Traffic accidents may not be uncommon in Virginia or any other state, but if it happens to you, it may be a once in a lifetime event. Unable to rely on previous experience, how do you know what to do if you are charged with a traffic violation in the accident? Should you plead guilty or innocent to the charges?
Traffic Violations That Might Require a Defense
Any traffic violations could benefit from a good defense. However, violations such as speeding, driving while impaired, or reckless driving charges are not something you want on your record. They can raise your insurance rates, hurt your reputation and may even put future employment in jeopardy. Having an attorney for these charges is worth the effort. You can be charged with reckless driving any time your driving puts lives or property in danger. It might be when running a red light, swerving, unlawful passing or even excessive speeding.
What Should You Expect?
Your expectations may depend on the experience that your attorney brings to the table. Hiring someone who has never defended your type of violation is probably not your best bet. An experienced attorney will know what it will take to present a defense to the court.
The outcome of your case may also depend on the judge that is assigned to preside over your case. Some judges are more understanding than others. Judges also have specific jurisdictions they reside over. You may be fortunate enough to get a judge who grants clemencies and believes in second chances. However, some judges are very harsh and go strictly by the book, looking only at the evidence. Having an attorney familiar with the judges in the area may also help.
What Happens Inside the Courtroom?
The courtroom can be unpredictable at times. No matter how ready you think you are, you should be prepared for the unexpected. If you are defending yourself because you know you are innocent, don’t be surprised if the court doesn’t agree. A judge may present only facts and details, ignoring circumstances. You may even have your defense all planned, and only have an opportunity to answer specific questions.
Even if your charges are a misdemeanor, and you are a first-time offender, you could still end up with a guilty verdict and hefty fines. An understanding and sympathizing court may still rule against you. The letter of the law is not always fair and sympathetic.
Do Model Citizens Fare Better?
Traffic violations happen just as commonly to model citizens as they do to criminals, so the court doesn’t give a lot of credence to this. Whether you always follow the letter of the law in all other matters, or are single or have a family, really doesn’t come into play in rulings on these types of cases. The court is supposed to rule on the charges and be impartial in other matters.
What Are My Options for Amending the Situation?
If your case has already been ruled on, the only way to try to reverse the situation is by filing an appeal with the court. But if you lost the first case, filing an appeal without an attorney is probably futile. You should seek legal assistance.
You need to secure an attorney who has a good understanding of Virginia law and specifically, traffic law violations. Experience in challenging your type of infraction is also important. Hiring an inexperienced attorney is putting your outcome to chance, and that is too important for your future. A good defense can greatly improve your chance of having the best outcome possible, even if you plead guilty to the charges.
We Provide Free Consultations!
Understanding Virginia’s traffic laws and offenses can be complicated. Virginia laws and courts, although meant for the good of the people, are sometimes too stringent to be fair to good citizens. To win your case, you need a good defense who knows what it takes to represent you in the courtroom. If you need representation, call The Brown Firm or send us a message online right away so we can get started on your case.