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.
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