3 Types of Traffic Violations in Virginia You Should Know About
Across the U.S., there are nearly 200 million licensed drivers. Among them, 41 million receive citations for traffic violations each year. Just because traffic violations are common, however, doesn’t mean they’re not serious.
If you’re convicted, you can face fines, loss of your license, and even spend time in jail – all of which can seriously disrupt your life. Whether you’re new to driving or have been operating a motor vehicle for a while, there are three categories of traffic violations in Virginia you need to know about: three-point violations, four-point violations, and six-point violations.
DMV Traffic Points
In Virginia, traffic violations are defined by points. The DMV tracks each violation to your driving record and allows or denies you driving privileges based on your points. The three point categories define the severity of the violation and determine the penalties you would face if you’re convicted.
Understanding each type of violation will better prepare you for being on the road and help you if you ever face criminal traffic charges. The higher the point value, the more important it is to speak with a traffic attorney that can help you.
Three-Point Traffic Violations in Virginia
The first category of traffic violations is three-point traffic violations, which are the least severe and include citations such as speeding (1-9 mph above the limit), improper passing, improper turning, failing to signal, and driving without lights.
Four-Point Traffic Violations in Virginia
One step above basic traffic violations in Virginia is four-point traffic violations. In Virginia, four-point traffic violations include speeding (10-19 mph above the limit), passing when unsafe, failing to stop for a pedestrian, and following another car too closely.
Six-Point Traffic Violations in Virginia
The most severe traffic violations in Virginia are six-point traffic violations. Some six-point violations, such as driving a commercial vehicle under the influence, stay on your record permanently.
Other violations vary in the time they remain on your record and include but are not limited to reckless driving, driving while intoxicated, driving with a revoked license, and manslaughter.
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Safe Driving Points
One thing that may confuse drivers is that you also accumulate safe points. For every full calendar year that you hold a valid Virginia driver’s license, you get a safe point added to your record, up to a maximum of five.
These safe points serve as proof that you’re a driver that has managed to stay on the right side of the law. Having some on your record will help your lawyer build a positive impression of your driving skills in the traffic court.
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Punishments for Too Many Points
In addition to criminal charges, the DMV can revoke or suspend your license for having too many points on your record. For an adult, this is 12 points in 12 months, or 18 points in 24 months.
Also, you’ll face an automatic suspension if you get 18 points in 12 months or 24 points in 25 months. This is a 90-day suspension, and you’ll have to attend a safe driving clinic to be allowed to drive again.
However, some crimes create an automatic suspension or revocation no matter what your point total is. These range from driving without a valid license to fleeing the scene of a fatal accident. DUI will also automatically suspend or revoke your license.
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Virginia Clinics for Safe Driving
When drivers are given demerit points against their record, they often have the opportunity to earn points back. Attending a clinic for safe driving is one of the most popular methods for earning positive points and can make a big difference for drivers who are in trouble.
Attorneys who work with traffic crime offenders often recommend to their clients that, if offered, they should take the opportunity to attend a safe driving clinic. Drivers who attend a safe driving clinic, whether they attend voluntarily or by force, are often rewarded with a reduced sentence.
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Insurance and Alleged Traffic Violations: What to Expect from Virginian Providers
If you’re accused of violating Virginia traffic laws, you may need to schedule a consultation with your insurance provider. Accidents and license points can both cause your insurance rates to increase, especially if you’re allegedly liable for someone else’s damages.
Some Virginian providers may also revoke your coverage if you lose access to your license. With that in mind, you can work with our team to challenge the charges brought against you. We’ll work with one of your provider’s representatives to challenge rate increases and keep you on your current insurance plan.
Contesting a Suspended or Revoked License
If you lose your license as a result of point overages, you can fight to get it reinstated. That said, wait until after you’ve consulted with an attorney before approaching a representative at your local DMV. Once you know how you want to move forward, you can reach out to your local branch online or in person to learn more about your next steps.
In most cases, Virginia DMV branches will require drivers with suspended licenses to submit paperwork indicating that they’ve addressed the government’s concerns regarding their driving. This will include proof of residency within the state and proof of identity. Drivers may also have to:
- Submit an insurance provider’s SR22 or FR44
- Participate in a Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program
- Finalize payments to local jails
- Submit evidence of state-mandated insurance coverage
- Pay a license reinstatement fee
On average, license reinstatement fees fall within the range of $145 to $220. If the state requires you to retake a knowledge or skills test, you may have to contend with additional expenses.
Contact Our Experienced Criminal Traffic Lawyers in Virginia
If you’ve recently been convicted of a traffic violation in Virginia, there’s no better time than now to secure an experienced and determined criminal traffic lawyer for your case. Even if you have only received a speeding ticket, there’s always the chance you will face detrimental consequences, especially if it wasn’t your first violation.
The attorneys at Pendleton Law Firm are dedicated to providing quality criminal traffic services to their clients in need, and for that reason are highly rated on Facebook, Yelp, and Google+ by their past clients. Call the Pendleton Law Firm Office criminal-traffic hotline or fill out our online contact form today.
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