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Virginians love to drive. There are about six and a half million vehicles registered in Virginia. Millions of people use them every day using every type of roadway across the state. Many drivers reach their destination after being given a ticket or being arrested. Thousands of people are cited by Virginia law enforcement officers every day for citations minor to major and crimes that can include driving under the influence (DUI) and reckless driving.
Moving violations are the types of traffic citations that have the biggest impact. They can put points on your license which can add up to your license being suspended. Moving violations can result in stiff fines but they can be dwarfed by the long-term costs of increased insurance premiums.
Speeding violations and penalties vary depending on the circumstances. In addition to traveling over the speed limit, there are additional costs if you’re found speeding in a school or work zone, towing a trailer or while using certain bridges and tunnels. Speeding in a Highway Safety Corridor can double your fine.
A driver whose license is suspended cannot drive unless his license is reinstated or the person obtains a restricted license. The terms of reinstatement will vary in each case and can include payment of fees and court costs, obtaining vehicle insurance, attending a driver improvement course or completion of a driver’s test.
A driver with a commercial driver’s license(CDL) may suffer more serious penalties than other drivers if he or she is charged with a moving violation while driving a commercial or personal vehicle. These can include logbook violations, driving an overweight vehicle, speeding while towing a trailer, violating grade restrictions and lane restrictions. A CDL holder convicted of a DUI in a passenger vehicle will suffer penalties that will impact his or her CDL as well. The loss of a driver’s license will also result in the loss of the CDL and the ability to earn an income by driving commercial vehicles. Refusing to submit to a chemical test will result in a DUI arrest and a one year revocation of your CDL if this is a first offense.
In Virginia, DUI is considered driving while your blood alcohol content (BAC) is at least 0.08%. You could also be arrested for DUI with a lower BAC or due to drug use because your ability to operate a motor vehicle is considered impaired by the officer. A conviction for a first offense DUI includes a mandatory, minimum $250 fine and a driver’s license revocation for one year. A DUI conviction can result in sharply higher auto insurance premiums or your carrier may drop you entirely.
Reckless driving in Virginia is driving a vehicle on a roadway in a manner that that endangers “life, limb or property” or at a speed that is similarly deemed reckless. Like DUI this is a crime, a misdemeanor, not a traffic violation. If convicted you could pay a fine up to $2,500, potentially spend up to one year in jail or have your license suspended for up to six months. Auto insurance coverage could be dropped by your carrier or your costs could increase dramatically.
Actively defending these types of citations and arrests with the help of an attorney could eliminate or reduce fines, enable you to control your insurance costs, allow you to continue to drive, keep you out of jail and you can avoid having a criminal record. If you have questions about criminal law or traffic citation defense and live in the Virginia Beach area, call Abrons, Chiusano & Sceviour at (757) 644-6789 or fill out our contact form to schedule a consultation today.