Traffic and DUI charges are some of the most common violations of law, but they are not difficult to navigate with the help of an experienced trial attorney. Virginia Beach and the nearby eastern shore are full of speed traps to collect traffic tickets. At Top Tier Law Group, we have extensive experience handling both traffic violations and DUI offenses, and we can work together with you to plan a creative defense against your charges. We won’t let the daunting legal system bully you out of your defense. We facilitate a laid-back office environment so you can feel comfortable with our attorney and prepare to fight together.
Schedule a free initial consultation with Top Tier Law Group online or at (757) 500-0035 to get started.
We believe that each case is a unique situation and needs a unique approach. We work with our clients to come up with a tailored solution that will suit them best.
Attorney Matthew Morris has served as a public defender and handled hundreds of criminal cases including assault, larceny, rapes & robberies.
Top 10% of our class, and we have been regarded by judges as one of the most talented litigators in the Hampton Roads Area!
A talent and a passion for defending the rights granted to every citizen by the United States Constitution.
Some common traffic offenses to be aware of in Virginia Beach are speeding and reckless driving. Like many states, Virginia has two types of speeding laws – absolute limits and basic speeding laws. Absolute limits refer to established speed limits posted in the applicable areas. For example, unless otherwise posted, some of the state’s absolute limits include:
- 25 mph in school zones
- 35 mph on unpaved roads
- 35 mph on “rural rustic” roads
- 55-70 mph on most state and interstate highways
The basic speeding law, on the other hand, penalizes speeding based on the circumstances rather than on posted speed limits. That is, it requires motorists to always drive at a safe speed under the circumstances. This “safe speed” may differ when it rains and the road is slippery, for instance, as opposed to when it’s a clear and sunny day.
Speeding is considered a traffic infraction punished by a small fine depending on where the offense took place (e.g., school zone, residential district, etc.). The driver will also incur demerit points on their driver’s license.
Note that a violation of the above basic speeding law or exceeding a posted speed limit by 20 mph or more is a crime of reckless driving. Reckless driving is a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months in jail and/or up to $1,000 in fines, as well as up to 6 months of license suspension and points on the offender’s driver’s license.
He treats you as family and will go above and beyond for you to make sure you get the best outcome in each situation.
Another important driving crime in Virginia is driving while intoxicated (DWI), also known as driving under the influence (DUI). Virginia’s DWI laws prohibit individuals from driving or operating a motor vehicle while:
- under the influence of drugs or alcohol to the extent that it impairs their ability to operate or drive a vehicle safely;
- with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more (0.02% or more for those under 21 years old);
- with a blood concentration of .1 milligrams per liter or more of methamphetamine;
- with a blood concentration of .02 milligrams per liter or more of cocaine; or
- with a blood concentration of .02 milligrams per liter or more of phencyclidine (PCP).
Be aware that it is possible to be charged with DWI even if the vehicle was not actually in motion; merely being in “actual physical control” of the vehicle is sufficient for a conviction, according to the Virginia Supreme Court. For example, a person sitting in the driver’s seat with the keys in the ignition may be charged with DWI.
The penalties for DWI offenses vary based on the severity of the situation and whether the defendant has prior convictions:
- 1st offense – up to 12 months in jail; $250-$2,500 in fines; 1 year of license suspension; at least 6 months of ignition interlock device (IID) use if requesting a restricted license
- 2nd offense – 10 days to 12 months in jail; $500-$2,500 in fines; 3 years of license suspension; at least 6 months of IID use
- 3rd offense – 90 days to 5 years in jail; $1,000-$2,500 in fines; indefinite license suspension; at least 6 months of IID use
Lawfully arrested drivers may face additional license suspension periods if they refuse to submit to a blood or breath test as required under Virginia’s implied consent laws. A first refusal will result in 1 additional year of license suspension, and a subsequent refusal will warrant 3 years of license suspension. Note that all offenses and refusals within the past 10 years are counted.
In some situations, it might be possible to argue a DWI charge down to a “wet reckless” charge which is a reckless driving charge with much lesser penalties than DWI. However, if the defendant does successfully argue down their charge, the court may require the motorist to complete an alcohol safety action program as a condition of their probation. An experienced traffic and DUI attorney can better guide you through the process and recommend the most appropriate defense method in your specific situation.
If you have been charged with a traffic offense or DUI violation, contact Top Tier Law Group for legal support immediately. We can help you build a strong defense in trial and/or negotiate a favorable deal with the prosecution.
Call (757) 500-0035 or contact Top Tier Law Group online for a free consultation to get started.