Fairfax County Traffic Law
Fairfax County police issue nearly 30,000 traffic tickets every year. Traffic court in Fairfax is a massive ordeal, encompassing up to six courtrooms processing several hundred cases every day. The vast majority of tickets are relatively minor, and will have minimal impact on either a person’s driving record or insurance premiums. However, other tickets that appear to be simply traffic tickets may have much greater and unintended consequences. It makes sense to talk to a Fairfax traffic lawyer before going to court if you suspect that your insurance premiums may go up, or that other problems may arise based on a conviction.
You will also want to call if you have gotten a number of tickets in the past. The Virginia DMV will punish drivers who have an excessive number of tickets over a short period of time. If any of those issues apply to you, call for a free consultation. If the officer has indicated on your ticket that you are required to come to court, you should call a lawyer immediately. Presence in court is only required on jailable offenses. That the officer checked the box doesn’t automatically mean you will go to jail or even that the officer is going to push for you to go to jail. However, it does mean that it’s on the table and that should at least warrant a phone call to a lawyer who knows how the system works.
It is important that anyone charged with driving without a license, driving on a suspended license, or driving on a suspended-DWI license, talk to a lawyer before going to court.
Driving without a License/No Operator’s License
This statute is the basic charge if someone has simply not obtained a license to drive in the state of Virginia. You should always discuss the charge with a lawyer, but a conviction under this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor and usually is not too severe for the first offense. A second or subsequent violation of this section is a Class 1 misdemeanor and strongly increases the likelihood of a jail sentence. Upon conviction under this section, the court may suspend your privilege to drive for a period not to exceed 90 days.A conviction under this section is a three-point offense and will remain on your record for three years.
Driving on a Suspended License
This statute makes it illegal to drive after your license has been suspended. The suspension may be for a previous conviction, the result of a failure to pay a fine, or court costs on another ticket. The consequences of driving on a suspended license can be significant. In addition to a fine and possible jail time, the court must suspend your license again. Strategies can be employed prior to going to court which will greatly improve your chances of getting a favorable result, and hopefully avoid a new loss of license. Another problem with a conviction is that you cannot get a restricted license (you can drive, but with restrictions) during the period of suspension. You will have to find alternative means to get to work, school, etc. For those reasons alone, it makes sense to contact a traffic lawyer before court to discuss your options.
Driving on a Suspended License – DWI related
This law, which applies if you are caught driving during the period of time where your license was suspended for DWI or refusal conviction (refusal to submit to a blood alcohol level test), is more criminal in nature than a traffic violation. It is a violation of this law to drive outside the terms of your restricted license, or to drive with any alcohol on your breath while your license is restricted.
There are two huge concerns whenever anyone is charged with a DWI driving on a suspended license. The first concern is that it may result in the imposition of some suspended jail time in the likely event that you are still on probation for the original DWI. Second, the DMV will suspend your license for at least a year on any conviction. Notice that neither of these consequences happen that day. These extra issues are all the more reason you must talk to a traffic lawyer before going to court if you are charged with a DWI-related driving on a suspended license. This violation is a six-point offense and stays on your driving record for 11 years.