Frequently Asked Legal Questions
If you face a moving violation, DUI, or criminal charge in Virginia, contact the McDougle Law Firm, P.C. In addition to the time spent talking with an experienced Richmond reckless driving attorney and speeding defense lawyer in a free initial consultation, please see the commonly asked questions and answers listed below for help with your legal matter.
Trust proven legal skill to usher you through your charges. Contact a defense and traffic violation attorney at the McDougle Law Firm, P.C. at 888.337.9971 to schedule a free initial consultation.
What is reckless driving?
Reckless driving is operating a vehicle at high speeds or otherwise operating a vehicle unsafely by a police officer's judgment—weaving, failing to yield to others' right of way, disobeying a traffic signal, etc. The specific laws that denote reckless driving by speed are as follows:
- On roads with a speed limit of 30 mph or less, exceeding the speed limit by 20 mph or more
- On a road with a speed limit of 35 mph, exceeding the speed limit by 20 mph or more
- On a road with a speed limit of 40 mph or more, exceeding the speed limit by 20 mph or more
- On any road, driving at a speed of 80 mph or more regardless of the speed limit
- Violating the speed limit in a construction zone
What are these “points” on my driver’s license?
The Uniform Demerit Point System in Virginia is used by DMV to maintain a consistent record of driving convictions for all drivers within the Commonwealth. Each traffic offense in the Virginia Code is assigned a specific demerit point value. Should a driver accrue a point total in excess of DMV's limit, arising from multiple traffic offense convictions, the driver's license may be suspended.
Virginia has three categories of point offenses: three-, four-, and six-point offenses. The Virginia DMV has a list of each points offense.
Are there any legal benefits to being an overall safe driver?
Each year you hold a valid Virginia driver's license and you do not have any convictions, you get one safe driver point according to the Driver Improvement Program. You can maintain up to a plus-five point balance and each positive point can be used to offset demerit points.
What are the legal guidelines for a DUI conviction?
You can be charged with a DUI (driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs) offense if you drove a vehicle under the following circumstances:
- While having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or more by weight by volume (or 0.08 grams or more per 210 liters of breath as indicated by a chemical test)
- While being under the influence of alcohol
- While being under the influence of any drug to a degree which impairs his ability to drive or operate any motor vehicle safely
- While being under the combined influence of alcohol or any drugs to a degree which impairs his ability to drive or operate any motor vehicle
Take note, while driving with a BAC of 0.08 raises a presumption that you are driving while intoxicated, it is not the only basis for a DUI conviction in Virginia. Instead, a conviction can be based on any of the other three categories if supported by sufficient evidence of your intoxication, which can include your driving, field sobriety test, and testimony of the arresting officer of your statements and actions. Drivers under the age of 21 are not legally allowed to consume alcohol, and therefore the legal limit of BAC for underage drinkers is a mere 0.02 percent.
Still, you are not convicted of a DUI offense by the police. An experienced courtroom attorney will be at your side to protect your rights.
What evidence will the police have against me in a DUI case?
It may seem that breath test results sew up the DUI case against you, but judges consider more information:
- Your driving pattern and record
- The results of the field sobriety tests
- The results of the chemical test
A seasoned DUI attorney will argue against the administration of the field sobriety tests, any benign circumstances that could register a positive result on the testing equipment such as allergy medication, the conditions of the test administration, and the conditions of the initial traffic stop. If the police officer did not have legitimate cause to stop you, your lawyer may be able to get your entire case thrown out.
An experienced attorney will be able to review your entire case and highlight important issues that could affect the outcome, which includes conditions of the test administration and the legitimate cause of your stop by law enforcement.
Based in Richmond, Virginia, The McDougle Law Firm, P.C. represents those who face traffic violations from a simple speeding ticket to complex motor vehicle charges. Contact The McDougle Law Firm, P.C. online or call 888.337.9971 to schedule your initial consultation today.
The McDougle Law Firm
11159 Air Park Road, Suite 1
Ashland, VA 23005