicted
The penalties that result from a traffic conviction will vary based on the severity of the charge. It is important to remember, too, that the severity of a penalty may also be influenced by having been previously convicted; your first conviction generally carries the most lenient consequences. In general, a misdemeanor can range from between $250 to $2500 in fines depending on the class (with Class 1 being the most severe).
Similarly, you may be ordered to serve jail time of up to 12 months for Class 1 misdemeanors (or 6 months for Class 2). If you are convicted of a felony, such as for DWI 3rd, the consequences can be quite severe. In addition to higher fines, jail time could be potentially measured in years instead of months.
Fines can reach an average of $2500, and there may be additional consequences as well. Your driver’s license may be suspended indefinitely, which means that you will not be able to operate any vehicle during this time, even to comply with your normal responsibilities such as work.
This may have a significant impact on your ability to fulfill your obligations to your employer, family, education and more. Additionally, your car insurance premiums may increase, for the same or even less coverage for the next few years. This can have a large impact on your ability to continue to legally operate a vehicle, even if you do have a restricted license. For all of these reasons and more, a traffic defense attorney could be the next best step for you.
A Traffic Defense Attorney Can Help With Your Ticket
Whether you have been charged with a misdemeanor moving violation or a felony, a traffic defense attorney can help you to navigate the next steps and achieve the best outcome possible for your specific situation. In some cases, such as with speeding, a skilled attorney may successfully call into question details of the incident such as how recently the officer’s radar gun was calibrated, potentially leading to your case being dismissed entirely.
The cost of an attorney may be much less than the potential fines and court costs you may be ordered to pay after a conviction. The traffic defense attorneys at The Law Offices of Kermit A. Monge would be happy to help you understand your options and advocate on your behalf in the courtroom. Contact our offices to schedule a consultation to discuss your situation.