It’s essential to retain legal counsel whenever you’re involved in a matter that impacts your legal rights. This is true even for seemingly simple cases like a traffic ticket. It’s tempting to think you can handle the issue yourself or to accept the charges and plead no contest. Also, as a Virginia resident, you may believe that it’s not a hassle to go to court and represent yourself. However, hiring a lawyer is about much more than convenience. The financial implications of a traffic ticket are severe. Your driving privileges are also at stake. Here are the reasons you should hire a Virginia criminal defense lawyer to fight the matter and protect your interests.
You Face Stiff Financial Penalties
Violations of Virginia’s Rules of the Road, including speeding, are infractions that can hit your wallet hard. Different factors affect the amount of your fine, such as:
- Your prior driving record, including history of speeding and other traffic violations;
- The speed you were traveling, as you’ll pay generally a $6 fine for every mile in excess of the speed limit – in addition to court costs; and,
- Whether you were speeding in a construction zone, school zone, or certain residential areas, which may raise the fine to $7-$8 per mile over the limit.
You May Face Criminal Charges
In addition, Virginia law does elevate certain traffic violations to criminal misdemeanors. Police may charge you with reckless driving if you’re driving over 80 miles an hour or more than 20 miles over the posted limit. The most serious traffic violations may even be a felony in the event of a third DUI or a hit and run where you injure or kill someone.
You Risk Losing Your Driving Privileges
Virginia has established a points system for punishing traffic offenders. For instance:
- 3 Point Violations: Speeding at 1-9 mph over the limit or disobeying certain traffic signs;
- 4 Point Violations: Speeding at 10-19 mph over the limit or following too closely; and,
- 6 Point Violations: Street racing or driving on a suspended license.
The points system impacts your driving privileges because of how they accumulate in a certain window of time. Ultimately, if you accrue 18 points in a year or 24 points in 2 years, you’ll face license suspension for 90 days.
You may think that you’re saving money by not hiring an experienced attorney to act on your behalf when fighting a traffic ticket. The investment is worth it when you consider the alternatives, though. High fines and increased insurance rates have financial implications. Plus, Virginia’s points can affect your ability to drive. This makes life very difficult if you’re unable to travel to work or assist with household errands.
Contact us to Hire An Attorney to Fight Your Speeding Ticket
If you’re facing charges based upon a traffic violation, please contact the Virginia speeding ticket lawyers at Leavitt & Martin, PLLC. You can reach us online or by calling (804) 873-4004. We can answer your questions and tell you more about your options for fighting the violation. We can also schedule a consultation for you at our Midlothian, VA office.