David L. Parker, P.C. defends clients’ rights in Harrisonburg traffic violations cases. When charged with a Harrisonburg traffic violation ticket, you receive demerit points, fines, and in more serious cases, jail time.

In Virginia, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has a demerit point system that assigns points for traffic violations. The demerit system has six point, four point, and three point violations tied to the severity of traffic violations.

Examples of six point violations include:

  • Reckless driving—speeding in excess of 80 mph (miles per hour) or 20 mph over the posted speed limit, racing, passing a school bus, and more.
  • Driving under the influence (DUI)
  • Vehicular manslaughter
  • Driving on suspended license or while license is revoked
  • Driving commercial motor vehicles while disqualified, or under the influence of drugs or blood alcohol at .04 or higher

Examples of four point violations include:

  • Reckless driving—speeding 10 to 19 mph above the posted limit
  • Failure to stop or yield the right of way to a police or emergency vehicle or pedestrian with a white cane
  • Failure to keep to the right
  • Following too closely Improper signal use
  • Failure to obey railroad crossing lights or stop signs, or to slow when indicated
  • Failure to stop at the scene of a crash involving more than $500 in damage

Examples of three point violations include:

  • Speeding 1-9 mph above the posted speed limit
  • Impeding traffic with slow speed Improper passing
  • Failure to obey highway signs
  • Driving without lights or with excessive lights
  • Driving without a Virginia license or license plate—for in-state residents

Harrisonburg traffic violation penalties Within a three-year period, 18 or more demerit points result in 60-day license suspension and 24 or more points result in a 120-day suspension. Six point violations stay on your record for 11 years, four point violations for five years, and three point violations for three years. A Harrisonburg auto accident caused by a traffic violation can result in serious consequences. Some reckless driving charges are misdemeanors, and some are felonies with prison sentences. All violations carry processing fees and other fines.

Harrisonburg traffic lawyer David L. Parker, P.C. can help defend your rights against DUI charges. Having a strong advocate at your side helps you understand the possible consequences of DUI conviction and the best way to deal with such charges.

When arrested for a DUI, an automatic and immediate seven-day drivers license suspension goes into effect. Anyone driving with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) higher than .08 is subject to Virginia DUI laws.

A police officer with probable cause to suspect drunk driving may detain you and require you to take field sobriety tests and a breath or blood test for alcohol content. If you have a previous DUI conviction within the past ten years and refuse the BAC test, the consequences are dire.

You can lose your drivers license for three years and may face a six-month jail sentence if convicted a second time. A one-year jail sentence is possible if convicted of a third offense. An auto accident attorney in Harrisburg can best advise you about whether to take or refuse a BAC test. But this decision must be made immediately after you are stopped.

Three stages of DUI There are three types of DUI charges in Virginia, based on the offense:

First offense—the first time DUI arrest—Class one misdemeanor

  • Maximum criminal penalties: $2500 fines and one year in jail
  • Administrative penalties:
  • Mandatory Alcohol Safety Action Program (ASAP)
  • Driver’s license revocation/suspension for one year
  • Penalties for Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) tests registering .15 to .20 percent require five days mandatory jail time and ignition interlock device (IID) when license privileges are restored
  • For BAC tests registering .21 or higher, ten days mandatory jail and IID are required

Second offense—Misdemeanor

  • Minimum jail sentence within five years of a previous conviction:
  • One month for BAC .08 to .14 percent
  • One month plus additional 10 days for BAC .15 to 2.0 percent
  • One month plus additional 20 days for BAC of 2.1 and higher
  • Administrative penalties include mandatory ASAP attendance and drivers license suspension for three years, plus IID when license is restored

Third offense—Class 6 felony

  • Minimum of three months in jail if convicted within five to ten years of a prior offense
  • Minimum of six months in jail if convicted within ten years of a prior offense.
  • IID when license is restored

In addition, those convicted of DUI may receive much higher insurance premiums, fines, and surcharges.

Is it possible to get out of a DUI? Similar to fighting a speeding ticket in Harrisonburg, the same conditions can apply to DUI charges. Blood alcohol content (BAC) testing must follow strict guidelines. Experienced lawyers can challenge BAC testing and sobriety tests when appropriate, along with the entire arrest process.