Virginia Speeding Lawyers
Speed limits are put in place for the safety of drivers everywhere. When a driver exceeds the speed limit, an officer will usually pull them over and issue a ticket to protect the safety of both the driver and others on the road. Driving over the speed limit in Virginia can have more serious consequences depending on how fast the driver is going. A common belief is that drivers have a cushion of about five to ten miles per hour over the speed limit before a police officer will pull them over, but an officer can legally pull over a driver who is exceeding the speed limit by as little as 1 mph.
Reckless driving is a more serious speeding offense. Under VA Code 46.2-862, a person is guilty of reckless driving if they drive 20 mph over the posted speed limit, or drive over 80 mph regardless of the speed limit. This has far bigger consequences and penalties for the guilty driver.
If you are charged with a speeding traffic offense in Virginia and you desire to fight your charge, it’s important that you understand the penalties for the offense as well as your legal rights so that you can build a strong defense against it. Speeding does not have to ruin your driving record if you are prepared with an excellent legal defense.
Virginia Speeding Penalties
The penalties for speeding depend on how much the driver exceeds the speed limit. For any speeding not considered reckless driving, the penalty is often a speeding ticket with an associated fine and demerit points on your driving record. If you’re speeding 1 to 9 mph over the posted speed limit, the offense usually results in 3 points on your record, which remain for 2 years. If you speed 10 to 19 mph over the speed limit, you will receive 4 demerit points on your record, which also remain for 2 years. Your license may be suspended if you receive 12 demerit points within 12 months or 18 demerit points within 24 months.
Reckless driving (speeding 20 mph over the speed limit or driving over 80 mph) has more serious penalties. Reckless driving is considered a class 1 misdemeanor and can result in a maximum of 12 months in jail, a maximum 6 months suspension of your driver’s license, up to a $2,500 fine, and 6 demerit points on your driving record. Reckless driving is much more than a simple speeding ticket, and by paying the fine, you are pleading guilty to the charge and will be convicted of a class 1 misdemeanor. If you want to avoid a misdemeanor conviction and possible jail time, you can fight the charge.
Virginia’s DMV Point System
If you are charged with a speeding or general traffic offense in Virginia, it is important that you understand the penalties of the offense before you decide to prepay the charge. Once you prepay the charge, in essence, you have pled guilty to the charge; and depending on the charge, your driving record will be assigned demerit points, which could ultimately affect your insurance rates, license and employment.
The Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles posts the conviction to your driving record and assigns demerit points, depending on the severity of the charge. It is very important you understand the point system and how it relates to your charge. Below is a summary of the most common violations and the points. For a more thorough review, you may visit the DMV website.
- Reckless Driving
- Driving While Intoxicated
- Refusing Blood/Breath Test
- Driving on Suspended Licenses
- Driving While Your License is Suspended or Revoked
- Driving Commercial Vehicle While Disqualified
- Speeding 20 mph or more above the posted speed limit
- Attempting to Elude Police
- Speeding 10-19 mph above the posted speed limit
- Following Too Closely
- Improper Signal
- Passing When Unsafe
- Failure to Stop at Scene of Crash
- Failure to Obey Traffic Signal
- Failure to Obey Lane Markings
- Aggressive Driving
- Disregarding police officer’s signal to stop
- Improper backing, stopping or turning
- Speeding 1-9 mph above the posted speed limit
- Impeding traffic, slow speed
- Improper passing
- Improper Driving
- Improper Stopping on highway
- Failure to Obey Highway Sign
- Driving without lights/excessive lights
- No Virginia Driver’s License
- Failure to Obtain a Driver’s License
- Learner’s permit violation
- Driving while using earphones
- Driving with TV screen visible to driver
- Drinking while driving
Fighting a Speeding Ticket or Reckless Driving Charge
If you are charged with speeding or reckless driving, you might wish to fight your ticket or charge. Many drivers find it easier to simply pay their speeding ticket if the offense is not considered reckless driving. However, attending court with a strong legal defense to fight the ticket could result in your fine and/or demerit points being reduced or even dismissed.
Reckless driving is a much more serious offense, and it’s important to fight this charge instead of simply paying the fine and pleading guilty to the misdemeanor. Preparing a strong legal defense could result in the charge being dismissed or reduced to prevent your license from being suspended.
If you have been charged with a speeding or reckless driving offense and need legal advice or defense, you owe it to yourself to hire the best legal defense available. Our lawyers will pour over every detail of your case and organize the strongest defense they can. We are dedicated to protecting your legal rights and working to give you the most desirable outcome in court.
Call Raj Dua at (703) 382-7300 or email [email protected] for a free consultation.
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