About 590,000 speeding tickets were issued by police officers in Virginia in 2019. The state is known for being especially tough on speeding. While we all know that we shouldn’t speed, we may find ourselves going faster than we should and receiving a speeding ticket. The lawyers at Bernstein Hough Law help clients feel more confident about what will happen next after receiving their speeding ticket.
1. Receive the Speeding Ticket
While Virginia is tougher than other states about enforcing speeding, the functional process for receiving a ticket is essentially the same as any other state. An officer will signal to you that you need to pull over and stop. The officer will explain why they pulled you over, request your documentation, and then issue a speeding ticket.
The paper you receive will state “Virginia Uniform Summons” at the top. Your speeding violation and the court day and time are listed on the ticket. When you sign the ticket, you acknowledge that you understand what the ticket is communicating to you.
2. Decide How to Handle the Ticket
There are two ways to handle a speeding ticket. Your first option is to waive your right to a trial, plead guilty, and submit payment for any fines assessed. Payments can be made online. This option is
The second option is to challenge the ticket. With this option, you or your attorney will appear in court at the listed court date on your ticket.
3. Speak With a Traffic Lawyer
Speaking with a traffic attorney can help you better understand your options. The punishments get progressively harsher with the greater your speed over the posts speeding limit.
Your attorney is more familiar with the local court system, as they regularly attend court for clients. They will better understand what defenses are effective when presented to different judges. These are some common speeding ticket defenses.
- Defective speed recording device
- Police user error
- Defective speedometer
- Your safe driving record
- Excusable emergency
If you are unsure whether to accept or fight your ticket, your attorney can help you make the best decision. Similarly, there could be mitigating factors even if you can’t fight the ticket and get it thrown out. A lawyer may be able to argue to reduce the charges.
4. Court Date
If you plead guilty to the speeding ticket, you will not need to appear in court. You can pre-pay the ticket fine and move forward with accepting the consequences of the ticket.
In contrast, if you contest or fight your speeding ticket, you or your attorney will need to appear in court at the date, time, and location listed on your ticket. Here, you and the ticketing officer will testify to what happened. The judge will then make a ruling. You will then pay the assessed fine and take any required driving course.
5. Face the Consequences of Speeding
Several consequences come with receiving a speeding ticket. In addition to a monetary fine, you could also receive demerit points. The value of the fine and the number of points you receive will depend on how fast you were driving at the time of your ticket. If you receive too many demerits in a specific amount of time, your license could get suspended.
In addition to the immediate consequences, there are also lasting ones. For example, a suspended license will prevent you from driving. This could impact your ability to work. Your insurance premiums could increase. While demerits stay on your driving record for two years, the driving infraction can stay on your record for longer.
Reckless Driving Tickets
A reckless driving ticket is similar to but harsher than a standard moving violation ticket. Regular speeding tickets are non-criminal traffic infractions. A reckless driving ticket is a criminal charge. You cannot avoid appearing in court. The consequences of a reckless driving ticket are also more severe.
- Up to $2,500 in fines
- Six demerit points
- Up to 6 months license suspension
- Up to 1 year in jail
- A criminal record