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Do I Need a Traffic Ticket Lawyer in Virginia?

— August 16, 2022

If you’re facing reckless driving charges, it’s not a joke.

Richmond, VA – Most drivers don’t think much of a traffic ticket. What’s the big deal? You pay the fine and get on with your life! While this is true of minor traffic rule violations, more serious ones can result in you losing your license, seeing your premium skyrocket, or even going to jail. Virginia has some of the strictest traffic laws in the country and once you get a ticket it stays on your driving record for many years. Without an experienced Virginia traffic ticket lawyer by your side, your ‘minor’ reckless driving infraction can lead to criminal charges, and those stay on your record forever. 

Let’s have a look at the most common types of traffic violations and the possible outcomes in each case.


Let’s be honest – everybody does that. However, there’s a big difference between going a bit faster and being caught doing 20 mph over the speed limit.

If, for instance, you’re caught driving 1-9 mph over the speed limit, the fine will be small and you’ll get three demerit points on your license. On the other hand, going 20 mph or more over the speed limit can result in a hefty fine, 6 demerit points and you’ll have to show up in court for trial. 

Should you get a lawyer? Definitely, especially if it’s not your first traffic ticket. A dedicated lawyer will fight to have the charges against you reduced or dismissed. 

As an example, in Virginia, speeding in a school or construction area is a serious traffic violation. A skilled lawyer will visit the scene of the incident and come up with a defense strategy. If the signs indicating there’s a school nearby were not clearly visible you shouldn’t be charged with a traffic offense.

Reckless driving

Upclose shot of stop sign on school bus; image by Robin Jonathan, via
Upclose shot of stop sign on school bus; image by Robin Jonathan, via

Traffic violations such as racing, passing a school bus or passing an emergency vehicle constitute reckless driving. The possible fine you’re facing should be the least of your concerns, although a strict judge might impose the maximum fine, which is $2,500. That’s bad, but it’s nothing compared to the criminal charges you may be facing. Reckless driving is a Class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia. Keep in mind that the judge will check your driving record and, if you have prior violations, they may send you to jail just so you learn your lesson.

You should consider getting a knowledgeable traffic ticket lawyer and have those charges reduced to a minor violation.

Running a red light

Typically, running a red light carries a maximum fine of $350 in Virginia and demerit points to your driving record. Maybe you can afford that, but you must understand that in certain circumstances you running a red light violation can be ‘upgraded’ to reckless driving and possible criminal charges. Seasoned lawyers can help you fight such charges by using surveillance camera footage or finding mitigating circumstances.

Drunk driving

If running a red light can land you in trouble, imagine what happens if you’re charged with drunk driving. It’s just as bad as reckless driving even if you’re not involved in an accident. You need to think of the future as well. A second DUI offense is a felony and you can go to jail for that in Virginia. Even if you avoid jail time, you may see your license suspended or restricted, not to mention the increase in your premium. The fine is nothing compared to how much more you’ll have to pay on your insurance policy for many years to come. 

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