Fairfax County Traffic Court:
Stress Elimination Tips for Defendants
This post is less about the appropriateness of feeling stressed about a charge, and more about gaining insight from a practicing Virginia criminal lawyer and Fairfax traffic attorney in Northern Virginia. There are indeed ways you can mitigate or even eliminate some of the most common sources of stress before a court date.
Fairfax County Traffic Court: Primary Page to Print NOW – Click Here
Do not worry about something you have no control over. Do work to eliminate or mitigate the sources of stress you can control. For some people, a court date weeks away is a terrifying source of panic and anxiety. To help people learn how to cope with pre-trial stress and anxiety, I have created two lists: the first lists four common sources of stress, and how people can take action to control or mitigate. The second category relates to case results.
Keep in mind: the best attorney in the world does not have the ability to tell you how your case will turn out. No attorney is allowed to tell a client precisely what the result of a case will be. So eliminating this desire to demand immediate answers is important for your relationship and mood. Patience is also key.
Category 1: Stress Sources Unrelated to Case Result
You may wish to bookmark our Fairfax County Traffic Court tips page (some of our Virginia reckless driving and speeding clients have printed our Fairfax County Traffic Court tips page out and used it to ensure their court appearance went off without a hitch.
- Getting to court on time.
Solution: arrive a full hour before your hearing. Look for the parking garage, and remember it will take 30 minutes to walk from your car, through the entrance of the court, and through security.
- Publicly speaking in front of 100 or more strangers, attorneys, and the judge.
Solution: hire an attorney to assist you with the case. The truth is, people who hire attorneys get better results. This is undisputed. Another reason that often goes overlooked is the guidance the best Virginia traffic attorneys provide (legal, and practical).
- Saying the wrong thing, or getting admonished by a judge in an embarrassing way.Solution: if you intend to plead not guilty, then be prepared to go to trial. To be perfectly honest, most people who represent themselves do make statements or fail to make objections and it is embarrassing…but only to those who know the law. And as someone who knows the law, I can tell you that it will be obvious you do not, but no attorney or judge will laugh at you for this. In other words, 99% of the people in the courtroom will not even know you have said the wrong thing, if in fact you do. If you plead guilty, the judge may give you a chance to say something. If you say something reasonable, no one is going to laugh at you or judge you.
- Embarrassed by the charge, having to talk about it, and/or think about it.Solution: let your lawyer worry about the case, and simply do not talk about the case with anyone but your attorney. If someone asks why you refuse to talk about it, tell them your lawyer instructed not to do so.
Category 2: Stress Sources Related to Case Result
- Potential employment problems or security clearance issues if convicted.
- DMV demerit points and insurance coverage loss.
- Loss of driving privileges
- Jail time
- Fines: under current VA law, a judge in Virginia can impose a fine of $2,500 and 12 months confinement for a reckless driving conviction.*
*most judges in Northern Virginia (based on my experience and observations) would not impose the maximum sentence, unless something about the case stands out, such as:
- the circumstances of the alleged violation are particularly egregious
- the behavior demonstrated a disregard (completely and obviously) of property and/or safety of others
- aggravating facts, such as a young child in the vehicle when stopped on suspicion of DWI
- the defendant’s record is horrible
- someone was hurt or injured as a result of the driving behavior
The employment issues you could face, if convicted, ought to be addressed once the case has been finalized. But you should still tell your local Virginia criminal lawyer that your goal is to reach a case disposition that allows you to qualify to petition the court for expungement. Expunging a record does not completely destroy it, but it does add a layer of protection to your information, by sealing the record and making it only accessible by court order.
The Fairfax County Traffic Court is not limited to hearing just traffic infractions
An infraction is a violation of the law, but not criminal in nature (infractions are reported on your driving record, while criminal charges and convictions are reported on your adult criminal record). Infractions never result in jail time, unless it violates terms of probation. Most moving vehicle violations are, of course, infractions. But some traffic-related charges are criminal misdemeanors or felonies. People can, and do go to jail for driving while intoxicated, reckless driving, driving on suspended or revoked license, hit and run, and many others.
Some people choose to call one, two, or three or more Fairfax criminal lawyers. Ask for a consultation over the phone and price quote. Then choose the one who has answered your questions to the best of your satisfaction.
Give us a call at 703.695.3719703.695.3719,
a Virginia Criminal Lawyer — our Fairfax Traffic Attorney
will be happy to discuss your most pressing concerns.
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