Traffic Offenses FAQs


Shin Law’s Office’s Traffic Attorneys Answer Frequently Asked Questions

Traffic Crimes are serious offenses with serious consequences. These life-altering charges can impact you for years to come.

The Northern Virginia Traffic Attorneys at Shin Law Office will work with you to put together your best possible defense — framed around the facts of the case and all circumstances involved.

Below we have answered some of our most frequently asked questions about Traffic Crimes. If you have additional questions, schedule a No-Cost Consultation With one of our Northern Virginia Traffic Attorneys at Shin Law Office.

Q: What is reckless driving?

Reckless driving is a very common criminal charge, but a charge that carries significant ramifications.

Most individuals don’t pay too much attention to this charge, but they do not realize the classification of this charge is a Class 1 Misdemeanor (the same classification as a petit larceny, possession of marijuana, assault and battery, etc.).

As is commonly said, “a class 1 is a class 1 is a class 1” — meaning, do not be misguided that a charge doesn’t “sound bad” when the reality is that it is.

In Virginia, reckless driving can be by speed or simply by driving behavior. If you find yourself asking if it’s worth hiring counsel, it would be smart to consider it.

Q: What is the difference between a DUI and a DWI?

< p align=”justify”>A DUI means “driving under the influence (of some substance)” and a DWI means “driving while intoxicated (with alcohol)”.

Naturally, a DWI presumes there was some unlawful driving behavior due to alcohol being involved, whereas a DUI presumes there was some unlawful driving behavior due to an illegal substance being involved.

Having said that, in Virginia, it is very common to refer to alcohol related offenses as DUIs, which are more commonly used.

Q: Do you have to be drunk to get a DUI?

In you are driving in Virginia, are over 21 and have a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher, you will be arrested and charged with a DUI.

If you are under 21, regardless of your blood alcohol content, you will be arrested because of Virginia’s zero tolerance law.

Q: If I am driving, what might cause an officer to pull me over for drunk driving?

You could be pulled over for any number of traffic violations such as a broken tail light, etc — but also for bizarre driving behavior, for example, swerving, running a red light as determined by a police officer.

Q: Can a police officer pull me over for no reason, then charge me with a DUI?

No. And if you feel you have been stopped unfairly, singled out or stopped for no reason, consult one of our attorneys.

Q: Legally, what is drunk driving?

Either driving while your blood alcohol level is greater than .08 or driving in a reckless manner with any amount of alcohol in your system.

Q: What do I do if I get arrested during a traffic stop?

DO NOT say anything! DO refuse to blow into a roadside breathalyzer, DO refuse to a field sobriety test. DO NOT refuse to blow into a breathalyzer at the police station.

Q: I feel I was mistreated during my DUI stop. What can I do?

You should file a report with the police department to put them on notice of the behavior by the law enforcement officer.

Q: What types of traffic violations are considered felonies? What is the three strikes law and does it apply to traffic crimes?

Traffic violations are generally not considered felonies.

Traffic violations are typically treated as citations and therefore are not criminal in nature. There are, however, crimes that involve vehicles that can lead to felonies; many of those offenses become felonies through a quasi three-strike rule.

Q: My license is suspended in another state. Will Virginia know?

Your license suspension only applies to the jurisdiction where your license was suspended, therefore, other jurisdictions do not have the authority to suspend your license within that jurisdiction.

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  • Eluding the Police
  • Hit & Run-Leaving the Scene of an Accident
  • Driving Without a Valid License
  • Driving on a Suspended or Revoked License
  • Commercial Driver’s License Violations
  • License Restoration
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  • Out Of State Drivers
  • Speeding Ticket
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  • Moving Violations
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