In Virginia, even seemingly basic traffic tickets can have serious penalties and ramifications. This blog post is intended to briefly go over some of the most common traffic citations that come into our office, and provide advice on how to best challenge your traffic charges throughout Northern Virginia. As you surely know, some traffic citations are simply infractions, which result in fines and demerit points on your DMV record. Other offenses, however, are misdemeanors, which can result in jail time, probation, license suspensions, and fines. Consequently, it is strongly recommended that you reach out to an experienced traffic lawyer to discuss your particular case in detail. The most serious driving offenses, obviously, are DUIs. If you have been charged with a DUI, please visit Fairfax DUI Lawyer, Alexandria DUI Lawyer, Arlington DUI Lawyer, Prince William DUI Lawyer.
Driving on Suspended License
Driving on a suspended license is one of the most serious traffic offenses that you can be charged with in Virginia. If you’ve been charged with driving on a suspended license (“DOSL”), do not ignore it! Talk to an attorney immediately because you could be looking at possible jail time. Just getting the suspension lifted on your license does not necessarily mean that the charge itself will be dismissed. Every case is different and the best advice you can get is from talk to an experienced traffic lawyer.
The maximum penalty for a first offense is a jail sentence of 6 months, and a $1,000 fine. In addition, the Virginia code calls for an additional suspension of your driver’s license equal to the length of your original suspension or up to 90 days. If you are facing your third charge for driving on a suspended license in a 10 year period, your charge may carry a mandatory jail sentence of 10 days.
The most effective defense to a driving on a suspended license charge is that you were not properly notified that your license was suspended. To convict you of driving on a suspended license, the Commonwealth must prove that you were notified of the suspension. Often this is established by interpreting codes on a DMV record. We advise defendants to obtain a copy of their driving record from the DMV before coming to our office for a free consultation so that we can determine if they have a potential defense to the charge.
No Valid Operator’s License
The law is simple: in Virginia, you cannot operative a motor vehicle without a driver’s license. Specifically, Virginia Code § 46.2-300, also known as, “Driving without a license, may apply to individuals alleged to have been driving under the following circumstances:
- They have not applied for a license
- They have not passed all or some of the required tests to obtain a driver’s license
- They have no valid license at all
However, the charge can also result from not having a valid license because of an old suspension or revocation after which they never reinstated their license with the DMV. A first offense is a class 2 misdemeanor and subsequent violations are a class 1 misdemeanor. Upon conviction a court can suspend the defendant’s ability to drive for up to 90 days. During this suspension period the defendant would not be able to apply for a Virginia license. A first offense carries a potential punishment of confinement in jail for not more than six months and a fine of not more than $1,000. A second or subsequent offense carries a potential punishment of confinement in jail for not more than twelve months and a fine of not more than $2,500. The judge may suspended a persons driving privileges for up to 90 days upon the conviction of any offense under section 46.2-300. That said, such a maximum penalty is highly unlikely.
The best defense to a charge of operating a vehicle without a valid operator’s license is to …. get a valid operator’s license! Just getting a license, however, does not necessarily mean that your charge will be dropped. You could still be facing very serious penalties, so it is critical to consult with an experienced traffic attorney about your specific case. If you’ve been charged with operating without a valid driver’s license, please visit Virginia traffic lawyer.
Reckless driving is one of the most serious traffic offenses that you can face in Virginia. If you are charged with reckless driving in Fairfax, Arlington, Alexandria, Loudoun, or Prince William Counties, contact the attorneys at Ervin Kibria immediately!
There are many bases for charging a driver with reckless driving. The most common, however, is reckless driving due to speed. If you exceed a speed of 80 mph in Virginia, you can be charged with reckless driving. Is it also considered reckless driving to exceed the speed limit by 20 mph or more.
In Virginia, reckless driving is considered a serious criminal offense. As a class 1 misdemeanor, a conviction of this will leave you with a permanent criminal record. The penalties for reckless driving speeding in Virginia include:
- Court costs and fines;
- Time in jail;
- A suspension of your driver’s license; and
- A significant increase in your insurance rates.
If you are charged with driving at a speed of 90 mph or above, you may receive 2 days in jail for every mph over 90 that you were driving. If you exceed a speed of 100 mph, then you may get as much as 30 days in jail added to the previous total.
The Virginia reckless driving statute also has a catch-all provision. Under this provision, “Irrespective of the maximum speeds permitted by law, any person who drives a vehicle on any highway recklessly or at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger the life, limb, or property of any person shall be guilty of reckless driving.”
It is very important to get out in front of a reckless driving charge. The best way to do that is to contact an experienced reckless driving attorney for a free consultation. For more information, please visit the site appropriate to the jurisdiction that you’ve been charged in: Fairfax Reckless Driving, Alexandria Reckless Driving, Arlington Reckless Driving, Prince William Reckless Driving, Loudoun Reckless Driving.