Emporia VA Traffic Lawyer
In Emporia VA, traffic offenses range from infractions and misdemeanors to felonies. The law enforcement officers in Emporia, Virginia take all of these charges seriously. Even something that appears like a minor traffic violation can lead to serious consequences if not handled carefully. Whether you have been charged with a misdemeanor, an infraction, or a felony, you need to hire a traffic attorney – or at least consult with one. A traffic lawyer can advise you on the best way to proceed depending on the charges that you are facing. A lawyer can also usually represent you in court in your stead, which means you wouldn’t have to appear in person when facing infraction or misdemeanor charges that otherwise would require a court appearance.
Reckless driving is a common traffic offense in Virginia. It’s so common because all it takes is speeding 20+ mph over the posted limit (and sometimes just 16 mph over the limit). Most people assume reckless driving is just like any other traffic infraction and they will end up with a minor ticket if they pay the fine and costs. However, the Commonwealth of Virginia takes reckless driving charges seriously. Some of the driving behaviors that can lead to reckless driving charges include excessive speeds, drag racing, failing to signal appropriately, causing accidents, driving a faulty vehicle, driving too fast for conditions, and weaving in and out of traffic.
Most drivers confuse reckless driving by speed with a normal speeding ticket. Whereas both offenses are speed related, one is a traffic infraction while the other one is a Class 1 misdemeanor criminal offense. If you have been issued a simple speeding ticket, then you don’t have to appear in court. You can pre-pay the fine either via mail or on the court’s online portal. However, you need to note that paying for the ticket is an admission of guilt, and you will end up with 3 to 6 demerit points against your driving record.
Reckless driving, on the other hand, is a Class 1 misdemeanor criminal offense. Once you have been charged, you don’t have the option of pre-paying the fine. If the court gives you that option (which has been known to happen from time to time), you may be agreeing to a license suspension on top of a misdemeanor conviction. In actuality, you are required to appear in court and face the charges of Reckless Driving since it’s a Class 1 Misdemeanor. A conviction from reckless driving charges carries severe penalties such as a jail term of up to six months (very unlikely), fines of up to $2,500, suspension of driving license and demerit points. Since it is a criminal offense, you will also end up with a permanent criminal record which can jeopardize your future opportunities. If you have been charged with reckless driving, you need to consult Emporia VA Reckless Driving Lawyer as soon as possible.
Driving on a Suspended License
Driving with a suspended license is a Class 1 misdemeanor offense and often comes with jail for third or subsequent offenses. Driving without a valid license is a Class 2 misdemeanor (second or subsequent offense is a Class 1 misdemeanor). A class 2 Misdemeanor is less serious than a Class 1 Misdemeanor but can still come with a jail term of six months, among other penalties. The penalty handed out depends on your driving record as well as prior convictions. Various factors can lead to license suspension or revocation of privileges to drive in Emporia VA (and the rest of the Commonwealth of Virginia for that matter). A conviction of driving under the influence can also lead to license suspension.
You don’t always have to go to court to learn about your license suspension. You can start at the clerk’s office or the DMV. However, you will require the services of an experienced lawyer to help you if you have been charged with Driving on a suspended License or if you need to Petition the court to have your driving privileges reinstated.
Driving Under the Influence
Just like reckless driving, DUI is a Class 1 misdemeanor criminal offense. It can also be upgraded to a Class 6 felony charge if you caused an accident that led to deaths or injuries while driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If your DUI charge is a misdemeanor, then the penalties will range from fines up to $2,500 and suspension of driving privileges for one year. There is also a possibility of spending time in jail, depending on prior DUI convictions and your blood alcohol level determined during the offense. If you are facing felony charges due to DUI, then you can face a jail term of up to five years, among other serious consequences.
Eluding an Officer
As defined by local laws, even attempting to elude an officer is a major traffic violation. The officer has to have given you an audible or visible signal indicating that you have to stop or halt your vehicle. The officer will observe whether you are trying to speed up when they are behind you, or you are trying to create distance once you have been notified to pull over. If you find yourself in such a situation, you should remain calm and have an appropriate answer that explains your behavior as to why you didn’t stop immediately. Eluding an officer is a Class 2 misdemeanor offense. However, it can escalate to a Class 6 felony or even a Class 4 felony depending on your behavior and whether you have killed or injured anyone as you were evading. An experienced Emporia VA traffic lawyer can facilitate communication between the law enforcement officer, the commonwealth attorney’s office as well as the client while explaining the client’s behavior. Your attorney can also justify why you attempted to evade arrest. It can be an emergency, you may not have seen or heard the officer, you could have reasonably believed it was someone illegally impersonating an officer, or it simply was not your intention to evade the officer.
Experienced Emporia VA Traffic Lawyers
Whether you are facing DUI charges, reckless driving, speeding or Eluding, you should contact one of our skilled Emporia VA traffic lawyers right away. Even if your charges don’t carry the implications of significant fines or jail term, there is still the risk of demerit points on your license. Demerit points can lead to an increase in insurance premiums. Also, even if it’s a minor traffic offense, an accumulation of demerit points within a calendar year can lead to suspension of your driving license for up to 6 months. The role of our traffic attorneys is to assess the facts and evidence presented in each individual case, and then come up with the most appropriate strategy. As your traffic attorneys, we are there to ensure the protection of your rights throughout the process and to present a formidable defense.
Contact Us Today
Whether you were arrested and charged erroneously or you were caught violating traffic offenses, we can help with your case. At The Weiland Firm, PLC, we will do everything possible to get a positive result. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Contact us today and schedule a free initial consultation.
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