Traffic tickets virginia

Richmond VA Traffic Lawyer, Sara Gaborik 


As you consider Richmond VA traffic lawyers or those who serve nearby areas like Henrico, Essex, Prince George, or Chesterfield, you will find that some attorneys handle these cases while others do not. Sara Gaborik has handled many traffic cases throughout Richmond and the surrounding areas and can help you with your case.

Virginia traffic tickets can lead to demerit points against your license as well as license suspension, revocation, or, for CDL drivers, disqualification. They can even lead to jail time. A knowledgeable attorney by your side who is familiar with your Court, judge, prosecutor, and even the officer who issued the ticket, can often make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. Sara Gaborik has the experience to help you with your traffic case.


When you receive a ticket, you have the option of contesting it or paying the fine. To contest it, you must appear in court on the date indicated on the summons. Officers who issue tickets typically spend one day a month testifying in court. That will be the date the officer puts on your summons so he or she will be present in court when your case comes up.

These officers are well trained on how to testify to improve the chances of obtaining a conviction against the driver. In other words, if you choose to challenge your ticket, you will be facing off in court against a professional witness with extensive experience in the exact type of case you are contesting. The officer’s credibility will have been established with the judge in prior cases, making it more difficult for you to convince that judge that you, rather than the officer, are in the right.


You always have the right to decide not to contest a traffic ticket. If so, you may pay the fine at any time before your case is called. But this would count as a conviction and may mean you will receive demerit points in addition to paying whatever fine is indicated on the ticket.

When making the decision whether to contest a traffic ticket, you need to consider several key factors. These include things like the likelihood of license revocation or suspension, demerit points, whether an attorney might be able to obtain a lesser penalty, potential insurance policy cost increases for traffic convictions, whether you can take a driving school course as a means of avoiding or reducing potential penalties, and other considerations. Court costs, your time, and an attorney’s fees also should be considered.


Whether you plan to contest the ticket or are leaning toward not contesting it, you should consult an experienced traffic lawyer who can help you decide what to do. This is particularly true if you have prior traffic convictions, have caused an accident, have injured or killed someone, have been ticketed for reckless driving or DUI/DWI, or have a CDL, but it can be important for lesser charges as well.

The penalties for some of these citations can be so harsh that your life could change dramatically if you are convicted. A traffic lawyer can help you decide what to do.

Virginia Demerit Points

Virginia uses a demerit point system. Demerit points can accumulate quickly. A single conviction will add three, four, or even six points to your driver’s license. These points are significant because the state imposes additional consequences if you accumulate a certain number of demerit points within specified periods of time.

Virginia has an extensive list of infractions for which you might be ticketed. These points can be cumulative, i.e., you can be charged for multiple infractions for the same event and be assessed demerit points for each charge. Some of the charges for which you will likely receive demerit points include:

  • Reckless driving;
  • Driving under the influence/driving while intoxicated (DUI/DWI);
  • Manslaughter/Involuntary Manslaughter;
  • Driving while your license is suspended or revoked;
  • Operating without ignition interlock if required;
  • Driving after being declared a habitual offender;
  • Failure to pay court fines or costs;
  • Speeding;
  • Failure to stop at the scene of an accident;
  • Failure to slow down or change lane for vehicles with flashing lights;
  • Fleeing/eluding police;
  • Operating an unsafe vehicle;
  • Unsafe passing;
  • Failure to stop or yield right of way;
  • Following too closely;
  • Improper signaling;
  • Failure to obey railroad crossing signals;
  • Aggressive driving;
  • Failure to obey a traffic signal;
  • Improper backing or turning;
  • Driving the wrong way on a one-way street;
  • Disregarding a police officer’s or crossing guard’s signal to stop;
  • Improper passing;
  • Impeding traffic.

License Suspension in Virginia 

You face potential license suspension for many infractions. Some of these include:

  • Failure to pay court fines and costs for convictions;
  • Failure to complete a court-ordered driving school course;
  • A reckless driving conviction;
  • Accumulating too many demerit points within twelve or twenty four months for traffic violations; or
  • Failure to satisfy a judgment arising out of a motor vehicle crash.

License Revocation in the Commonwealth of Virginia 

Your driver’s license can be revoked for many reasons as well. Some of these reasons include:

  • Driving under the influence/driving while intoxicated;
  • Manslaughter arising out of your operation of a motor vehicle;
  • Committing a felony violation while using a vehicle;
  • Failure to stop at the scene of an accident and disclose your identity; or
  • Receiving a three-point conviction if you are a driver under the age of eighteen, including a conviction for failure to use a safety belt or proper child restraint.

The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) tracks convictions for traffic violations in the state and also tracks demerit points and penalties. The DMV assesses additional penalties if you exceed certain thresholds. If you are convicted of a traffic offense, that information will be sent to the DMV and the applicable data will be recorded in your records whether or not you have received demerit points for the infraction.

If you receive twelve points on your license within twelve months, or eighteen points within twenty four months, you will be required to complete a driver’s school program within ninety days. If you do not complete the program as required, your license could be suspended. Your license will be suspended for ninety days if you get eighteen points within twelve months or twenty four points in twenty four months. For drivers under the age of eighteen, the penalties are harsher and accumulate faster.

Not all the news in Virginia is bad. Virginia not only issues demerit points but, for good drivers, the state issues “safe driving points.” Virginia-licensed drivers can earn up to five points for each calendar year with no violations or suspensions. These can be used to offset demerit points.

Out-of-state reporting

Virginia has a fully developed reporting system. If you are an out-of-state driver, your ticket in Virginia will likely be reported to the state in which you are licensed to drive.


Sara Gaborik has extensive experience with traffic cases and can help you decide whether you should challenge a traffic ticket. Call today for a free consultation: (804) 334-4351 or (804) 780-3080.