Your Comprehensive Guide to Virginia Traffic Laws

What Is the Title 46.2 of the Virginia Code?

 

Violations of traffic laws are some of the most common offenses in Virginia. There are many types of traffic violations, each with a specific punishment. In most cases, traffic violations are punished with fines.

Additionally, traffic violations can result in points being added to your license. Points are usually added to your driving record if you speed, run a red light, drive recklessly, run a stop sign, fail to wear your seatbelt, drive under the influence, fail to yield or make an illegal turn.

Virginia’s Supreme Court determines traffic fines. The deterrents and punishments vary from year to year. The more serious traffic violations result in fines, jail time, or other penalties. Thus, it is important to work with a legal professional who is aware of the current traffic laws and has experience dealing with the Traffic Court.

 

Understanding Reckless Driving and Typical Court Outcomes in Virginia

 

Reckless driving in Virginia Traffic Laws  is not just a traffic violation—it’s a criminal offense. This charge can encompass behaviors from speeding excessively (20 mph over the limit or faster than 80 mph) to driving erratically or dangerously. If convicted, the ramifications are severe: you could face a Class 1 misdemeanor, which carries penalties including fines up to $2,500, a six-month driver’s license suspension, and even up to one year in jail.

The typical court outcome largely depends on the specifics of the incident and your driving history. However, judges frequently consider mitigating factors such as completion of a driver improvement clinic or community service. Legal representation is crucial; an experienced attorney can often negotiate lesser charges or penalties, particularly for first-time offenders. Always ensure your actions post-charge demonstrate a commitment to safe driving, as this can influence the court’s leniency.

The Most Serious Traffic Violations in Virginia

More severe traffic violations carry more significant penalties. The majority of traffic violations are minor and only carry a fine and a negative point penalty. However, some violations can carry much more severe penalties and are classified as felonies in some circumstances. Serious Virginia traffic violations include the following:

  • Misdemeanor drinking and driving offenses: This is a traffic violation involving driving while under the influence of alcohol, intoxicating drugs, or both. Driving a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher is considered DUI in Virginia. The use of narcotics or prescription drugs while operating a motor vehicle could lead to a DUI charge.
  • Felony DUI:  DUI offenses committed three times within ten years result in felony charges. DUI is also a felony when an accident results in injury or death.
  • Driving without a license: Virginia law prohibits driving on a highway without a valid license. It is a first-time misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
  • Driving with a suspended license: A driver who drives while their license is suspended or revoked due to previous violations of traffic laws is guilty of this offense. Driving with a suspended Virginia license can result in serious penalties since this offense is a Class 1 misdemeanor.
  • Reckless driving: Driving a vehicle at a speed that may endanger another’s life, limb, or property is regarded as reckless, regardless of the speed limit. Driving recklessly is punishable by a fine of up to $2,500, a year in jail, and four demerit points being added to your record.
  • Speeding: Virginia posts the maximum speed limits on its roads. Generally, drivers who fail to obey traffic control devices and exceed the maximum speed limit on a highway sign by ten miles or by ten miles plus two miles are ticketed for being in violation with eh state’s speeding laws . The crime is a Class 1 misdemeanor that results in a maximum penalty of one year in jail, a fine of $2,500, and a license suspension of six months.
  • Failure to yield right of way: When it comes to road safety, yielding means giving way to other road users. There are several situations in which drivers must stop and yield, including turning left or joining a public highway from a private one. Also, drivers are required to yield to armed forces, funeral processions, and emergency vehicles. Virginia considers failure to yield right of way to be reckless driving. The penalties for this Class 1 misdemeanor include jail time of up to 12 months, maximum fines of $2,500, driver’s license suspension, DMV demerit points, and possibly enrollment in Virginia immediately.
  • Aggressive driving: The act of aggressive driving involves operating a vehicle in a manner that intimidates, harasses, or injures another person. This offense can result in incarceration for up to six months and a fine of up to $1,000.
  • Hit-and-run: Virginia’s traffic laws criminalize leaving the scene of an accident without reporting it and without giving aid to injured victims. It can lead to charges of hit-and-run. Hit-and-run convictions in Virginia can result in incarceration, fines, restitution, and license suspensions. An accident involving injury or death can result in a punishment of up to 10 years in prison, a maximum fine of $2,500, and a one-year suspension of a driver’s license.
  • Eluding the police: Virginia Code 46.2-817 defines eluding police as refusing to stop when a law enforcement officer signals to stop. The punishments include jail time, fines, and the suspension or revocation of the driver’s license. Depending on the specific circumstances, a misdemeanor or felony can be charged with eluding police in Virginia.
  • Racing: The act of racing is classified as reckless driving, which carries enhanced penalties, such as a suspension of a license for a minimum of six months and a maximum of two years. In most states, racing carries maximum sentences of up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.

Highway Traffic Lane Rules

 

Driving a motor vehicle without following highway lane markings is illegal under Virginia Code 46.2-804. This law provides the specific regulations governing travel on highways and lanes throughout the state, and the penalties for violating them are specified in the law, which aims to protect the safety of all Virginians.

This law states the following:

  • Slow-moving vehicles must stay in the rightmost available lane.

  • Center lane drivers should not operate their vehicles improperly.

  • Changing lanes should be done with caution.

  • Crossing double lines improperly is not allowed.

  • A driver should not drive improperly in the middle lane of a three-lane highway.

In addition to fines, traffic laws violations in Virginia result in four demerit points being added to a driver’sdriver’s record.

Can a Virginia Lawyer Help in Traffic Court?

 

A Virginia traffic lawyer can help in traffic court in several manners depending on the individual case. They may represent their client in court, but they can also help get a driver’s license reinstated if it has been revoked.

Most average people don’t feel comfortable making legal decisions without consulting a knowledgeable and experienced attorney. Please contact Scrofano Law if you feel that professional legal advice will be of benefit to you.

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