Fairfax Traffic Lawyer

In Virginia, there are three types of traffic offenses: simple traffic infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies. Below a Fairfax traffic lawyer discusses each of these and what penalties you are likely to face. If you have been charged with any type of traffic offense it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced attorney in Fairfax who can advocate on your behalf and ensure that your rights are protected.

Additionally, if charged with a misdemeanor or felony offense, a Fairfax reckless driving lawyer can assist in putting forth the strongest possible defense, ensuring that your criminal record stays as clean as possible. To learn more about what experienced legal counsel can do for you, call today.

Traffic Infractions

A traffic infraction is a violation of public code rather than a violation of a criminal statute. Anything that is in violation of Virginia’s code title 46.2 is considered a traffic infraction. This can include:

  • Basic Speeding
  • Improper Turns
  • Improper Passing
  • Driving While Using Earphones
  • And More

A traffic infraction is different from a misdemeanor or felony offense because it’s not punishable by jail time. Whereas a misdemeanor conviction is also a criminal conviction that will remain on someone’s criminal record for the rest of their lives, a traffic infraction disappears from somebody’s driving record over time and does not result in a permanent criminal record. However, it can still be a good idea to contact a traffic attorney in Fairfax as an attorney can fight to keep your license from having points added and negotiate down the fine.

Where Are Traffic Infraction Cases Heard in Virginia?

Traffic infractions in Virginia are heard in the general district court of the jurisdiction in which the offense occurred. For traffic infractions you’re not required to go to court as these are actually able to be prepaid in advance to avoid the hassle of having to show up in court, but keep in mind that doing so is equivalent to pleading guilty to the charge. For this reason it may be preferable for you to consult with a Fairfax speeding ticket lawyer first.

If you choose to appeal your traffic infraction from the General District Court you have 10 days to do so.

Penalties For Traffic Infractions

Traffic infractions are punishable usually by just a fine, as there’s no jail time possible as there is for misdemeanors and felonies. If you have too many traffic infractions, however, then you can also have your license suspended in certain cases. For more specifics on what impact a charge could have on you, schedule a consultation with a Fairfax traffic lawyer.

Traffic Misdemeanors

Traffic misdemeanors are a step up from traffic infractions and usually involve creating some kind of risk to human life or property. Misdemeanors are criminal convictions which are permanent and stay on your criminal record forever. Additionally, these charges will be punished will jail time, and not simply a fine like for traffic infractions.

Your criminal record and your driving record will be affected if you are convicted of a misdemeanor traffic offense.

Where Are Traffic Misdemeanor Cases Heard in Virginia?

Similar to traffic infractions, misdemeanor cases in Virginia are heard in the general district court of whatever jurisdiction the offense occurred in. In Fairfax the general district court is located at 4110 Chain Bridge Road.

Penalties For Traffic Misdemeanors

There are various possible penalties for misdemeanors, which can include jail time, a fine that tends to be heavier than it would be for an infraction, as well as a driver’s license suspension. The punishment severity will depend on the particular charge and the surrounding circumstances as well as the particular driver’s history.

If you are convicted you then have 10 days to appeal your case.

Traffic Felonies

A traffic felony is the most serious of all criminal charges in Virginia. Felonies are different from both infractions and misdemeanors because they’re considered the most serious type of offense. So they come with harsher penalties and the sentence is served in a state correctional facility instead of a Virginia county jail. Like a misdemeanor convictions, a felony will result in a permanent criminal record while infractions only affect somebody’s driving record and disappears over time.

If you are accused of a traffic felony, it is imperative you contact a Fairfax traffic attorney to discuss your case, as you are facing a serious offense that will no go away easily.

Where Are Traffic Felony Cases Heard?

In Virginia, felony cases are heard in the general district court for preliminary hearings and arraignment. If a defendant is then indicted with a felony charge, the trial will actually be heard in the Virginia circuit court.

If you are convicted and want to appeal that decision you would do so in the circuit court.

Penalties For Traffic Felonies

Generally, felonies are punishable with long-term prison sentences and hefty fines. For example, a class 5 felony would be punishable by one to ten years in prison.

Importance of Hiring a Fairfax Traffic Attorney

Any traffic charge whether it be an infraction, a misdemeanor, or a felony, can have a drastic impact on your day to day life. Any charge will add points to your license, and as a result your insurance rates are likely to go up. For these reasons, if you are accused it is likely in your best interest to consult with a traffic lawyer in Fairfax today to begin planning your defense. Call today.