Traffic Violations Attorneys in Bedford, VA
Traffic violations in Virginia are generally considered to be infractions as opposed to criminal offenses. Although you cannot face jail time for a traffic infraction, you can still be subjected to fines and have points assessed against your license, which can lead to a suspension or revocation of your Virginia driver’s license.
Conviction of a traffic violation generally leads to imposition of a fine and either three, four or six points on your license, depending on the offense. Other potential consequences include a suspension of your license, being ordered to attend a driver improvement clinic (traffic school), and reporting to your insurance company, which can increase your rates. The conviction will also be posted to your driving record where it may remain anywhere from three to 11 years, depending upon the severity of the violation.
How do you know if a traffic violation is an infraction or a criminal offense? Virginia law only says that a violation is an infraction if it is not a misdemeanor or felony. Typical traffic violations that count as infractions include:
- Driving too slow
- Failure to stop or yield
- Unsafe passing
Criminal traffic offenses, on the other hand, include violations such as:
- Reckless driving
- Hit and run
- Driving while suspended or revoked
Whether you are charged with an infraction or a misdemeanor can depend on the circumstances too. For instance, while Speeding is an infraction, going a certain amount over the speed limit turns the violation into Reckless Driving, which is a misdemeanor offense.
While the penalties for a traffic violation may be less than a criminal conviction, they can still be painful and expensive. Meanwhile, the evidence needed to convict you of a traffic violation is less than what is needed in a criminal case, so traffic cases are harder to defend against and easier to be convicted of. When challenging a traffic violation in court, you are wise to seek the help of experienced Virginia traffic attorneys rather than trying to handle the case by yourself.