While traffic and speeding offenses are somewhat common in this very busy metropolitan area, they can still have a detrimental impact on your driving record, insurance rates, and may lead to possible suspension of your driver's license. Serious criminal traffic related misdemeanor charges can pose criminal liability in addition to high fines and suspension of driving privileges. Simply paying your ticket after being issued a traffic summons may seem appealing and the easy way to move on to more pressing life obligations. However, paying your traffic ticket means you are essentially pleading guilty to your infraction. This is even of greater significance when it comes to elevated speeding infractions that carry increased Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) demerit point assessments. Additionally, commercial driver's license (CDL) holders who are convicted of certain driving related offenses might lose their job depending on the conviction – this is so even when a CDL holder is convicted of an offense while driving their own vehicle on their own time, unrelated to work.
Contacting a traffic offenses attorney is crucial to avoid the negative demerit points, high fines, required driver improvement seminars, loss of driver's license and increased insurance rates. The highly experienced and skilled lawyers at Kassabian & Kassabian, P.L.C., are here to help you plan the best course of action for combating your traffic and speeding offenses.
What Are Some Common Traffic and Speeding Offenses?
There are several various common traffic and speeding offenses. Although they vary in severity, they can have negative impact on your driving record that may result in loss of driving privileges and increased insurance rates. At Kassabian & Kassabian, P.L.C., we work tirelessly to protect our clients' legal rights for both minor and more serious traffic, speeding, and traffic related criminal offenses.
Reckless driving is one of the more serious traffic offenses that is based on speed and/or driving behavior. A reckless driving charge can occur from an array of reasons. The most common reason for a reckless driving charge is exceeding the speed limit. According to Virginia Code Section 46.2-862, a driver on a Virginia roadway may be charged with reckless driving if they drive at a speed of twenty miles per hour or more over the maximum posted speed limit, or more than eighty miles per hour regardless of the posted speed limit. Drivers can also incur reckless driving charges for a plethora of other reasons, such as generally engaging in reckless driving behavior, driving a vehicle not under proper control, passing a stopped school bus, and more. If you've been charged with reckless driving, click here to learn how we can protect you.
Speeding offenses are incredibly common traffic offense in Northern Virginia. Even if your rate of speed is not high enough to constitute a reckless driving charge, speeding infractions can damage your driving record and may carry heavy penalties, especially for repeat offenders. Although many people in this very busy area may believe the myth that they can drive 5 – 9 mph or even 10-to 19 mph over the posted speed limit without penalty, an officer can still pull you over for exceeding the speed limit by this short amount. Additional traffic infractions or even worse – criminal charges, may be filed by law enforcement officers after you have been stopped for speeding – even after being stopped and issued a simple speeding citation. Speeding tickets usually result in demerit points being assessed to your license, fines and court costs being imposed. DMV administrative probation periods may be mandated and placed on your license and can result in the court and/or DMV suspending your driver's license. The accumulation of demerit points from even minor traffic offenses can catch-up with you and have potentially devastating impact on the driving record. Pre-paying your traffic ticket is equal to you pleading guilty to the speeding charge. You should consult a skilled traffic defense attorney to see what your options are for fighting the ticket and getting the matter resolved in your favor.
Other Traffic and Speeding Offenses
- Ignoring street signs and signals (traffic lights, stop signs, etc.)
- Driving without a license
- Aggressive driving
- Hit and run
- Vehicular manslaughter
- Passing a stopped school bus
- DWI/DUI charges
- Driving with a suspended license
- Eluding an officer
- Repeat offenses
- Habitual offender
- Refusal charges
- No valid operator's license
- Texting while driving
- Commercial motor vehicle violations
- Failure to stop for pedestrian
- Failure to yield right of way
- Failure to drive to right half of roadway
- Following too closely
- Improper signal
- Improper turning
- Improper U-turn
- Failure to obey highway sign
Penalties of Traffic and Speeding Offenses
The penalties for traffic, speeding offenses and traffic related misdemeanor charges vary with the offense. Penalties may include:
- Large fines
- Court costs
- License suspension/revocation
- Jail sentences
- Points on your driving record
- Increase in auto insurance rates
- Court probation
- DMV administrative probation of driver's license
- Required driver improvement seminar
- Restricted driver's license
- Administrative impoundment of vehicle
- Monitored by GPS/other tracking device
- Community service
- Reimbursement to Commonwealth for investigatory medical fees
- Payment to the court for trauma center fund
The penalties for traffic and speeding offenses can be very serious and have significant impact on your driving record, license, insurance rates, and more. When you pay for a traffic ticket instead of employing a traffic defense attorney's help, you are admitting guilt and opening yourself up to some of these penalties. Understanding your traffic charge and how to defend against it is crucial so that you avoid consequences that can have long-term impact on your driving record and driver's license.
How to Defend Against Traffic and Speeding Offenses
Criminal and traffic defense attorneys can defend against traffic, speeding offenses and traffic related criminal matters in a variety of ways. The defense plan and approach will vary with the specific offense. Depending on your charge, your attorney may be able to establish that:
- Calibrations of radar, laser, speedometer and/or tuning forks were ineffective or statutorily defective
- Ineffective use of speed termination device
- The officer did not have a legal valid reason to stop your vehicle
- Necessity or legitimate emergency basis to exceed to the speed limit
- Not speeding would have made you a hazard by interrupting the flow of traffic
- Speed limit / street signs were not clearly posted
- Speed limit / street sign not authorized or lawfully posted
- Steer signs not posted on the correct side of the roadway
- Dangerous weather conditions forced you to drive the way you did
- Officer's dash-cam and body-cam recordings establish lack of speed or driving behavior
- Obtaining an independent calibration of your own vehicle's speedometer
Protect Your Driving Record With Kassabian & Kassabian, PLC!
If you've been charged with a traffic offense, speeding offense or other criminal related traffic matter, there are ways to investigate and examine the case. If you are wrongfully charged or if there is insufficient evidence, we will fight the charge to have it dismissed. Don't admit guilt and automatically pay the fines and court costs only to suffer from the penalties. You should consult an experienced traffic defense attorney and begin building a strong defense as soon as possible. Traffic defense attorney John Kassabian has experience handling a wide range of traffic and speeding cases. He is skilled at building a strong defense and presenting your case to the prosecutor for effective negotiations and trying your case before the court. As a former prosecutor for Prince William County and Fairfax County, John understands how traffic and speeding cases are presented, tried and how to successfully defend against them. He will review the details and circumstances of your case and work in your best interest to have your penalties diminished or dismissed.
Don't plead guilty by paying your traffic or speeding offense ticket without consulting an experienced lawyer first. Contact Kassabian & Kassabian, P.L.C., today at (703) 750-3622.