Illegal Parking Ticket Lawyer in Fairfax, Virginia
There are various situations in which a police officer might pull you over while you are driving in Virginia. One reason is that the police officer may have run your license plate and found you had outstanding illegal parking tickets that you have not paid or maybe you did not use your turn signals when you were supposed to. Whatever the reason, the police have the right to pull you over as long as they have probable cause. An illegal parking ticket lawyer Fairfax VA clients recommend knows that probable cause is established when a police officer has reason to believe that you have violated the law or are involved in criminal activity.
When it comes to vehicle searches, the constitutionality of vehicle searches is often contested because of the Fourth Amendment. So, the question remains, when can a police officer legally search a vehicle during a traffic stop?
Fourth Amendment and Vehicle Searches
People have certain inherent rights that are given to them by the Constitution. One such right that is often brought up in criminal cases is the Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches and seizures. The Fourth Amendment specifically states that no person has to consent to or is subject to a warrantless search without probable cause.
Consenting to a Search
When you are pulled over, the officer will likely ask you a few questions to determine if he or she has reason to believe that you have committed any crimes. Before the officer attempts to search your vehicle, they will usually ask you if they have your permission to do so. If the officer gets your permission to search your vehicle, they do not need to establish probable cause for any crime. As a traffic violation lawyer Fairfax VA drivers trust will explain, you should never consent to any searches of your vehicle.
Establishing Probable Cause
If you do not give the officer permission to search your vehicle, the officer has two options: they can obtain a warrant to search your vehicle or they can establish probable cause. Obtaining a warrant requires consulting with a judge and having them sign off on it. This usually takes time, which is why most officers will try to establish probable cause before they conduct a search. Probable cause can be established through the officer smelling or seeing contraband that is in plain view in your vehicle or if you admit to the officer that you are guilty of a certain crime.
Illegal Parking Tickets
When a person receives an illegal parking ticket, all the information for paying the fine should be on the ticket itself. The amount of the fine should be very clear, as well as what the violation was. There should also be information about where the fine should be paid. If you decided to fight the ticket, there should also be information as to when and where you appear or send a letter with your intention to appeal.
This information also includes the due date the fine needs to be paid by. If a driver fails to pay by the due date, the municipality that issued the ticket adds on additional late fees. Unfortunately, there are many drivers who will forget to pay the ticket by that due date and then find they are slammed with these expensive fees. In the majority of cases, there is no wiggle room for being late. As soon as that due date arrives, the town or state that issued the ticket tacks on the late fees. The more time that goes by, the more those late fees add up. A minor parking ticket can quickly escalate into an expensive one.
A traffic lawyer Fairfax VA clients trust can help you with your case and decide what is the best legal course of action to take.
If you do decide to fight the ticket, make sure to keep a record of anyone you spoke to or any documents you mailed. This will be your proof that you are appealing the ticket in order to avoid any of those late fees or penalties added on because you are not paying the fine by the due date.
Fighting the Ticket
There are many reasons why a person may decide to fight an illegal parking ticket. For example, if you got a ticket because the meter expired, but you paid the meter and there was still time left, you should fight the ticket. Taking a photo of the meter and/or saving your receipt if you paid at a parking meter kiosk will help prove your case.
Another reason a driver may want to fight an illegal parking ticket is that they have received a number of them in the past and they could be putting their driving record in jeopardy.
An attorney who has extensive experience in traffic violations can sometimes negotiate a deal where the ticket is set aside or the fines that are owed are significantly reduced. A traffic lawyer is also able to help with other types of violations, including moving violations that threaten your driving privileges and/or insurance premiums.
Discuss Your Case with a Member of Our Legal Team
Being pulled over by the police can be a nerve-racking experience in any situation, no matter what you are pulled over for. If you are facing criminal charges that stemmed from a search conducted on your vehicle, you should speak with a knowledgeable Fairfax VA illegal parking ticket lawyer about your case. At May Law, we will thoroughly investigate your situation to determine if your rights were violated during your traffic stop. Call our office today to schedule a free consultation.