Even minor traffic violations may lead to fines, demerit points on your driving record, increased insurance rates, mandatory completion of driver safety courses, and other negative consequences. More serious traffic violations may result in misdemeanor or felony convictions, which carry all the above penalties plus potential jail or prison sentences in some cases.

If you’re accused of a traffic violation, you may benefit from consulting a Virginia traffic lawyer.
While you may not automatically think to contact a seasoned defense attorney, you should strongly consider doing so if you wish to avoid or minimize the potential penalties. Accruing multiple traffic offenses can cause the loss of your driving privileges, as well as becoming extremely expensive.

Traffic Defense Attorney


The internet is packed with lawyers sporting 5 star reviews and glossy websites. How do you cut through the marketing to help you select the best traffic defense lawyer for your case?

1. Prioritize expertise and experience. Traffic law is a specialized subset of criminal law making expertise and experience highly valuable. With over 40 years of experience, Tom Carter has handled more than 3,000 traffic cases including speeding, reckless driving, and other traffic violations.

2. Select a “Lawyer’s Lawyer.” If a lawyer is charged with reckless driving, who would they hire for the best possible defense? They look for someone like Tom Carter, with deep expertise and experience in traffic defense. Approximately 50% of Tom Carter’s cases are referrals from other lawyers.

3. Trust independent reviews. Lawyer reviews like AVVO and SuperLawyers have earned a reputation of independence and accuracy.

Classification of Traffic Violations

The great majority of traffic violations are mere infractions.  In most instances, infractions are punishable solely by fines of no more than $250. Examples of infractions include tickets for speeding, failing to yield, disregarding a traffic signal, or failing to completely stop at a stop sign.

Given the nature and the specific circumstances surrounding the offense, other violations are classified as either misdemeanors or felonies. Misdemeanor traffic offenses are criminal offenses punishable by up to 12 months in jail and fines of up to $2500. Driving Under the Influence (DUI), Driving on Suspended (DOS) and Reckless Driving (R/D) are familiar examples of misdemeanor traffic offenses. Felony traffic offenses include Leaving the Scene of an Accident (where there is an injury) or 3rd or Subsequent DUI. Conviction of a felony traffic offense almost always results in imprisonment and years without driving privileges.



Many drivers cited for mere traffic infractions either just pay their ticket or go to court without a lawyer. This is understandable given that the charges are civil in nature…not criminal. Conversely, most drivers cited for Reckless Driving hire a lawyer. They do so because Reckless Driving is a misdemeanor criminal offense as opposed to a civil violation. Conviction of Reckless Driving gives the driver a criminal record. It also exposes the driver to possible jail time and fines. Further, convictions often result in driver’s license suspensions or even revocations.  Finally, it almost always results in automobile insurance premium increases. 

Virginia Demerit Points

Most traffic violations, even those which only require the payment of a ticket, will result in the imposition of demerit points on the driving records of individuals by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Given the seriousness of the offense, drivers may receive three, four, or six demerit points. A minor speeding ticket could result in three points, while a Reckless Driving or DWI conviction can result in six points.

Demerit points remain on driving records for years. Accumulating a certain number of demerit points within a specific time period could result in the suspension of driving privileges. Since this is a severe sanction, individuals may wish to get legal advice from a traffic attorney in Virginia before making any decisions in their cases.

Contact a Virginia Traffic Attorney

Traffic violations may result in fines,  assessment of demerit points, criminal convictions, and even incarceration in some circumstances. Violations also might result in increased automobile insurance premiums, difficulties pursuing certain careers or professional licenses, and criminal convictions showing up on background checks.

To learn more about the potential repercussions of a conviction, you may wish to contact a Virginia traffic lawyer for advice. An experienced attorney should be able to eliminate or, at least, mitigate the risks you face in court. Tom Carter has been representing drivers charged with traffic violations for many years. His familiarity with the law, the police, prosecutors, and judges allows him to counsel drivers as to their best course of action. There is never any charge for a traffic consultation. 

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