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Virginia Traffic Court

Duties of the Court

While the Virginia DMV may issue points, suspend your license for a DUI and contact your insurance company in the case of a traffic infraction, Virginia Traffic Court is responsible for handling serious traffic violations that involve large fines and/or jail time.  You may be instructed to appear in Virginia traffic court if the officer who issued the ticket requires a court appearance.  This information can be found on the traffic ticket issued to you by the officer.  If you fail to appear in court or to pay the fines associated with your traffic violation, the court can issue a warrant for your arrest for ‘a failure to appear.’

A judge presides over Virginia traffic court and is responsible for determining the criminal activity and/or severity associated with your traffic infraction.   The judge has the right to sentence you to a jail term, impose fines, remand you to VASAP, confiscate or suspend your license or issue a restricted license and determine the extent to which it can be used.  The judge will, of course, allow you to obtain legal representation and will issue a judgment based on the evidence presented by your attorney.

Finally, a Virginia Traffic Court judge has the right to remand you back into custody/issue a warrant for your arrest if all requirements set forth at your hearing are not met within a predetermined period of time.  For example, if you are convicted of a drunk-driving offense and are instructed to attend VASAP within 15 days of your court date and this requirement is not met, the judge can order you back into custody and impose harsher penalties.


Services Provided by Virginia Traffic Court

Virginia Traffic Court is a forum in which you or an attorney can plead your case or bargain for a lesser penalty.  For example, a speeding ticket fine may be waived if a driver agrees to attend a Virginia Defensive Driving School. 

If you cannot afford an attorney but would like legal representation, Virginia traffic court will provide one for you. If you are simply seeking legal advice, these services are also offered by the Virginia Judicial System for a fee, and Court Employees are available to assist you with all forms. 

If you are found innocent in Virginia traffic court, you are free to go; however, you will be responsible for all charges incurred if you are found guilty, and Virginia’s Judicial System requires that you:

  • Pay fines and court costs in full to the clerk of the court if so ordered by the judge
  • Surrender your driver's license to the clerk if so ordered by the judge
  • Serve time in jail if so ordered by the judge
  • Comply with an alternative sentence as ordered by the judge


Virginia Traffic Court provides online, mail and in-person payment services. 

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