JUVENILE TRAFFIC OFFENSE LAWYER IN FAIRFAX
Being convicted of a traffic violation such as speeding, running a red light, drunk driving, etc. can have serious consequences, including hefty monetary fines, loss of driving privileges, or even jail time. However, these penalties may be modified or mitigated when a juvenile (i.e. a person under the age of 18) is the individual charged with the traffic infraction.
Overview of Juvenile Traffic Offenses in Virginia
Virginia Code § 46.2-334.01 details the restrictions for juvenile driving charges in Fairfax and elsewhere in the Commonwealth.
Examples of Common Types of Juvenile Traffic Offenses
Common traffic offenses and violations committed by juveniles are speeding, reckless driving, failure to wear seatbelts, failure to obey traffic signs, and sometimes being the cause of an accident. The age of accountability in Virginia is 18, so these and other traffic offenses committed by juveniles are usually not considered as serious as adult traffic offenses. However, committing traffic offenses before the age of 18 can still impact a juvenile’s driving record after they reach the “age of majority” and onward.
If you or your child is charged with a juvenile traffic offense in Fairfax, it is important to understand the penalties for the offense, along with your legal rights so you can build a strong defense. Committing traffic violations before the age of 18 does not have to ruin your driving record. However, the key to prevailing against these charges is to have an excellent legal defense.
Penalties Associated with a Juvenile Convicted of Committing a Traffic Offense in Fairfax
Because juveniles are treated differently than adults in the eyes of the law, certain traffic violations may not receive as harsh a penalty that adults may receive. Juveniles who commit traffic offenses receive a few chances before more serious penalties are levied. Here is an overview of the penalties for a juvenile traffic offense:
- For a juvenile’s first offense for which demerit points are assessed, they will be required to complete a “driver improvement clinic”.
- If the juvenile receives a second offense which demerit points are assessed, the DMV will suspend the juvenile’s license for 90 days.
- If the juvenile receives a third offense which demerit points are assessed, the DMV will suspend the license for one year or until the juvenile reaches age 18, whichever is longer.
The penalty, ticket, and fine associated with each offense will depend on the circumstances of the offense (such as how much the juvenile was speeding). More serious traffic offenses such as reckless driving or DUIs can remain on a juvenile’s record until the age of 29, so it is important to fight charges and prevent you or your child’s driving record from being affected.
Stand Up and Fight Against the Charges
If you or your child is charged with a juvenile traffic offense, you do not simply have to sit back and accept the government’s assessment of what happened and subsequent penalties. You have the to fight your ticket or traffic charge.
Many motorists find it easier to simply pay their speeding ticket and accept the demerit points, for example. However, going to court and fighting the charges, with the assistance of a skilled Fairfax juvenile traffic defense attorney, could result in your fine and/or demerit points being reduced or even dismissed. This can also prevent your license from being suspended.