There are more than 229 million licensed drivers in the United States and nearly six million in Virgina. With so many motorists on the road, accidents are inevitable. Some accidents are also considered crimes in certain circumstances. If you get charged with a traffic crime, you can face serious penalties.
You can face both jail time and significant fines if convicted of a traffic crime. If you don’t know how to address your charges, Christina Pendleton & Associates is here for you. Our Richmond criminal traffic attorneys will help you fight against your charges.
How Richmond Criminal Traffic Lawyers Help You
Our criminal traffic attorneys in Richmond strive to make your criminal traffic case more manageable. In the face of relentless prosecution, you can count on our team to:
- Gather case-relevant information
- Consult bystanders and expert witnesses for statements
- Handle communications between parties
- Submit essential paperwork on time
- Represent your best interests
- Explore your rights and avenues for defense
At the end of the day, it’s our goal to reduce or eliminate the charges brought against you. While you focus on your family and well-being, our team will do a case’s heavy lifting.
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Best Defenses Against Traffic Crime Accusations
You can build a criminal defense according to the details of your charges. During your initial consultations with criminal traffic lawyers in Richmond, you can discuss what evidence may be available to you and what research opportunities can best help you present your side of the story.
Some of the most effective traffic crime defenses in Virginia cite roadway conditions, weather, and the validity of the reading on a speeding radar. If you have a clean driving record, you may also reference your previous habits to better establish your character.
When in doubt, know that aggressive criminal traffic lawyers have your back in court. You can rely on professional representation to secure witness statements, challenge untoward accusations, and fight for your right to a stress-free life.
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Penalties for Traffic Crimes in Richmond
Traffic crimes vary from speeding to wrongful death. In turn, the consequences you face will differ depending on your circumstances. You can work with our lawyers to determine how best to respond to the charges leveled against you.
Reckless or Aggressive Driving
Virginia addresses reckless driving charges on a sliding scale. The conditions of the road and the speed at which you’re driving at the time you’re pulled over will determine whether you face misdemeanor or felony charges.
According to the Virginia DMV, drivers can be charged with reckless driving for going twenty to eighty-five miles over the speed limit. The number of points you’ll receive on your driver’s license remains the same no matter how quickly you were allegedly driving. That said, your consequences do differ.
Driving twenty or more miles over the speed limit caps your prison time at five years. If you go any faster, you may see eleven years of prison time. The same consequences apply to drivers with damaged vehicles or who endanger others.
As of January 2021, Virginia’s DMV banned the use of handheld electronic devices while behind the wheel of a car. That said, the state doesn’t just consider the inappropriate use of electronics to be distracted driving. Eating, handling maps, talking, or engaging in visual distractions can all result in car accidents if you’re not careful.
No legislation in Virginia sees you chastised for eating while behind the wheel if you don’t cause other drivers harm. The only legal consequences the state has in place apply to the act of texting while driving.
Drivers accused of engaging in this behavior may face fines of up to $125 on their first offense and $250 on all subsequent offenses. Fortunately, criminal traffic attorneys in Richmond can convince a criminal court to lower or remove these alleged violations from your record.
Drivers found going over the maximum speed limits noted in Code of Virginia §46.2-870 can face tickets and license points. However, speeding only constitutes a criminal charge if it’s paired with other reckless behaviors.
Even so, the consequences for driving over the speed limit in Virginia are unique. Virginia charges drivers fines of $6 for every mile they drive over the speed limit. These costs are often raised if the driver allegedly violated the speed limit in a protected area.
Driving Without a License
Everyone has days where they forget travel essentials at home. If you’re caught driving without a license, though, excuses won’t protect you from criminal charges.
Matters can grow even more severe if you’re caught driving on a suspended or invalid license. Virginia considers driving without a license to be a Class 1 misdemeanor, regardless of a person’s circumstances. Parties facing these charges can face a year of jail time and $2,500 in fines.
If you are accused of driving a motor vehicle without a license and have a criminal history, call an attorney. Drivers who don’t challenge these repeat charges can face Class 6 felony charges.
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Should I Take a Plea Bargain if I’m Offered One?
Plea bargains are a great way to resolve your case quickly and give you the peace of mind you need. However, always keep in mind that plea bargains are also often one-sided. The prosecution isn’t going to just let you go with a slap on the wrist.
More often than not, the plea bargains they offer you are actually just as bad as getting convicted in court. So, before you agree to any sort of deal or plea, you should get in touch with our lawyers first. We will review the offer made to you and ensure that it is fair.
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What Not to Do When Accused of Traffic Violations
If you are accused of a traffic violation, call on legal counsel as soon as you can. The things you say may be held against you if you have to attend a trial. A Richmond criminal traffic attorney can mitigate your case’s negative consequences if they’re there to mediate for you.
The team with Christina Pendleton & Associates has served 80,000 clients over the past several years. We can help you defend your decisions on the road without incurring additional consequences.
Contending With Out-of-State Charges
You never want to ignore criminal traffic charges, even if you don’t live in Virginia. Unmet traffic charges can have a significant impact on your criminal record even if you’re not a local.
Virginia will issue tickets to drivers in other states and suspend those drivers’ ability to drive through Virginia specifically if it appears that they engaged in reckless behavior while on the road.
In turn, the driver’s home state will take on responsibility for that driver’s behavior. That driver may then be expected to pay off a fine or attend a hearing, depending on the severity of the charges brought against them.
Common Traffic Offenses in Richmond, VA
A common misconception regarding traffic tickets is they’re easily dismissed in court. Although that might be the case for a first-time speeding offender or someone who has a few unpaid parking tickets, there are numerous traffic crimes where having an experienced criminal defense attorney is essential.
Our clients depend on us to resolve many traffic-related issues. Some of the most common traffic crimes we represent include:
- DUI accidents
- Reckless driving accidents
- Speeding tickets
- Pedestrian accidents
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
If you’ve recently been convicted of a traffic crime and are unsure whether your case constitutes hiring a lawyer, the Richmond criminal traffic attorneys at the Pendleton Law Team can help. We are happy to answer all your questions on our criminal traffic hotline and determine if our firm is the right fit for you.
Traffic Crimes Can Ruin Your Life
Speeding tickets may not feel like they’ll leave a substantial impact on your life. Some of the more severe traffic crimes can severely limit your personal and professional opportunities, though. If you’re convicted of a traffic crime like a DUI or any behavior involving child endangerment, you may face:
- Challenges applying to colleges or secondary schools
- Denied loan applications
- The inability to serve with the United States armed forces
- Difficulty retaining or finding a job
All traffic violations, no matter how severe, can also net you demerit points on the DMV point system. If these points add up over time, you may find yourself contending with severe financial ramifications, both in the form of fines and increased insurance premiums.
Get in Touch With Our Experienced Richmond Criminal Traffic Lawyers Today
If you’re ready to work with an aggressive and experienced criminal traffic lawyer in Richmond who will assist in your defense, look no further than the heavy hitters. Our lawyers have an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and are highly rated by clients on both Facebook and Yelp.
Schedule an appointment with Christina Pendleton & Associates today by calling us or filling out our online contact form for a free consultation at no risk or obligation.
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