Frequently Asked Questions By Virginia Drivers Facing DUI or Reckless Driving Speeding Charges

Below are some initial questions many clients have when they first contact Bob Battle Law. The questions below may address many initial concerns you may have. If you don’t find the answers here, you should contact us for answers to questions specific to your case. The consultation is free.

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  • Since we are in an economic recession, a cop will probably let me off for speeding in Virginia, right?

    The fact that we are in a recession DOES NOT mean that a cop will let you off for speeding in Virginia. In fact, police are more likely to give you a speeding ticket during a recession. This is because municipalities are currently facing tremendous gaps in their budgets, and one way they try to fill these gaps is by issuing more speeding tickets.

    This also means that you can expect fewer leniencies regarding the 10 mph speeding cushion that police routinely give. Nowadays, if your speed is gauged at just 5 mph over the legal speed limit, an officer may jump at the chance to issue you a ticket. If you have been issued a ticket for speeding in Virginia, you may want to get the professional help of a Virginia speeding/reckless driving attorney.

    There is even research which shows that police give more tickets during a recession. According to researchers from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and the University of Arkansas-Little Rock, when municipalities see a 10% decrease in annual revenue growth, they see a 6.4% rise in traffic tickets the very next year.

    However, many attorneys feel that it isn't fair to place the budget burden on average citizens. This is especially true in times of recession, when citizens have to be much more careful with their money. If you feel you received a ticket that you didn't deserve, you may be able to fight it with the help of a Virginia speeding/reckless driving attorney.

    How Can a Virginia Speeding/Reckless Driving Attorney Help Me?

    Reckless Driving is not merely a traffic infraction. It is a criminal offense - a class 1 misdemeanor - the most serious class of misdemeanor in Virginia with maximum penalties of 1 year in jail, $2,500 fine, and a 6-month suspension of your driver's license.

    If you have been ticketed for Reckless Driving or Speeding in Virginia, there is no time to waste! Get a free copy of Bob Battle's consumer guide, The Shocking Truth About Reckless Driving/Speeding in Virginia. Or, contact 804-673-5600 to schedule your legal consultation today.

  • How should I choose a Virginia reckless driving/speeding defense attorney?

    When choosing a Virginia reckless driving attorney, you should ask as many questions as you can of think of relating to your case and their experience. The more questions you ask, the better you will get to know the person that may represent you.

    Below is a list of 5 most important questions to ask your potential Virginia reckless driving attorney

    1. How many years have you been in practice? The answer to this question will give you some idea of an attorney's experience. A lawyer who has not been in practice long may not be your best option.
    2. How much experience do you have with reckless driving speeding cases? Obviously, you want to hire an attorney who has experience with your type of case. Better yet, you want to hire an experienced Virginia reckless driving attorney who understands Virginia's traffic laws and knows how to defend against your specific charges.
    3. Who from your firm will handle my case? This is important, because the attorney who you interview may not be the one who handles your case. Oftentimes, lawyers will claim to use a "team approach", which basically means that a younger, less experienced attorney may be assigned to handle your case.    
    4. How many cases have you taken to trial? The more reckless driving cases that an attorney has taken to trial, the more experienced they will be. When you ask this question, also ask them what percentage of cases they have won.
    5. What are the potential costs for your representation? Before you agree to have anyone represent you, always ask them how much their services will cost, including the costs of experts and investigators. 


    How Can a Virginia Reckless Driving Attorney Help Me?

    Reckless Driving is not merely a traffic infraction. It is a criminal offense - a class 1 misdemeanor - the most serious class of misdemeanor in Virginia with maximum penalties of 1 year in jail, $2,500 fine, and a 6-month suspension of your driver's license.

    If you have been ticketed for Reckless Driving Speeding in Virginia, there is no time to waste! Get a free copy of Bob Battle's consumer guide, The Shocking Truth About Reckless Driving/Speeding in Virginia. Or, contact 804-673-5600 to schedule your legal consultation today.

  • How much does it cost to fight a Virginia DUI?

    If you have been charged with a Virginia DUI, the cost of a conviction can be far more damaging than the costs of fighting your charge. After a Virginia DUI conviction, you may face costs including: 

    • Court costs and administrative fees;
    • Fines;
    • Fees to reinstate your suspended driver's license;
    • A payment to enroll in the sheriff's work program; and
    • A payment to enroll in alcohol education and prevention courses. 

    After a Virginia DUI conviction, you will also see a considerable rise in your auto insurance rates. Furthermore, you may also have to pay for a court-ordered ignition interlock system, which is a breathalyzer device that you will be required to use in order to start your car.

    On top of all this, a Virginia DUI conviction can affect your ability to get to and from work, as well as prevent you from getting certain jobs that you may apply to in the future. On the other hand, you may be able to avoid all of this by fighting your Virginia DUI charge.

