Tag: Traffic Violations

How To Choose A Good Lawyer For A Traffic Violation

How To Choose A Good Lawyer For A Traffic Violation

If you have been involved in a traffic incident and you are headed to court, it is a good idea to have a lawyer by your side. You could contest it by yourself, but lawyers know the ins and outs of the judicial system and will be able to help you get a fair hearing. Even if you are not going to court, but you feel that you have been treated unfairly, a lawyer can help. If you are unsure of how to choose a good lawyer to assist you with the legal proceedings from your traffic ticket, the following are some good ideas:

Get A Recommendation

Getting a recommendation from someone who you know and trust could very well be one of your best resources. If a friend or family member had to deal with a similar situation, they might have a lawyer that they would recommend you use or not use. You want to be sure that you are getting a good recommendation, so only ask someone who you think will, in fact, be honest and have your best interest in mind. If you know someone in the legal field, they could also be a good resource to turn to so that you can get a good lawyer that deals with traffic issues.

Do Research

Whether you have some good recommendations or not, you can turn to the internet for more information. You can either look up the lawyers that were recommended to you so that you find out more specifics about their area of specialties, or you can search for lawyers from scratch. When you find each website, take some time to read through all the details. Some questions that you should get answered are:

  • What type of education does each lawyer have?
  • Where are they located?
  • Do they handle the traffic issue that you are presenting?
  • How long have they been in business?
  • Looking at their website, do you feel comfortable contacting them?

Contact

After you have found a lawyer or two that you feel will do a good job for you, you should contact them directly. Whether you want to do that by phone, or in person is up to you. The benefit of contacting them by telephone first is that you can set up an appointment to see them in person so that they are sure to be in the office when you show up. If there were any questions remaining after you checked out the lawyer’s website, you can ask those questions during your visit. Talking to the lawyer personally will give you a greater sense of whether or not you feel comfortable with each particular lawyer and the services they are offering you. If anything doesn’t feel quite right, don’t be afraid to ask them about it. You want the best representation that you can get.

Finding a lawyer that will help you with a traffic violation can be done fairly quickly. By getting a recommendation, doing research on the internet, knowing the right questions to ask, and contacting each lawyer that you find, you can end up with the best lawyer for your situation.

7 Don’ts When Pulled over for a Traffic Stop

7 Don’ts When Pulled over for a Traffic Stop

Almost all drivers have been pulled over for a routine traffic stop.  Often, drivers might view the cause of the stop and impending traffic ticket nonsensical.  As a fellow motorist, I have experienced being pulled over for a routine traffic stop after going 5 mph over the speed limit on a highway with a speed limit of 65 mph.  There are no guarantees that you can talk your way out of a ticket for a traffic violation.  But, there are a few things you could choose to do that would almost always guarantee to make your situation much worse.

  1. Do NOT run from the police in a high speed chase

Do not run.  Do not try to run.  Do not think about running.  Do not put create a scenario in which a police officer might think that you might run.  If there is not a safe place to pull over, such as you are asked to pull over by the side of a ditch, signal immediately and drive another 100 feet to where you can safely pull over.  Running from police can be much worse than most initial infractions.  In addition to the initial infraction, failing to yield to law enforcement can easily turn a traffic ticket into being charged with multiple felonies involved in a high speed chase such as felonious hit-and-runs.

  1. Do NOT confess to anything

When asked the routine question, “Why did I pull you over?” by a law enforcement official, do not confess to anything.  Primarily, you do not know what you were pulled over for.  You might have been speeding and ran a red light, but an officer might have pulled you over due to a broken taillight.  Instead of confessing to any wrongdoing, give a polite answer such as a shrug and say something vague.  You will find out why you were pulled over soon enough.

  1. Do NOT become belligerent

“Clever” comments are rarely appreciated.  Similarly, arguing about the nature of the traffic stop will not get you far.  In the event you feel that the traffic stop was unfair, it is best to apologize for your wrongdoing.  For example, be cooperative when asked to show your license and registration and then apologize for not paying more attention when being clocked at going 70 mph in a 65 mph zone.  It can be helpful to be almost too polite.  Say “Yes ma’am,” or “Yes sir,” even if you do not typically use that verbiage.   Instead of arguing, say that you will learn from your mistake and pay more attention to the speedometer in the future.

  1. Do NOT fail to disclose any concealed weapons

Even if you have a concealed weapons permit, the first contact you must make with an officer after being pulled over is to IMMEDIATELY disclose that you have a weapon in the vehicle or on your person.  Never chance that the weapon might be accidentally seen.  Disclosing that you have a concealed weapon in the vehicle will be must less likely to cause problems than if you fail to do so.

  1. Do NOT attempt to bribe an officer

Bribing an enforcement official is a bad idea.  Bribery is especially concerning for police officers.  If the officer were to accept the bribe, he or she could be in a large amount of trouble.  After attempted bribery, officers are required to report the incident.  An attempted bribe could have the opposite of a beneficial effect.  It will likely land you in more trouble.

