I Was On Vacation In Virginia and Received A Speeding Ticket, Do I Still Have To Appear In Court?

As popular as police procedural novels and television series are, they don’t go into all the details of how defendants are obligated if they receive a summons, a traffic citation or are detained or arrested by law enforcement officers. The potential for confusion only increases when those legal obligations cross state lines. If you’re in Kansas, are you subject to traffic laws in Virginia? If you got a ticket in Virginia, do you still have to answer it? After all, you’re not in Virginia. You might not even live there!

The truth of the matter is relatively simple, and it is to the benefit of anyone involved they take care of matters like traffic tickets right away lest they become bigger problems than necessary.

What is a Traffic Ticket Exactly?

When a driver is stopped for a traffic violation, the officer writes the details of the incident on a citation along with the traffic code violation they believe took place. The driver is then asked to sign the citation, which is nothing more than a legal promise to appear in court to answer the “charge,” which is written on the ticket itself.

All the signature means is the driver has promised to appear in court. It doesn’t mean they are entering a plea or doing anything that would have any effect on the original traffic violation case. Most of this information is usually printed on the ticket itself.

And If The Driver Doesn’t Show?

Breaking the promise to appear in court gives rise to a second separate legal issue, which in most states, including Virginia, is a “failure to appear.” Unless the ticket was taken care of by paying a fine, posting and forfeiting bail, and so forth, the driver is required by law to answer the citation in court. Failing to do so is illegal. If the driver leaves the state, there is also the possibility the court may interpret the driver’s departure as “fleeing the jurisdiction” which can give rise to all manner of additional possible charges.

But I’m Not In Virginia!

The problem with leaving a state with tickets or other charges pending is those tickets and charges almost never go away. Any statute of limitations will be put on hold, what may start as a very simple matter may rapidly become a medium-sized nightmare, and if the driver ever finds themselves in or near Virginia again, they may find themselves in a world of trouble.

If you are cited for a traffic violation in Virginia or any other state, and you find you can’t take care of the matter personally and immediately, your best option is to contact the law office of David A.C. Long to look at your legal options. The sooner you do this the better off you’ll be in the long run.

Can Car Accidents Be Caused by Stop Sign Violations

Stop sign violations and accidents
According to the National Institute of health, almost 700,000 accidents a year occur at intersections that are controlled by stop signs. More than 30 percent of those accidents result in injuries.

Stop signs are fundamental to driving. Drivers encounter them on a daily basis. We all recognize a stop sign, but they’re often ignored, or the law involving them is misunderstood. Some drivers are distracted or inattentive. Others don’t grasp the rule of who has the right-of-way when two vehicles stop at stop signs at the same time. Others aren’t observant. They might come to a complete stop at a two-way stop and think that it’s a four-way stop. Then there are the times that a stop sign is blocked by a tree branch, a large vehicle or another type of obstruction.

Where to stop for a stop sign
The stop sign statute in California is found in the California Vehicle Code section 22450. It’s quite simple. Regardless of whether there’s a limit line at a stop sign, drivers are required to stop at that limit line or before the crosswalk in an intersection. If there’s no defined crosswalk, they’re to stop immediately before the intersecting roadway. If a driver is approaching a stop sign at a railroad crossing, the driver must stop at the limit line. If there’s no limit line, he or she must stop before the first track. State law requires drivers to obey all of these stop sign rules. A driver’s failure to do so can cause an accident, and he or she can be found liable for damages.

Side impact injuries
Unless a stop sign accident involves a rear-end collision, it’s likely that there will be a side impact. Spinal injuries are the most common type of side impact injury. Muscles, tendons, and ligaments get stretched and torn from sudden and forceful back and forth movement. This type of trauma affects spinal nerve roots and discs. Concussions aren’t unusual either from side impacts. They’re caused when sudden acceleration-deceleration forces cause the brain to slam against the inside of the skull in either a back and forth motion or sideways after a forceful impact.

Only an experienced and local Vancouver personal injury law firm can get you the compensation that you deserve in a stop sign injury case. Don’t give the opposing insurer a statement. Contact us first for a free consultation and case evaluation.