Call Today
(703) 383-9222
Free Consultations

  • 1

Traffic Accident Traffic Tickets: The Essentials

If you were ticketed after getting into a traffic accident in Virginia then you should definitely talk to a traffic attorney. Traffic accidents make a traffic case more complicated and more serious. Prepaying or pleading guilty to a traffic accident ticket can expose you to serious civil liability. However, traffic accident based tickets are often much easier to beat. Consequently, it is always advisable to consult with a traffic attorney immediately if you are ticketed because of an accident.

Traffic accident are generally easier to win for several reasons: First, most traffic accident cases require the prosecutor to get witnesses to court. If the officer did not see the accident happen then the officer will need either an admission of guilty by the defendant and/or a witness who saw the accident. Getting witnesses to court can be very difficult. An experienced traffic attorney will know the Virginia rules of evidence and be ale to prevent the prosecutor from circumventing the witness requirement.

If the witnesses live outside the county/city where the accident occurred then the process for serving a subpoena on them gets more complicated because it requires coordinating with the witnesses’ local sheriff’s department. If the witness lives out of state then it becomes extremely complicated (if not impossible) to order a witness to appear in court. Even if a witness is ordered to come to court there are many reasons that a witness may not show up. This is especially true, if the witness was at fault for the accident.

The second reasons that accident cases are easier to win, is that the rules for writing traffic tickets are complicated. An officer cannot arrest (i.e. write a ticket for) a misdemeanor or traffic infraction that happened outside his presence unless: 1) he has an arrest warrant, 2) he writes the summons at the scene of the accident, or 3) he writes the summons at the hospital immediately after the accident. If you were given a summons to appear in court anywhere but at the scene or at the hospital and the officer did not see the accident then the ticket could be invalid. Talk to a traffic attorney immediately.

The third reason why accident cases are easier is because the officer often give the ticket to the wrong person. Because the officers usually do not see the accidents, they are dependent on the witnesses to know what to do. Language barriers, injuries, and witnesses with strong motivations to lie can keep an officer from knowing the truth. A skilled attorney can often make short work of civilian witnesses during the cross examination.

The fourth reasons that accidents are easier to win is because the officer’s often write the wrong ticket. When a serious accident has occurred it is human nature to assume that one of the drivers did something wrong and should be ticketed. The truth of the matter is that sometimes accident’s just happen even though no one was doing anything illegal. This pressure to not leave an accident scene without writing a ticket can lead to some officers writing tickets that are not supported by the evidence. It is common practice in Northern Virginia to write reckless driving tickets anytime there is an at fault accident. However, just because someone caused an accident does not mean that they were driving illegally. Also, it is not enough to ticket someone for any infraction, the driver must be accused of committing the crime that actually took place. If you are ticketed for the wrong offense, then your attorney may prevail at court.

In accident cases, it can be very important to talk to any attorney and to win at trial. If there are injuries or sever damages , the penalties for pleading guilty may be high. Prepaying or pleading guilty, even to a minor traffic infraction, can be used as evidence of guilt in a civil law suit resulting from the accident. Do not go to court or prepay any traffic ticket involving an accident without at least talking to a traffic attorney first.

Luke J Nichols

About Luke Nichols

Luke Nichols practices almost exclusively traffic law in Northern Virginia. His primary practice areas include reckless driving, speeding, DUI/DWI, refusal, hit-and-run, driving on a suspended license, and driving on a revoked license. Mr. Nichols has represented hundreds of Virginia drivers. You can also connect with Luke on Google+
This entry was posted in Defending Yourself in Traffic Court, Misc. Traffic Tickets, Reckless Driving and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.