  1. Do NOT act suspicious or goofy

Cooperate with all instructions while remaining calm.  Bursting into tears or inappropriately exposing body parts is rarely helpful.  Remember, it is only a routine traffic stop.  Have your current registration and license handy and simply follow the instructions given to you.  Even if it is hot, do not open the door for fresh air or turn on the engine to run the air conditioning unit and possibly alarm the officer writing the warning or ticket.  Remember, it is only a traffic stop.

  1. Do NOT ignore the ticket

Either pay the ticket or show up to traffic court or hire a Lawyer.  Driving with an unpaid ticket and missed court date is a major risk.  If you feel that the ticket was issued unfairly and could negatively impact your license, contact an attorney for advice.

At the end of the day, life goes on after receiving a traffic ticket.  However, doing the wrong thing at a routine traffic stop could have serious and lasting consequences.

More Info:

How to Behave if Pulled Over For Speeding
Frequently Asked Questions About Reckless Driving

Do I need a traffic ticket attorney

Traffic Ticket Dismissed in Hanover County VA Not Guilty Verdict

THE RESULTS DO NOT GUARANTEE OR PREDICT A SIMILAR RESULT IN ANY FUTURE CASE UNDERTAKEN BY THE LAWYER. THE RESULTS DEPEND ON A VARIETY OF FACTORS UNIQUE TO EACH CASE.

Traffic Ticket Dismissed in Hanover County, VA – Not Guilty Verdict

John Weiland of Weiland Upton, PLC, Attorneys at Law, represented a client charged with a traffic violation in Hanover County for failing to obey a police officer’s signals.

Due to the client’s driving history and previous convictions, Mr. Weiland informed the client that he would not be receiving any leniency from the judge and instead they would need to prepare for a trial. Mr. Weiland met with the client and prepared a strategy for the best possible outcome in the case.

In court, Mr. Weiland pled Not Guilty and effectively cross-examined the police officer. After the officer’s testimony, Mr. Weiland made a legal argument to the judge and convinced the judge to dismiss the case without his client even needing to testify.

If you or someone you know has been charged with a traffic violation in Hanover, VA, contact the law office of Weiland Upton at 804-355-8037.

Read More About:

Hanover Speeding Ticket Attorneys
Hanover Traffic Lawyer

 

6 Reasons a Lawyer Should Fight Your Ticket

6 Reasons a Lawyer Should Fight Your Ticket

Getting a traffic ticket is not a fun experience, but most people have gotten one or more in their lifetime. While most people just pay the ticket and move on, it may be worth it to hire a traffic lawyer to fight your ticket. Many people get tickets when they don’t necessarily deserve them. For example, maybe you got a speeding ticket when you were just keeping up with the flow of traffic. Perhaps you got a parking ticket for backing into a parking space when the sign was not posted anywhere. Whether the ticket was your fault or not, you have a great chance of having the ticket removed from your record if you fight it. However, you likely don’t know the best way to go about fighting your traffic ticket, so it’s a good idea to have a lawyer fight it for you. Nine out of ten people will just pay the ticket whether it was their fault or not, but that doesn’t mean that you have to be one of those people. Having traffic tickets can increase your insurance rates, lead to hefty fines, and affect your driving record. As you can see, it may well be worth it to have a lawyer fight for you to try to get your ticket dismissed. There are a few different ways that having a lawyer on your side can help you.

Virginia Speeding Ticket Attorneys1.       They Know How to Get Out of It

When you get a traffic ticket, your first instinct isn’t likely how to find a mistake on the ticket or how to prove that you didn’t do whatever the ticket said that you did. However, a lawyer will know how to find the things that the average person can’t find. They can find errors that not many people will notice, and if there is an error or mistake on your ticket, then it will almost certainly be dismissed. These errors will likely be missed by most people fighting by themselves to have their traffic ticket dismissed, so you can benefit greatly from having a lawyer that knows what technicalities they can use to help you get out of your ticket.

2.      Traffic Lawyers Can Get Your Ticket Reduced

Let’s say that there are no mistakes on your traffic ticket, and it turns out that there is no way for you to get out of your traffic ticket. Hopefully it won’t come to this, but there are times where you have to take responsibility for whatever it is you did. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to pay the entire fine. Your lawyer will likely be able to negotiate and get a lower fine, which can make a huge difference in how much you pay. They may be able to use your good driving record as a reason for why your ticket should be reduced, or they might find another reason that convinces the judge that reducing your ticket is a good idea. This is something you likely won’t be able to do on your own.

3.      Traffic Attorneys Fight for Your Rights

You most likely don’t know what rights you have as a driver in the state of Virginia. However, your lawyer knows just about everything there is to know when it comes to traffic law. They know how to argue for you and they know how to fight for your rights. In addition to knowing they will fight for your rights, it’s nice to know that you have somebody that understands the law fully on your side. This will greatly increase your chances of having your ticket reduced or dismissed altogether.

