If you have been issued a ticket for speeding in Virginia, you may be confused by your available options. If you have not yet been convicted of the offense, you may be unsure about the possible consequences and how to achieve the best outcome in your situation.
Many people assume that hiring an traffic defense attorney for a traffic ticket is not worth the expense, but the reality is that an attorney can play an important role in reducing your penalties, and even helping you to avoid long-term consequences as a result of a speeding conviction. Make sure that you understand how speeding is treated in Virginia, and how an attorney can help in order to make an informed choice.
The Types Of Speeding In Virginia
In Virginia, speeding is not a singular term used to refer to any event in which an individual exceeds the speed limit. You may receive a ticket for speeding if you are going between 1 and 19 miles per hour above the speed limit for the road that you are on. Yes, even a single mile per hour over the limit qualifies!
However, if you are found to be driving 20 miles per hour or more in excess of the speed limit indicated on the road signs, the ticket that you receive may be one for reckless driving. Your driving behavior on the road may be deemed to be reckless even if you were doing less than 20 over. These two traffic violations, speeding and reckless driving, carry significantly different penalties.
Many people choose to hire a traffic attorney to potentially reduce the consequences of their speeding ticket or to avoid a reckless driving conviction. Attorneys are much more familiar with the processes involved in a court appearance for a ticket and may produce a better result than if you were to represent yourself.
Understanding The Consequences Of Speeding
In Virginia, there are penalties for general speeding, but they are not as severe as those associated with reckless driving. Although there is no jail time required with a speeding ticket, you can expect a fine of up to $250 in addition to court costs. A speeding ticket could also result in 3 points being assessed to your driving record.
Unfortunately, a reckless driving conviction can carry up to 6 points (which is the maximum). Reckless driving is a Class 1 misdemeanor, which means that the associated consequences are more severe and include potential jail time of up to 12 months and up to a $2500 fine.
One of the other critical elements of a reckless driving charge is that you may have your driver’s license suspended. Without a restricted license, you may be unable to operate a motor vehicle at all, which may compromise your ability to drive to work, school, or other obligations. Even a speeding ticket may cause your license to be suspended if you have already accumulated sufficient demerit points from previous charges.
How A Traffic Defense Attorney Can Help
A traffic defense attorney often work closely with the legal community including police officers, judges, prosecutors and other court officials. This means they are uniquely positioned to provide an advantage in your case that you may not have if you attempt to represent yourself. Attorneys who have a specialty in traffic law are also familiar with some of the more effective arguments that result in charges being reduced, or completely dismissed.
When challenging a speeding ticket, an attorney may be able to successfully question the calibration of the radar gun that was used to check your speed. Similarly, if your attorney can demonstrate that the Commonwealth is not able to prove the recklessness of your driving, you may be able to reduce reckless driving to a speeding offense or an improper driving infraction.
Proper representation by an experienced attorney can provide you with the best opportunity to avoid a permanent conviction on your record, as well as the associated penalties.
Work With The A Traffic Defense Attorney For Your Case
Whether you have received a speeding ticket, or are facing a potential charge of reckless driving, it is important to seek legal help as soon as possible prior to your court date. While a traffic defense attorney cannot guarantee that your case can be dropped or your penalties reduced, they have the experience and knowledge to present the best case possible on your behalf.
The legal professionals at The Law Offices of Kermit A. Monge would be happy to help you understand your options, and outline reasonable expectations for your case. Contact our offices to discuss your situation and develop a strategy to tackle your traffic violation.