You should expect to see these major changes in Virginia Traffic Law and Criminal Law coming soon.
As of July 1, 2020 these Virginia laws changed:
- Reckless Driving Threshold Increased to Driving Above 85 mph – It will still be reckless driving by speed for going 20 mph or more above the speed limit. However, the 80 mph threshold has been increased to 85 mph to take into account the inequity of getting a misdemeanor charge for going 11 mph over the limit in a 70 mph speed zone.
- Decriminalization of Simple Possession of Marijuana – Simple possession of marijuana will be a civil offense, with a fine of $25. No longer will simple possession of marijuana be a misdemeanor. Possession with intent to distribute is still a crime.
- Virginia DUI “Any Purpose” Restricted License Option – If you are convicted of a first offense DUI, it may be possible to have a broader “any purpose” restricted license if you install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle for 12 months, you are an adult, and your BAC was below .15. Formerly the restricted license option was limited for purposes such as work, school, doctor’s appointments and religious worship.
- For Driving Under Suspended, Mandatory Jail is No Longer Required on 3rd and Subsequent Offenses – Jail time is now up to the judge but not required by the State Code.
- Grand Larceny Threshold Increased to $1,000 with Deferred Dispositions for Misdemeanor Larceny charges – The grand larceny threshold was $500.00 previously. It is being raised to $1,000. Furthermore, a first offender option is now available for petty larceny.
- Deferred Disposition for Intellectual Disabilities – Virginia will allow deferred dispositions for certain criminal charges for those diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder or an intellectual disability if it is shown by clear and convincing evidence this caused the criminal conduct.
As of January 1, 2021 these Virginia laws changed:
- No Holding Cell Phones While Driving – This law makes it an infraction to hold a cell phone while driving.
- Driver Privilege Cards – Allows “driver privilege card” for those who cannot prove legal presence. (More detailed explanation coming later)
As of July 1, 2021, police officers are now more limited in why they can stop a vehicle.