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Top 5 Reasons Police Pull People Over in Virginia | Bristol, VA Traffic Lawyer

Located on the Tennessee-Virginia state lane, Bristol’s majestic mountains provide an exquisite backdrop for what is considered one of the most beautiful areas in the Southeast.  Its geographic location, excellent transport connections, and breathtaking scenery make it an impeccable place for local and out-of-state drivers to go on long road trips or short drives around town.

Unfortunately, traffic stops are common in the area, as speed traps are frequently erected along Interstates 81 and 381.  These stops can result in tickets to drivers not intending to break the law.

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If you already received a traffic citation, call our office to schedule a free consultation with experienced Bristol, Virginia traffic ticket attorney Mark Hurt.  He can listen to the facts of your case, explain your legal options, and fight tenaciously in seeking reduced penalties or a complete dismissal.  In most cases, he can even appear in court on behalf of clients, so that they do not need to miss work or drive to the courthouse.

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Having an experienced Bristol, VA traffic lawyer often helps individuals avoid inconvenience and steep penalties, including:

  • Significant Fines
  • License Suspension
  • Increased Insurance Premiums
  • Jail Time
  • Community Service
  • Demerit Points on a Driving Record
  • Misdemeanor of Felony Criminal Record

Many drivers are unaware of local traffic laws, which makes them an easy target for overly zealous law enforcement officers.  Although no individual is a perfect driver at all times, there are some precautions that can be taken to reduce the risk of being pulled over and issued a costly ticket.  If you would like to learn about avoiding common traffic citations in Bristol, we encourage you to read the following.

The Top 5 Reasons Drivers are Pulled Over in Bristol, Virginia.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, law enforcement officers pull over nearly 32 million vehicles each year.[1]  Although a driver’s chances of being pulled over are typically less than 20%, several behaviors that can be avoided to lower the chances of being issued a traffic citation in Bristol.

Don’t Speed in Town or On Interstates!

Excessive speeding is the most common reason traffic officers pull over drivers in town.  Under Virginia law, the maximum speed limit on interstate highways or other limited-access highways is 55 miles per hour unless there is a posted speed sign specifying otherwise.  For example, the maximum speed limit is 60 miles per hour on U.S. Route 17, U.S. Route 23, U.S. Route 29, U.S. Route 58, U.S. Alternate Route 58, U.S. Route 301, U.S. Route 360, U.S. Route 460, U.S. Route 501 between the Town of South Boston and the North Carolina state line, State Route 3, and State Route 207 where such routes are nonlimited access, multilane, divided highways.[2]

While most of us are in a hurry, it is essential to remember that speed limits are not arbitrary rules; they are designed to keep our community safe.  New speed cameras have expanded the police reach, allowing officers to issue tickets without even being on-site.

It’s important to know that if you’ve received a ticket, you have the option to challenge the charge in court.  Legally, you’re not guilty of any traffic charge unless you pay the ticket (and thereby admit guilt), or unless you are found guilty by the court.  At The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, while we can’t guaranty a favorable outcome, we do have a strong track record of success in challenging speeding tickets and obtaining reduced penalties and dismissals and better outcomes than if a ticket was paid.

It Is Illegal to Drive While Using a Cell Phone in Bristol. 

Approximately 15% of all fatal crashes are attributable to distracted driving.  As a result, Virginia enacted laws to address the widespread use of mobile devices, hoping to cut down on this unsettling statistic.[3]  A new law that took effect January 1, 2021, made it illegal to hold a handheld device while driving, including a cell phone or tablet.  This means that reading emails or texts, manually texting, or just holding a device in a work zone are actionable offenses.

It is important to note that there are some exceptions, including:

  • The operator of any emergency vehicle while he or she is performing official duties;
  • An operator who is lawfully parked or stopped;
  • Any person using a cell phone to report an emergency;
  • The use of band radios; or
  • The operator of any Department of Transportation vehicle or vehicle operated pursuant to the Department of Transportation safety service patrol program.

Violating the new law is punishable, for a first-time offender, by a fine of $125 and, for a subsequent offense, by a fine of $250.[4]  If you were not using a phone and still received a ticket, consult with our Bristol, VA traffic lawyer right away.  We may be able to help eliminate or reduce the penalties.

Speeding Even 15 Miles Over the Speed Limit Can Be Reckless Driving.

A reckless driving conviction is a serious charge, as it can lead to a lifelong criminal record, steep fines, and up to one year in jail.  Running stop lights, swerving, racing, and erratic driving are common reasons cops pull over individuals; however, many unsuspecting drivers are unaware that other seemingly minor actions can also result in a reckless driving charge.  Specifically, driving 20 miles over the applicable speed limit or 85 miles per hour regardless of the posted speed limit is reckless driving in Virginia.[5]  This means that it is possible to receive a citation for driving only 15 miles over a posted 70 mile per hour speed limit.

Failing to Wear a Seatbelt Can Land You in Trouble in Virginia.

Under Virginia Code section 46.2-1094, any person occupying the front seat of a motor vehicle is required to wear a safety belt.  However, there are some exceptions, such as pregnancy or a disability.   If you received a ticket for not wearing a seat belt, call our office to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Bristol traffic ticket lawyer.  We can evaluate your situation and determine whether a medical exemption certificate can be presented in court.

Tinted Windows or Broken Headlights Can Result in Expensive Fines.

Bristol police officers frequently pull drivers over because of dark tinted windows, broken headlights, or a cracked windshield.  They can easily spot minor vehicular issues from a distance, making you an easy target for ticketing fines.  Even worse, these violations can lead to additional penalties if you have not renewed your license or insurance.

How Much Does A Top Bristol Speed and Traffic Citation Lawyer Cost?

At The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, we firmly believe Virginians should have affordable access to quality legal representation.  For this reason, we offer low fixed-fee representation in traffic citation matters, meaning you will pay the same amount regardless of how long it takes to resolve your issue.  Further, we accept credit card payments.

Why Should I Hire an Experienced Bristol, VA Traffic Lawyer?

Having a renowned Virginia traffic lawyer can be instrumental in a case.  When individuals receive a ticket, attorney Mark Hurt can help dispute the charge.  When someone is pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, we can help build a solid defense and seek to mitigate penalties.  No matter the type of traffic citation, our capable Bristol traffic lawyer can zealously advocate on your behalf.

Call Our Office to Schedule a FREE CONSULTATION!

[1] Police Stop More Than 32 Million American per Year for Traffic Violations, Lending Tree,

[2] VA Code § 46.2-870.

[3] Phone Down. It’s the Law, Drive Smart Virginia,

[4] Phone Down. It’s the Law, Drive Smart Virginia,

[5] VA Code § 46.2-862.

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Frankie was the best. She helped me mentally, lawfully, she communicates and I appreciate her. I would never ever contact anyone else other than her if I’m ever in a situation in VA and if this law firm can cross state lines I would pay them! I felt so secure and safe! Thanks so much!
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