    With the help of a Virginia DUI defense attorney, you may be able to build a winning Virginia DUI defense. If you beat your charge, your most significant cost will be to pay your Virginia DUI defense attorney. Attorney's fees generally vary, so before you hire an attorney, ask them how much they will charge to fight your Virginia DUI.

    How can a Virginia DUI defense attorney help me?

    No state is faster at moving cases through the system than Virginia. In the face of defending against Virginia DUI charges, the decision of who will be your lawyer will be one of the most important decisions you make in your life. Before you speak to any lawyer, get a FREE copy of Bob Battle's consumer guide, How to Choose a DUI Lawyer in Virginia. Or contact Bob Battle to schedule your legal consultation today - 804-673-5600.

  • Is the roadside breath test accurate? Are there any penalties if I refuse to take this test?

    Not Accurate!

    The portable breathalyzer, which is used on the roadside, as well as the somewhat more sophisticated breath-test machine at the police station, are both subject to error. For the most part, both of these devices have the same weakness because they both work the same basic way—by measuring the alcohol content of the breath and using this measurement to estimate the alcohol content of the blood.

    One of the most important factors that influence the results of both of these tests is breathing pattern. One study showed that holding your breath for 30 seconds before blowing into the breathalyzer increases the result a whopping 15.7 percent. Hyperventilating for 20 seconds, on the other hand, decreases it by 10.6 percent.

    Yet another way in which breathing pattern can affect the results of a breathalyzer test has to do with what part of the breath the machine is exposed to. In other words, different parts of the exhalation will give different blood alcohol readings. The first part of the breath, made up of air from the top of your lungs, has much less alcohol in it that the last part of the breath, which comes from the bottom of the lungs.

    Unfortunately, many police officers, knowing this, give the subject instructions like “Blow hard! Keep going!” Following these instructions will insure that the machine is exposed to the alcohol-rich blood from the bottom of your lungs. It is staggering to consider how many falsely high breathalyzer results have been obtained—and how many people have been arrested as a result—because of these instructions and the device’s potential for inaccuracy. Furthermore, these machines are not properly maintained.

    No Penalty for Refusal of Roadside Breath Test:

    There is no penalty for refusing to take the roadside breath test like there is for refusing the Breath Test or Blood Test at the police station or hospital. For this reason, many attorneys like Harrisonburg, VA DUI lawyer Bob Keefer advise all their clients to refuse the roadside breath test.


     

  • I have a lousy record so I need to avoid a conviction. What can you do to help?

    As a former prosecutor and law clerk for a federal judge, let me tell you that  the  worst possible argument that someone can give to a judge or prosecutor for giving them a break is that they have a lousy record! The fact that you have retained a lawyer is not going to sway the judge or prosecutor one bit in this situation. The people with the good records get the breaks, not the people with the bad records.

  • I don't mind a traffic conviction that much, I just want to avoid the demerit points.

    The traffic court judge has nothing to do with the assessment of points and cannot order that the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (or the equivalent agency for out of state motorists) refrain from giving you points if you are convicted.

    For a detailed explanation of Virginia's DMV points system, click here.

    For a detailed explanation of how the Virginia DMV determines when to place you on Probation or Suspend your License for Excessive Demerit Points, click here.

  • The State has provided me with a free attorney. Why should I hire one?

    Virginia has some of the weakest compensation for court-appointed defense attorneys, offering them fees of just a few hundred dollars per case. For instance, an attorney that represents a client that is facing twenty years in jail has his payments capped out at just over $1000. This can cause them to encourage their clients to plead out if it looks like the case is going to take awhile. Although one of the better aspects of our justice system is that those that can't afford legal assistance are provided a free lawyer, the saying "You Get What You Pay For" certainly applies here.

  • When should I have an attorney present with me?

    You should make arrangements to have an attorney present at the earliest possible opportunity. You should say nothing until your attorney arrives, regardless of whether you bear responsibility for a crime or not. If you are unable to get in touch with your regular attorney, request a court appointed attorney to speak on your behalf until you can make contact with your preferred counsel.

  • The police officers want me to sign some forms. What should I do?

    DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING without your lawyer present. EVER.

  • I was injured, but I’m not sure if it counts as “personal injury.” How can you tell?

    “Personal injury” is a fairly broad category, so it helps to put it in very simple terms. Party A suffers bodily injury due to the actions of Party B. This could mean all sorts of things. This could mean that Party A was blindsided and hospitalized by a car that was driven by Party B. Or Party A had to have extensive and painful surgery because his doctor (Party B) failed to notice an easily recognizable medical condition in its early stages. Or Party A’s house burned down due to a design flaw in a product manufactured by Party B. One of the keys in figuring out whether or not a personal injury case is valid is by determining whether Party B’s actions were negligent, which means that Party B acted in a way that no normal and conscientious person would.