4.       It’s Probably Less Expensive Than You Think

When most people hear the word “lawyer”, they usually think of something that’s way too expensive for them to even consider. While this may be true for some lawyers, most traffic lawyers have quite reasonable rates. After all, what would the point be in hiring a lawyer if their fees are more expensive than your ticket would be? Because of this, most traffic lawyers charge low rates for their clients. Fighting a traffic ticket takes a lot less time than handling a murder case. In fact, many traffic lawyers are able to handle dozens and sometimes even hundreds of cases in one day. This is part of the reason it’s not typically expensive to hire a traffic lawyer. When you consider that in addition to getting your ticket reduced or dismissed they can get it removed from your record, you will likely see how hiring a lawyer is very well worth it.

5.       Prosecutors are More Intimidated by Experienced Traffic Lawyers

People who represent themselves likely aren’t going to scare the prosecutors. It’s pretty understandable, considering that most people aren’t going to fight very hard since they don’t really know how to fight. This is why most people who represent themselves typically have higher fines and harsher penalties. As soon as a lawyer shows up, however, prosecutors realize that the defendant can’t be bullied by them. They recognize that the lawyer knows what they are doing, so they are much more likely to give in, which means that you are a lot less likely to have to pay the ticket.

6.       It Can Change the Judge’s View of You

It makes sense that people who are innocent are likely to be innocent. Most people who know they have done what the tickets says they did are either going to pay the ticket, or show up to court in hopes that the police officer doesn’t show up. However, if you are so invested in your case that you bring a lawyer into it, the court is going to be more likely to believe that you are innocent. Because of this, having a lawyer on your side may make the judge more likely to rule in your favor, regardless of whether or not you are guilty.

As you can see, there are many benefits to having a lawyer on your side. Even if you think you are guilty of the ticket, it doesn’t hurt to see if you can get your ticket reduced or perhaps dismissed because of an error on the ticket. Hiring a lawyer is likely cheaper than paying the ticket itself, so you don’t have much to lose.

Weiland Upton is a leading firm of Virginia reckless driving lawyers.

Call (804) 355-8037 for a free consultation

Can out of state traffic violations hurt your Virginia driving record?

As Virginia traffic lawyers we are often asked by clients and prospective clients who hold a Virginia driver’s license whether a speeding ticket or other traffic violation received in another state can hurt their Virginia driving record.  The answer is yes.

Virginia-Traffic-Violations.jpgSince at least the late 1990s, many states’ motor vehicle authorities (DMVs) have participated in an information sharing network with one another.  Although a new network called the Driver’s License Agreement is expected to become the predominate information sharing hub for most states’ DMVs, the two major networks that many states currently use are the Driver’s License Compact and the Non-resident Violator Compact.  Essentially, the way all of these compacts work is that the states that participate in them have agreed to share information with one another concerning traffic convictions (speeding, reckless driving, failure to yield, failure to obey a traffic sign or DUI/DWI, etc…) that have occurred in their state.  In particular, these convictions are sent from the convicting state to the state where that person is licensed (often referred to as the “home state”), ultimately ensuring that the person’s driving record is negatively impacted as a result of a traffic infraction regardless of where the infraction occurs.

Perhaps the essence of these compacts is easiest to understand with an example.  Assume you live in and are licensed in Virginia, and you decide to take your family on a vacation to Florida.  Due to a traffic jam in North Carolina you decide to make up some time by exceeding the speed limit in South Carolina.  This plan to make up time is working out well until a police officer pulls you over and writes you a ticket for speeding.  Thinking this ticket will not affect your Virginia driving record since it happened in South Carolina you decide to simply prepay the ticket.  While that decision may save you some time by not traveling to South Carolina to defend the ticket and some money by not hiring an attorney to assist you with the ticket, the South Carolina DMV will very likely report the speeding conviction to the Virginia DMV.  As a result, what you previously believed was a harmless speeding ticket will very likely appear on your Virginia driving record and cost you precious Virginia demerit points.

Although our example involves a speeding ticket, the same concept is true for all different kinds of traffic infractions.  And to compound the problem, some people chose not to pay the fine and court costs for a ticket that is issued to them in a state different from where they are licensed.  They falsely assume that state’s DMV cannot do anything to harm them or their license status in their home state.  Unfortunately for them, their belief is wrong.  When the person chooses not to pay the fine and/or court costs that state then suspends that person’s privilege to drive in their state, and then notifies the person’s home state of the suspension.  Oftentimes the home state will then not renew that person’s license when the existing license expires due to the suspension pending in the other state.

As a result, it is critically important for people who are charged with speeding, reckless driving, or any other traffic infraction to consider hiring an attorney who can try to get the charge dismissed or reduced to a less serious traffic infraction that results in fewer demerit points, or none at all. Failure to do so will likely have a significant impact on their driving record, even if the ticket is issued in a state other than their home state.

Weiland Upton is a leading Virginia Traffic Law Firm

Call (804) 355-8037 for a free consultation