Chesapeake Traffic Lawyer

Many of us may be pulled over by a law enforcement officer and issued a traffic ticket when driving. Even the most careful drivers can find themselves having to pay a traffic ticket issued for speeding or having to go to traffic court. Whatever your situation may be, the defense attorneys at Parks Zeigler, PLLC, have vast knowledge when it comes to dealing with traffic infractions.

Traffic offenses can be costly, and some may stay on your driving record permanently. However, often individuals find themselves thinking that they do not need a Chesapeake traffic lawyer to represent them in their cases. We are experienced in the following areas of traffic offenses such as speeding tickets, reckless driving charges, defective equipment, car accidents, and other traffic infractions.

Our Attorneys Handle the Following Traffic Defense Cases

Why Should I Hire a Traffic Offense Attorney?

For most of us, we do not give a great deal of consideration to driving. We think nothing of getting in our vehicle and going to wherever our destination may be located without much care or consideration. Nonetheless, what if that right and ability were suddenly threatened due to traffic violations or any other legal issue related to your driving privileges? Most individuals think of traffic court in terms of dealing with minor traffic violations and not being a threat to their livelihood. Regardless of that opinion, there are many situations that occur in which you may need the assistance of a skilled traffic offense lawyer in Chesapeake to help you navigate the various legal complexities that may arise.

For example, when a driver is convicted of a reckless driving charge or other types of traffic violations, the offense will remain on their DMV report for a substantial period of time. The amount of time that a traffic infraction stays on a driver’s record is dependent on the type of traffic violation that occurred.

The following information includes specified time periods for various traffic offenses.

Permit or License Violations

If you are convicted of any of the following violations, a record of the infraction will remain on your DMV report for 11 years:

Reckless Driving Violations

If you are convicted of any of the following violations, a record of the infraction will remain on your DMV report for 11 years:

  • Driving at a speed of more than 80 miles per hour.
  • Illegally passing an emergency vehicle or school bus.
  • Passing at the top of a hill or at a railroad crossing.
  • Failing to use your turn signals properly.
  • Driving with defective brakes.
  • Driving without a clear view of the roadway.

Other Traffic Offenses

  • If you are found guilty of driving an unsafe or dangerous vehicle, the conviction will remain on your DMV report for three years.
  • If you are convicted of driving at more than 20 miles per hour above the speed limit, the infraction will remain on your DMV record for five years.
  • If convicted of the misdemeanor crime of evading police arrest, it will remain on your DMV report for three years.

If found guilty and convicted of the following traffic violations, a record of the infraction will remain on your DMV report for 11 years:

  • A felony conviction of evading police arrest.
  • Vehicular assault – a form of assault in which a motor vehicle has been used to either cause a person to be harmed or used to threaten harm to another individual.
  • Failing to stop at a crash scene; failure to stop at the scene of an accident that has resulted in personal injury or property damage and does not provide the necessary vehicle and contact information to the other driver, injury victims, property owners, or law enforcement officials.
  • Racing a vehicle and injuring another person -this especially applies to individuals who may be involved in street racing accidents.

It can be very overwhelming to think about the possibility of a driving infraction remaining on your driver’s DMV report for a period of up to 11 years. Many individuals do not realize that many future and prospective employers conduct background checks which also can give details of your driving record. Employers often require this type of information if the position requires you to drive for them in some capacity, such as a delivery driver, or if you are given a company car to drive. If employers insure their employees, driving infractions can be especially problematic on a background check.

Nonetheless, these infractions are only recorded on your driver’s DMV report if you are convicted of the traffic offense in question. This is why it is essential that you hire an experienced traffic offense attorney who understands how traffic laws work. An attorney can fight to have your original charges reduced or perhaps even thrown out entirely.

Should I Retain a Lawyer for a Regular Speeding Ticket?

Generally, when most individuals receive speeding tickets, they believe that at most they may have to pay a small fine and possibly go to court to fight to have the ticket dismissed. Nevertheless, if you receive a speeding ticket the one thing that you can most likely count on is your insurance rates increasing. In the long run, premium increases can end up costing you more than fines, court costs, and attorney fees combined. Often, clients will ask how much a speeding ticket will potentially increase their auto insurance. Questions like this are better answered by your auto insurance provider.

There are many valid reasons why you should hire an experienced traffic offense lawyer if you receive a speeding ticket in Chesapeake. Some of the reasons include:

An Experienced Attorney Knows What to Look For

Unlike an individual without prior legal experience, a skilled traffic attorney knows how to examine the evidence and find legal or procedural errors that may have been committed. In many cases, hiring an attorney can help you have your case dismissed at your initial court appearance.

