You can be issued a traffic ticket for many different reasons, and the severity of the consequences will depend on the moving violation you were pulled over for. For instance, a ticket for going 5mph over a 35mph speed limit will have much less severe consequences than a DUI or evading a police officer, which could be a misdemeanor or felony offense. The latter are much more serious charges, and therefore they cannot be prepaid by mail. They can potentially result in your license being suspended, heavy fines, or even jail time.
Speeding tickets in Virginia that are less than 20 mph over the limit and under 80mph are generally considered to be simple traffic infractions. Tickets for running a stop light or rolling through a stop sign are also generally considered to be traffic infractions. These can often be paid by mail. However, prepaying by mail might not always be the best option – or even an available option, depending on your situation.
The Driver’s License Point System
In Virginia, people with driver’s licenses can be issued demerit points by the DMV when they get a ticket. Common infractions will result in getting three or four demerit points. Getting a ticket for a more serious offense like a DUI or reckless driving will often result in six points being issued.
In some situations, prepaying a traffic ticket can get a little complicated. For example, if you have recently been convicted of another traffic offense and get another ticket, the DMV will send a driver a letter to tell them of the risks they are facing if they accumulate too many demerit points. If you get enough tickets where you rack up 12 points in a year, or 18 points in two years, the DMV will notify you that you need to complete a driver improvement course. These can be done in person or online, but younger drivers will often be required to do them in person.
If you get 18 points in under a year, or 24 points in two, things get much worse. Your license will be suspended automatically for 90 days by the DMV. You’ll also have to complete an additional driver improvement class, and you’ll be placed on DMV probation. Keep in mind that this is in addition to any punishments, fines, or jail time ordered by a judge for anything you’re convicted of in court.
Prepaying a Ticket While on Probation or on Bond
If you’re on probation or bond, prepaying a ticket for a traffic infraction can also be complicated. If you’re on probation, you’ll need to let your probation officer know about the ticket. Depending on the circumstances of your probation, your traffic ticket could result in a probation violation – even if it was a relatively minor infraction like speeding. A probation violation is a separate criminal offense, meaning it can lead to much heavier consequences beyond those from the ticket itself.
For someone out on bond that is awaiting trial, the situation will be similar to the above, with one big difference. When someone is on bond, they will have to show up in court and convince a judge not to revoke their bond over the traffic infraction. The circumstances surrounding why you are on bond will play into the judge’s decision, as well as how severe the traffic offense was.
If you’re looking for an attorney to help with your traffic ticket, conduct an online search using Google. For instance, if you live in Chesterfield, VA, you would search with “traffic attorney chesterfield” to see the various law firms in your area that can help you. Make sure to look at their online reviews and their credentials before choosing a couple to contact. Most law firms will allow for a free consultation, and you can usually set one up by using a form on their website or calling them directly.