How to Fight a Failure to Control Ticket in Virginia

how to fight failure to control ticketIf a law enforcement officer cited you recently for reckless driving, you might wonder how to fight a failure to control ticket in Virginia.

Taking on the government alone or without a local, highly knowledgeable, and skilled traffic defense lawyer could be problematic.

You could start by contacting one of the experienced attorneys at Andrew Flusche, Attorney at Law, PLC, to schedule an appointment to review your failure to control case.

We will fight to protect your rights and safeguard your driving and criminal record.

Contact our office today to schedule a free case evaluation for your failure to control ticket. We will review your case and decide your best course of action.

VA Code Failure to Maintain Control of a Vehicle

What is the VA code failure to maintain control of a vehicle? Failing to control your vehicle falls under Virginia’s reckless driving laws and is a serious offense.

The law states that driving a car without proper control or with inadequate or improperly adjusted brakes is a class 1 misdemeanor.

The penalty for a class 1 misdemeanor is a maximum one-year jail sentence and a fine of up to $2,500.

Your stress level may have gone up after reading about the potential penalties. Bear in mind that you enjoy the presumption of innocence, and the government has the burden to prove you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

In other words, the judge does not believe you are automatically guilty because the police charged you with this offense. Having the right lawyer can help give you the best chance of keeping the presumption intact and ultimately winning your case.

There is another thing you should know: an accident alone is not evidence of negligence or wrongdoing.

A police officer’s subjective belief that you failed to control your car without an accident reconstruction report is not worth too much in court.

However, it may be enough evidence for the officer to have probable cause to charge you with a crime. Probable cause is a much lower standard of proof than beyond a reasonable doubt.

Moreover, a conviction does not mean you automatically go to jail. However, you need to know the possible consequences in criminal court.

The judge will set your sentence based on several factors. An experienced lawyer, like those at our office, with extensive local knowledge of the courts, judges, prosecutors, and police in the area, can help you fight for the minimum sentence.

Failure to Maintain Control Ticket Price

What is the failure to maintain control ticket price? A conviction for failing to control your vehicle can result in a fine of up to $2,500.

The police officer who gave you the ticket, however, does not set the ticket price. Instead, that job belongs to a sentencing judge and comes only after a conviction for the offense.

Virginia has another law with a lesser penalty that could come into play in this situation. The charge of improper driving is a less-serious crime than failing to maintain control. This is a lesser alternative to reckless driving.

A judge can find a motorist guilty of improper driving when evidence of reckless driving is slight. The prosecution has the discretion to reduce the charge to improper driving before the judge decides the case.

Improper driving is a civil infraction and not a criminal offense. The maximum penalty is $500. Again, the police officer who gave you the ticket does not set the price; the judge sets the fine if you’re convicted.

How Many Points Is Failure to Control in Virginia?

How many points is failure to control in Virginia? According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), reckless driving convictions are six-point offenses.

This includes failing to control your vehicle or operating a vehicle with improper brakes. The charge stays on your Virginia driving record for 11 years. That’s a long time.

Six-point violations are the most serious traffic violations. Driving under the influence, motor vehicle manslaughter, operating on a suspended license, and leaving the scene of an accident are also six-point violations.

That’s a hefty price, especially when you have a clean driving record.

How Long Are Points on Your Record?

Fortunately, the points do not stay on your record for 11 years. Only the notation of the conviction stays on your record. Instead, the demerit points affect you for two years.

Plus, the DMV allows you to work off your points by accumulating safe points.

DMV Safe Points Credits

The DMV’s safe points program provides an incentive for drivers to improve their driving skills. The DMV awards one point for every calendar year a motorist does not accumulate demerit points.

You can get up to five safety points, which the DMV issues in April each year.

Completing a driver improvement clinic can earn you up to five safety points. However, if you had to complete a safe driving course as part of your probation, the judge would decide whether to give you safety point credit.

Penalties for Too Many Points

The DMV can suspend your license if you accumulate too many demerit points over a short period. If you get eight points in 12 months or 12 points in 24 months, the DMV will send you a caution letter about driving.

If you accumulate 12 demerit points in 12 months or 18 points in 24 months, the DMV will order you to attend a driver improvement program and suspend your license for 90 days.

You will be on probation for six months after they reinstate your license.

How to Handle a Charge for the Failure to Maintain Control of Vehicle in Virginia

How do you handle a charge for failure to maintain control of vehicle in Virginia? First, you should hire an attorney experienced in fighting failure to control cases, like those in our office.

If you work with one of our attorneys, we can discuss your options for how to handle your failure to maintain charge during our initial consultation. Sometimes getting ahead of the game helps in the long run.

Sometimes, we recommend taking a driver improvement course, especially if you have prior offenses on your record. The prosecutor may even dismiss your case outright if we prove you went to driving school.

Depending on the circumstances, we may be able to negotiate a plea to a reduced charge of improper driving.

It’s a civil offense, carries three demerit points, and the conviction stays on your record for three years. That’s a lot better than a reckless driving conviction.

Contact Our Office Today to Fight Your Failure to Control Charge

If you’d like more information on how to fight a failure to control ticket in Virginia, call the offices of Andrew Flusche, Attorney at Law, PLC, today at 540-318-5824.

We’ve represented numerous people in Virginia on reckless driving charges and are experts in fighting traffic cases.

Andrew Flusche literally wrote the book on fighting reckless driving charges and has handled over our thousand reckless driving cases. Call today so we can work together to help you avoid a conviction for failing to control your car.

Andrew Flusche

My name is Andrew Flusche. I am a traffic and misdemeanor defense lawyer in Virginia. I limit my practice to traffic tickets and misdemeanor defense, so I know the ins and outs of these offenses. I literally wrote the book on reckless driving in Virginia which you can get on Amazon here or download for free here. I opened my practice in 2008 after earning my Juris Doctor degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. Since then, I have earned over 600 5-star reviews from happy clients on Google, Yelp, and Facebook. If you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor offense in Virginia, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Your initial consultation is always free, and you'll talk directly with me about the details of your case.

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