Police and law enforcement officers in Virginia are charged with enforcing the laws of the commonwealth. However, some police officers take advantage of their position to benefit themselves. A Virginia State Police Special Agent was accused of lying to a federal agent but after further investigat...
Traffic checkpoints looking for impaired drivers are supposed to be a deterrent to other drivers who may be considering driving home after having one too many drinks. This is one of the reasons why the checkpoints are publicized ahead of time. After a recent sobriety checkpoint in Albemarle Count...
In Virginia, a “habitual drunkard” can be arrested for buying alcohol, drinking alcohol, or having a can of beer in their possession. Anyone convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) under Virginia Code § 18.2-266 can also face a similar restriction with respect to their ability to possess o...
As the end of 2018 approaches, many people will be traveling to, from, and through Virginia on their way to visit family or return home from school vacations. When celebrating the holidays and New Year's Eve, a lot of people will enjoy a drink or two. Unfortunately, at the end of the celebration,...
"[t]he driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow another motor vehicle . . . more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard to the speed of both vehicles and the traffic on, and conditions of, the highway at the time."
Reckless driving in Virginia is a crime, and therefore many clients are concerned how a conviction may affect their employment. Also, because reckless driving is a crime, it should show up on an in depth background check, but this will vary depending on numerous factors.
Reckless driving in Virginia is not just a traffic violation but is also a criminal offense. Reckless driving is a class 1 misdemeanor, which is the most serious kind of misdemeanor in Virginia.
A very common concern among drivers charged with reckless driving in Virginia is whether they will lose their license if convicted. There are two main ways that a driver may lose his license due to a reckless driving conviction. One way is a license suspension imposed by the judge in your case. The other way is a suspension by the DMV due to excessive points against your license. The former is much more common than the latter, but for some drivers with bad driving records, the latter does become an issue. For CDL disqualifications, see my page here on this issue.
One of the most common questions clients have when they call in after receiving a reckless driving ticket is how much the fines will be. Many clients call after trying to prepay their ticket, only to realize after speaking with the clerk's office that the ticket is not prepayable. This page answers some of the questions clients have when trying to determine how much they will have to pay as a result of a reckless driving conviction.
Commercial driver's depend on their CDL for their livelihood. Many drivers with CDL's call my office after receiving a reckless driving ticket, concerned they may lose their CDL as a result of their reckless driving ticket. This page addresses the instances where a driver's CDL may be suspended or disqualified due to a CDL reckless driving conviction.
Along with potential jail time, fines, and license suspensions, an increase in insurance rates is one of the main issues clients are concerned about when facing a reckless driving charge.
Pursuant to Virginia Code § 46.2-341.18, convictions of certain offenses in Virginia will result in a disqualification of a driver's CDL. The Virginia Code groups these offenses into different categories based on the severity of the offense. The most serious category is the Major Violation category of offenses. The other category is the Serious Violation category (scroll down to see the serious violation category).
Drivers that receive tickets out of state are often unsure whether the ticket they received will be applied against their driving record. This page is designed to answer many of the questions that drivers from Virginia, North Carolina, and other nearby states may have when receiving a ticket in another state.
As a general rule, all motor vehicles, trailers, and semi-trailers operated on a public road in Virginia must be registered. § 46.2-613. When registering your vehicle you must state whether the vehicle is insured or not. The purpose of auto insurance of course is to ensure that a motor vehicle owner has enough money to cover expenses in case of an accident.
The DMV will order certain drivers to attend driver improvement courses due to the accumulation of excessive points within certain periods of time. See page here. § 46.2-498. Alternatively, drivers may voluntarily attend a driver improvement clinic to receive an increase in points or a reduction in insurance premiums (subject to restrictions, see below).
Drivers in Virginia can lose their privilege to drive for many reasons. Unpaid child support and failure to pay court costs within 30 days of conviction are common reasons why a driver's privilege to drive is suspended.
A driver's privilege to drive in Virginia may be suspended for many reasons. Some of those reasons include failure to pay court costs, unpaid child support, or due to a conviction such as a DUI or a drug related charge.
In Virginia if a driver receives too many points within certain time periods the DMV may administratively suspend or revoke his license. In order to get his license back drivers may be required to pay reinstatement fees, attend a driving improvement clinic, and subsequently complete probation and control periods.
For every calendar year you go without receiving a suspension or revocation of your license, or without receiving a traffic violation, you will receive one safe driving point on your driving record. § 46.2-494. You are not allowed to accumulate more than 5 total safe driving points. If you were convicted of a violation for which you would have received a demerit point during a year which you already received a safe driving point, that point is invalidated.
In some cases drivers are allowed to pre-pay their traffic ticket online or by phone. Generally speaking, tickets issued for traffic infractions are pre-payable.
Pursuant to § 46.2-113 (Violations of this title; penalties. Maximum fine equal to class 4 misdemeanor) the Virginia legislature has decided that there will be preset fines attached to specific traffic infractions. The VA code provides that the maximum fine for traffic infractions is equal to the maximum fine for a class 4 misdemeanor, $250. Court costs are also assessed for these violations.
The consequences of missing your traffic court date will vary depending on the severity of your charge, and how long it takes for you to discover that you missed the court date (presuming it wasn't intentional of course). If you have been charged with a traffic infraction, such as speeding in violation of § 46.2-870, missing a court date will very likely result in your being found guilty. If you choose to pre-pay your ticket in lieu of coming to court you are admitting guilt.
It is not uncommon for drivers to need to change their court date to a later time. In some cases drivers are not able to appear because of work or family obligations. In other cases, drivers need to change their court date because they need more time to gather evidence for their defense. This page discusses how the continuance process in Virginia works.
In many traffic violation cases it makes sense to get a copy of your driving record. In a lot of courts your driving record will be an important factor to the judge hearing your case. A good driving record could make the difference between a conviction and a reduction or dismissal of your ticket. While many officers will bring a copy of your record to court for the judge to see, occasionally they may forget to pull your record. Additionally, it will be helpful to your attorney when determining the best way to handle your case.
Virginia's open container law is a commonly misunderstood law in VA. Without fully understanding not only what the open container law prohibits and does not prohibit, but also other laws in VA that may apply to the exact same conduct, many people run the risk of being cited for an alcohol related...