An Attorney Knows How to Negotiate

Even if no procedural errors exist in your case, an attorney understands how to negotiate on their client’s behalf and can possibly have the fine reduced. Attorneys can advocate on your behalf by mentioning your good driving record or other reasons as to why your ticket should be reduced.

Attorneys Know and Understand Your Legal Rights

Most individuals do not actually know and understand the full extent of their legal rights when it comes to a traffic violation. A well-practiced lawyer not only understands your rights but also knows how to fight for them in court. If you are apprehensive about appearing in traffic court to fight your speeding ticket, having a qualified attorney with you can give you the confidence that you need in order to possibly have your ticket reduced or even dismissed.

Hiring an Attorney is Probably Less Expensive Than You Think

It is a common misconception that a lawyer is very expensive and that, for most people, it is not even an option that they can afford to consider. Although some attorneys may be very expensive, many other traffic offense attorneys have reasonable rates when it comes to assisting clients with speeding tickets. Most attorneys consider the fact that if hiring them was more expensive than the speeding ticket itself, why would anyone want to retain their services? As such, most traffic lawyers have reasonable fees. Due to the fact that a traffic lawyer can actually handle many cases in one day, they are able to offer more reasonable rates than if they were dealing with a higher profile criminal case.

Many Prosecutors Are Often Intimidated by Experienced Traffic Lawyers

In cases where individuals represent themselves, most likely, the prosecuting attorney is not going to feel intimidated by your presence in the courtroom. As a result, most individuals who choose to represent themselves sustain harsher penalties and higher fines. However, when an individual comes to court with an attorney to represent them, the prosecutor recognizes that the other attorney is aware of how the legal system works. In these situations, they are more likely to be willing to negotiate, which in the end, will most likely mean that you will pay substantially less for your ticket.

Having an Attorney Can Change the Judge’s Opinion of You

In most traffic cases, especially those that involve speeding infractions, people who have received tickets most likely pay the fine or come to court with the hope that the police officer does not show up. If you come prepared with an attorney, the judge may be more prone to rule in your favor. This is most likely due to the fact that they are more inclined to believe that you believe that you are innocent and willing to fight the charges.

There are many benefits to hiring a lawyer to help fight a traffic ticket. As stated previously, hiring a lawyer is, in reality, less expensive than paying the ticket itself. A traffic offense lawyer can work to possibly have your fine reduced or even thrown out. If you do not hire a lawyer, you will never know if you could have saved yourself money and possible points on your driving record.

Lega Options for License Suspension

Another important reason to hire an attorney to assist you with your speeding ticket involves the possibility of losing your license due to multiple speeding tickets. When you have received multiple traffic tickets in a short amount of time, you could be in jeopardy of losing your license due to suspension.

When you have received one or more traffic tickets in the past year or two or more tickets in the past two years, you could face the possibility of having your license suspended. When you have received a speeding ticket and are on DMV probation or a control period, it is critical that you consult with an experienced traffic law attorney in Chesapeake regarding your license. You most likely are on DMV probation or a control period if you have received any letters from the DMV office in the last two years.

As a citizen, you might not know your rights and privileges when it comes to traffic law, but a lawyer does. Having someone on your side who understands the law entirely will significantly improve your odds of getting your ticket dismissed or reduced. A lawyer knows how to represent you before the judge and argue on your behalf within the legal framework. For any driver who may find themselves in this type of situation, hiring a knowledgeable and skilled attorney is your best option in order to try to keep your license from being suspended.

Speeding Tickets and Employment

A speeding ticket also has the ability to affect your employment in the following areas:

  • If your job requires you to drive as a condition of your employment. An added problem is if your employer insures its employees – this can be especially problematic if you receive a speeding ticket.
  • For individuals who hold Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), this can affect their driving record and their ability to gain employment. Many trucking companies are not permitted to hire drivers who have any speeding tickets on their record for the past two years. For drivers who hold a CDL, certain traffic violations can eventually lead to their license being revoked.
  • Persons who have a security clearance have extra cause for concern as a speeding ticket can cause you to potentially lose your clearance and subsequently lose your job. This is often coupled with a requirement that to keep your security clearance you are required to disclose any traffic tickets or fines that exceed a specified amount.
  • Speeding tickets can be especially problematic for members of professionally licensed organizations such as nurses, lawyers, and many others.

