We’ve all been there. No one likes the blue and red lights in the rear view mirror. The whole experience is topped off with having to deal with the speeding ticket. We just don’t want to worry about it! Many people think it’s just easier to prepay the fine and avoid taking the time to go to court and fight it. However, when you prepay your Virginia speeding ticket, it’s important to realize you are admitting guilt for a conviction that will remain on your record for several years, sometimes forever. Further, a conviction will also be punished by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles in the form of demerit points. Accrue too many demerit points in a short period of time and your license will be suspended.
A note of caution: some speeding cases in Virginia are punishable as crimes, not infractions. Exceeding the speed limit by more 20 mph or more (Reckless Driving by Speed, Va. Code §46.2-862) is a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable with jail, high fines, and potential driver’s license suspension. It also results in a permanent criminal record.
Where can I be charged with speeding?
Virginia law has specified the maximum safe speeds at which drivers in Virginia can travel on certain roadways. Traveling above these posted speeds on any Virginia road can result in a ticket. Certain areas have reduced speeds at certain times and/or increased fines and additional penalties. These areas include school crossings and school zones (Va. Code §46.2-873), highway work zones (Va. Code §46.2-878.1), and residential areas (Va. Code §46.2-878.2).
How is the officer measuring my speed?
Police officers use a variety of methods to measure vehicle speed. These include RADAR, LiDAR, and pacing. To adequately prove to the judge that you were speeding, police officers must verify their equipment was working properly and that their equipment was properly calibrated. Our attorneys can evaluate whether the police complied with the proper procedures and requirements.
Virginia simple speeding tickets are punished with fines. Unless it is a reckless driving speeding case, the fine is pre-payable and is based on the number of miles over the posted speed limit the offender was driving (Va. Code §46.2-878.3). The driver will generally be assessed a fine of $6 for every mile over the speed limit he was driving (unless you were driving in a school or work zone: $7 for every mile; or a residential district: $8 for every mile). (Va. Code §46.2-878.3).
In addition to fines, convictions for Virginia speeding tickets will result in DMV demerit points. The number of points depends on the driver’s speed:
- Speeding 1-9 miles over the posted speed limit will result in 3 demerit points (Va. Code 46.2-491(D)(3)). This conviction will remain on the driver’s Virginia driving record for 5 years.
- Speeding 10-19 miles over the speed limit will result in 4 demerit points (Va. Code 46.2-491(D)(2)). The conviction will remain on the driver’s Virginia driving record for 5 years.
- Speeding more than 20 miles over the posted speed limit will result in 6 demerit points (Va. Code 46.2-491(D)(1)). This conviction will remain on the driver’s Virginia driving record for 5 years.
Finding the Right Speeding Ticket Lawyer
Virginia speeding tickets have consequences that can last for years. If you’ve received a ticket, schedule an appointment to have a free consultation with one of our experienced lawyers. We’re here to help.