Virginia Beach Traffic & DUI Attorney
A Down-to-Earth Trial Lawyer to Help You Deal With Your Legal Mess
Traffic and DUI charges are some of the most common violations of law, but they can still involve complex situations. It’s easier to navigate them with the help of an experienced DUI attorney.
Virginia Beach and the nearby Eastern Shore are full of speed traps, leading to many 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, Matthew T. Morris, and our entire team. We will prepare to fight together. Schedule a free initial consultation with Top Tier Law Group today to get started.
Common Traffic Offenses in Virginia
Some common traffic offenses to be aware of in Virginia Beach are speeding and reckless driving. Significant penalties are possible for both offense types.
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
Understanding Basic Speeding Laws
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 a traffic infraction typically 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 the driver’s license.
Reckless Driving Offenses
Note that a violation of the above basic speeding law or exceeding a posted speed limit by 20 mph or more becomes 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 penalties on the offender’s driver’s license.
Virginia’s DUI Laws
Another serious driving crime in Virginia is driving while intoxicated (DWI), also known as driving under the influence (DUI). Our DUI attorney fully understands the sometimes confusing aspects of the state’s various drunken driving laws.
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 0.08% or more (0.02% or more for those under 21 years old)
- With a blood concentration of 0.1 milligrams per liter or more of methamphetamine
- With a blood concentration of 0.02 milligrams per liter or more of cocaine
- With a blood concentration of 0.02 milligrams per liter or more of phencyclidine (PCP)
Our DUI Attorney Can Defend You in Unusual Circumstances
Be aware that it is possible to receive a DWI charge 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 receive a DWI charge.
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 count.
Our DUI Attorney Can Try to Reduce Your Charges
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 the charge, the court may require the motorist to complete an alcohol safety action program as a condition of the probation.
An experienced traffic and DUI attorney, such as Matthew T. Morris, can guide you through the process and recommend the most appropriate defense method in your specific situation.
Schedule a Free Initial Consultation Today
If you are facing a traffic offense or DUI violation, contact Top Tier Law Group for legal support immediately. Our experienced traffic and DUI attorney can help you build a strong defense for your trial and/or negotiate a favorable deal with the prosecution. Call us today at (757) 945-0207 or fill out the online form. We always respond promptly.