When any of the above conditions apply to you, then you need to consult with your employer immediately. You need to determine whether or not the traffic ticket will negatively affect your job. If you do discover that the ticket will negatively impact your employment, it is highly recommended that you consult with a traffic attorney in Chesapeake as soon as possible.

What Can Happen to Me After a Hit and Run Accident?

Hit and run accidents and leaving the scene of the accident are serious crimes. The laws and statutes that govern such crimes in Virginia are outlined as follows:

  • The driver of the vehicle must not leave the scene of the accident. Virginia law requires that the driver who was involved in the accident stop and remain at the scene of the accident while making a reasonable effort to ensure that traffic does not become obstructed.
  • The driver must assist in taking the other driver or victim to the hospital in the event that they need medical treatment.
  • The driver who caused the accident is required by law to report their name, address, driver’s license number, and vehicle registration number to the appropriate law enforcement officials, Virginia State Police, or to the driver who was struck.
  • If the driver has an accident in which unattended property is struck by their vehicle, the driver must show reasonable effort to track down the owner of the property. In the event that the driver is unable to locate the rightful owner, then they are legally obligated to leave a note with all of their relevant contact information. Additionally, the driver is obliged to go to the police station and file a report with the details of the accident within 24 hours of the accident taking place.

Do not make the mistake of leaving the accident scene. This is one of the worst mistakes that you can make if you are involved in an accident. When you do leave the scene of an accident, you will be charged with violating the Virginia Hit & Run Law.

Any driver involved in a car accident is under the legal obligation to stay. Otherwise, they will be guilty of committing the offense of hit and run. The driver is responsible for staying at the scene of the accident, providing any necessary aid or medical assistance, as well as providing all of the required information asked by law enforcement officials.

If a driver is found to have violated hit-and-run laws, strict legal actions will be taken against the driver who left the accident scene, regardless of what may have initially caused the accident. It should also be understood that hit and run laws provide that both a driver, as well as any passengers that may have been in the car with them, can be held liable for the accident.

The various penalties for hit and run crimes can vary and can depend on the following factors:

  • Whether you are the driver or the passenger.
  • Whether the property damage is estimated to be more or less of a specified amount.
  • Whether the vehicle is attended or unattended.
  • Whether or not the victim was injured or is dead.

Virginia Penalties for Hit-and-Run Drivers

  • Attended Vehicle: In this type of case, if you leave the scene of an accident and the other vehicle is attended, the offense is considered to be a Class 5 felony. Additionally, if the damage sustained includes injury, death, or more than $1,000 in property damages, the potential penalty could be up to 10 years in jail and a $2,500 fine.
    If an attended vehicle is hit and sustains $1,000 or more in property damage it is considered to be a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine.
  • Unattended Vehicle: If an unattended vehicle is struck and causes $250 or more in property damage this is considered to be a Class 1 misdemeanor and is punishable by up to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine.
    If a vehicle is unattended and under $250 in property damage is sustained this is considered to be a Class 4 misdemeanor and is punishable by a fine of up to $250.00.

In Virginia, the laws are also strict in regard to the passenger who is with the hit and run driver. They have the same legal responsibilities as those of the driver when it comes to accidents. The only difference that exists between the driver and passenger when it comes to the potential punishment of leaving the scene of the accident involves the scenario of an attended vehicle being hit and with injury or death resulting from the accident. Unlike the driver, who could be sentenced to up to 10 years, the passenger faces up to five years in prison and a $2,500 fine. When you have been charged with a hit and run in Chesapeake, you need a traffic attorney on your side.

Hire a Chesapeake Traffic Lawyer

If you have recently received a speeding ticket, been charged with a hit and run, or other types of traffic offenses, you need an experienced lawyer who is not afraid to fight for your legal rights. Our attorneys can answer your questions and help you understand the options you may have as you proceed with your case. Call Parks Zeigler and schedule a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable Chesapeake traffic lawyers.

Areas We Serve

With an office near Town Center, Virginia Beach and a second location beside the Chesapeake courthouse, our team provides quality legal representation across the entire Hampton Roads Area.

  • Virginia Beach
  • Hampton
  • Chesapeake
  • Newport News
  • Norfolk
  • Yorktown
  • Portsmouth
  • Accomack County
  • Suffolk
  • Northampton County

Parks Zeigler, PLLC – Attorneys At Law

Parks Zeigler, PLLC – Attorneys At Law N/a
524 Albemarle Drive,
Suite 200

Chesapeake, Virginia 23322
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