Prince William County Traffic Information
If you are a driver in Prince William County, the following is what you should know about traffic violations according to Prince William County traffic lawyer Matthew Crowley. Call today if you have already been cited for a violation, to schedule a free consultation with an attorney.
Where is Prince William County In Relation To Other Major Cities in the Area?
Prince William County is located in Northern Virginia and includes Manassas, Gainesville, Haymarket, Woodbridge, as well as multiple other towns as a suburb of Washington, DC.
It’s located to the south and west of DC. As you move out from the District south and west, you run into Arlington County and the City of Alexandria, then Fairfax County is slightly further south and west, and finally on the other side of Fairfax County is Prince William County. From Richmond, Prince William County is approximately an hour north.
Are There a Lot of Highways In Or Around Prince William County?
There are numerous highways that go through Prince William County. Two of the largest interstates in the Commonwealth of Virginia run through Prince William. Those are I-66, which runs west of DC and then of course the I-95 corridor which goes up and down the East Coast.
In fact, it’s almost impossible to go to or from DC from most of Virginia without going through Prince William County. In addition to that, there a number of other smaller routes that carry a significant amount of traffic through Prince William County including route 29, route 28, route 234 and the Prince William Parkway just to name a few.
Are The Traffic Rules Heavily Enforced In Prince William County?
Yes, there is robust enforcement in Prince William County. Prince William County has an ever growing population. There are more and more cars on the roads of the county all the time.
Police presence and traffic enforcement have scaled up over the years to compensate with that demand. Especially with the new construction in the county over the last ten years, and the numerous arteries that serve the residents of the county as well as the people coming in to the county from other jurisdictions. There have been an increasing number of patrol officers on the roads.
What Is A Traffic Infraction?
A traffic infraction is a civil offense. It is different from a misdemeanor in that it is not a crime and the person cannot be sent to jail for a traffic infraction. Some examples of a traffic infraction are failing to yield the right-of-way, speeding but less than 20 miles an hour over the speed limit, and running a red light.
Traffic infractions are heard in the General District Court in Prince William County unless the person who is charged is minor in which case they’re heard in the Prince William County Juvenile and Domestic Relations General District Court.
Any traffic infraction that comes before one of these courts and results in a conviction can be appealed to the Circuit Court in Prince William County. Virginia law says that anytime a person is convicted of a traffic infraction that they have an automatic right of appeal and they get a brand new trial in front of a new judge in the Circuit court. The possible penalties for traffic infractions are solely fines and costs. There are no penalties which include suspension of driver’s license or jail time.
Can a Traffic Violation Be a Criminal Offense?
Yes unlike an infraction, in Virginia, many traffic offenses are misdemeanors, which means that punishment can include jail time, license suspension, and serious fines. Examples of those include reckless speeding, reckless failure to maintain a control of a vehicle which is often charged in an accident case, failure to maintain brakes, racing as well as things like hit and run, DUI or DWI.
Where Are Traffic Matters Heard in Prince William County?
Almost all traffic related matters are going to be heard in the General District Court. Now for things related to licenses, suspended licenses or restricted licenses, those things are going to be heard in whichever court in the county has suspended their license.
So for example, if someone had a Circuit Court case which resulted in a license suspension, any hearing related to that license suspension would be heard in the Circuit Court. Whereas if their license had been suspended or revoked by the juvenile and domestic relations court in the district court, any hearing related to that license would be heard in that court.
There are certain special cases where DMV administrative suspensions can be rescinded and those almost entirely take place in the General District Court of Prince William County.