Driving News: New Law takes effect January 1, 2021
In Virginia, there are a number of driving offenses that constitute Class 1 criminal misdemeanors. This includes reckless driving, driving under the influence, and driving on a suspended/revoked license. What many people don’t realize is that by “pre-paying” or simply entering a plea of “guilty” or “no contest” to one of these, they may be creating a criminal record for themselves. Further, there are a significant number of collateral consequences that go along with convictions such as demerit points, insurance consequences, potential civil suits, license suspension, significant fines, and possibly jail time. Before you pay that “speeding ticket” read it carefully, and consider calling our office for a consultation about what it says!
Reckless Driving – there are more than 10 types of Reckless Driving in Virginia!
Driving Under the Influence – also known as DUI or DWI. DUI and DWI are not distinguishable under Virginia law. Virginia has a presumptive law. This means that if your blood alcohol (or narcotic) content reaches the statutory level you are presumed to be under the influence. What most people don’t realize is that there are a number of hurdles that the police must pass before even getting to the breath test. There must be reasonable articulable suspicion for a stop, and then probable cause for further investigation and detention. The facts of a case are worth a discussion with an attorney.
Driving on a Suspended or Revoked License – Virginia Code Section 46.2-301. Did you know, that if you receive a traffic ticket in Virginia, and fail to either appear in court in some capacity or prepay the ticket, that the failure to do so can result in the suspension of your driving privileges in Virginia? This is true even if your license is held in another state. Further, once that occurs, if you are driving within Virginia, you are then in violation of a misdemeanor section of the Virginia Code. Driving on a Suspended License can carry up to 12 months in jail, a $2500 fine, and 6 months further suspension of your driving privileges. A third offense (or higher) carries a minimum mandatory jail sentence of 10 days. There are a number of ways to proceed under this code section, so consider giving our office a call today.
Speeding ticket? Reckless driving charge? Driving on a suspended license? We have experience in defending these offenses in a number of jurisdictions across the Commonwealth. Don’t just pay for the ticket without considering the options! Give us a call today at (804) 212-5252 or (804) 318-1151 for a free consultation!