Traffic law can vary quite a bit from state to state, especially when it comes to the harshness of penalties. Understanding the exact nature of these penalties and when they apply can mean the difference between a few days and a few years in jail. To that end, here are some facts about Virginia’s traffic laws.
How strict are Virginia’s DUI laws?
Virginia has a more specific set of penalties than most states, attaching separate punishments to first, second, third, and subsequent convictions, then additional penalties based on how many convictions you’ve had in the last ten or five years. Receiving three convictions within ten years can result in more than half a year in prison and permanent forfeiture of your vehicle.
Additionally, if you had a particularly high BAC, then further jail time may be added. Between .15% and .20% carries an additional five or ten days in jail, depending on whether it was your first or second offense in the last ten years. Over .20%, those penalties double. Though these particular penalties aren’t very large in the context of a third or fourth offense, they could result in doubling or even tripling your potential jail time if it’s your first or second conviction.
What is the penalty for running a red light in Virginia?
Running a red light or stop sign in Virginia can mean as little as a small fine or as much as the suspension of your license. Ignoring a red light will cost you up to $350, whereas failing to stop at a stop sign is only $250.
However, each also carries the additional penalty of demerit points on your license. The accumulation of too many will result in the loss of your license, so if you’re already near that point, failing to heed a simple traffic signal may cost you your license.
Should you hire a traffic attorney?
If you have been charged with a traffic violation, then you should consult a traffic attorney in Chesterfield Virginia at the very least. They will be able to look at the specifics of your case and help you decide if hiring an attorney is the right solution. In some cases, an attorney could save you from the majority of the maximum penalties allowable for the specified offenses. Even if the help of an attorney may only result in limited savings on the financial side, shaving any amount of time off of a prison sentence can be invaluable.