Henrico County Traffic Lawyer
In addition to ruining your day, being pulled over by the police and cited for a traffic offense can also have other serious and far-reaching consequences. In addition to fines, you could face more expensive insurance and points on your license. Too many points can actually result in your license being suspended for a period of time. While many people who are ticketed simply send in their fine, it is important to realize that this is an admission of guilt. Before you pay your ticket, it is a good idea to talk to a Henrico County traffic lawyer about your legal options for avoiding conviction for a traffic offense.
How a Henrico County Traffic Lawyer Can Help
A Henrico County traffic lawyer can assist you in important ways after you are cited for a traffic offense. He or she can:
- Negotiate with a prosecutor to try to reduce penalties, or assist you in taking steps to avoid points on your license. You may be able to take a driver’s education program or negotiate down to a lesser offense.
- Defend you at a hearing to avoid being convicted of a traffic violation. Sometimes, law enforcement officers do not have the proper documentation to prove their case and charges can be dropped. In other cases, you can present evidence that a traffic stop was illegal or that you were not in violation of the law.
- Help introduce doubt. Remember, you don’t have to prove you didn’t commit the traffic offense. If a prosecutor cannot show that you did violate Virginia’s driving laws, then you can avoid conviction and resulting points on your license.
- Assist you in clearing a bench warrant. If you have unpaid tickets, and a warrant has been issued, you could be arrested at any time. An Henrico County traffic lawyer can help take steps to resolve the warrant.
Traffic offenses may seem like a minor annoyance, but they are much more than just an inconvenience. An offense like reckless driving can result in six points on your license and can stay on your driving record for 11 years. A total of 18 points in 12 months or 24 points in two years results in the suspension of your license. Any points can raise your insurance rates and disqualify you from jobs that require a clean driving record.
You owe it to yourself to understand your legal options when cited for a traffic offense. Contact a Henrico County traffic lawyer for help today.
Traffic Offenses in Virginia
Title 46.2 of the Code of Virginia relates to motor vehicles, and Chapter 8 sets forth the rules for regulation of traffic. As a Henrico County traffic lawyer can tell you, there are a huge number of rules passed to help keep the roads safe, governing everything from which side of the highway you should drive on, to how to handle circular intersections, to what speeds you have the right to travel.
It is your responsibility to learn these rules and obey them as part of having a license in the commonwealth of Virginia. If you fail to do so, you can be cited for a traffic offense. Some of many examples of these offenses include:
- Failure to yield the right-of-way. Code section 2-863 defines this offense as failing to stop when entering a highway from a side road if there is traffic approaching within 500 feet. Exceptions exist if there is a “Yield Right-of-Way” Sign.
- Exceeding maximum speed limits in highway work zones. Code section 2-878.1 establishes penalties of up to $500 for the offense of speeding in a designated work zone when workers are present.
- Stopping on a highway and rendering the road dangerous for others. This is an offense under section 46.2-888 unless there is an accident, a breakdown, or some other emergency.
There are hundreds of laws regulating traffic on local and highway roads, and your citation from a law enforcement officer should explain specifically which rules you allegedly violated and what the penalties are. Your ticket will also explain to you what the fines and penalties are, how to pay the fines associated with your ticket, or when to come to court if you don’t want to pay.
You must either pay your ticket or be present at the hearing date, or you could find yourself with a bench warrant issued for your arrest. A Henrico County traffic lawyer can review the citation you received and help you to decide what your best options are.