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Traffic Violation FAQs

When a motorist gets pulled over for a traffic violation in Virginia, they usually have a few common questions, including:

What Are My Rights?

Your rights depend on the reason you are being pulled over. In Virginia, a law enforcement officer must have probable cause to make a traffic stop and search a vehicle. However, any minor infraction for speeding, running a red light, or texting while driving, is justification for a police officer to pull you over. During a stop, you don’t have to answer any incriminating questions, but the officer has the right to find out who you are, whether or not you own the vehicle, if it is insured, and whether or not you are licensed to drive.

What Are Demerit Points?

Demerit points are assigned when you are convicted of a traffic violation and remain valid for two years from the date of your offense. Different violations carry different point assignments, ranging from three to six points. Demerit points add up, and stay on your record for different time periods depending upon the severity of the offense, and will also be assigned to your record for traffic violations incurred in other states. Some demerit points will remain on your record permanently, such as driving a commercial motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs.

What Are Safe Points?

Safe points are also assigned for each full calendar year that you hold a valid Virginia driver’s license and drive without any violations or suspensions. In some cases, safe points can also be earned by completing a driver improvement clinic offered by the DMV. One safe point is assigned in April of each calendar year for the previous year. Drivers can accumulate up to five safe driving points and can use these to offset demerit points.

Suspension and Revocation – What’s the Difference?

A suspension is a temporary withdrawal of your driving privileges in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Once you comply with the terms of your suspension, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles will reinstate your driver’s license privileges. A revocation means that your driving privileges have been terminated, although they may be restored if you re-apply for a driver’s license and show proof of legal compliance after the revocation period has passed.

I Have a Strong Driving Record – Will That Help Me?

If you have a strong diving record or are a first-time offender, Robert F. Rider, an attorney experienced in traffic violation cases, will advocate on your behalf to get your fine lowered and demerit points reduced or even dismissed completely. For aggressive representation against traffic violation charges, contact our firm online or call 540-767-1717 today. No traffic matter is too small for us to handle.