Are you facing a speeding ticket in Virginia? Thousands of drivers across Virginia are pulled over every day for speeding violations. In today’s world of busy schedules and hectic commutes, they’re more common than you may think. Most drivers have exceeded the speed limit at one point or another during their driving history. Speeding might seem like a harmless traffic violation, but it carries serious penalties if you’re convicted – particularly if you have had multiple speeding tickets or if you hold a commercial driver’s license (CDL). If this is your first speeding ticket, it’s important to note that it’s best to keep your record clean. Once it’s tarnished, it can be difficult to avoid further convictions. Evaluating your case and the likely success of challenging the charge depends on the jurisdiction in which you received your violation. Prosecuting attorneys and the judges presiding over certain jurisdictions vary on their approach to dealing with speeders.
A speeding offense in Virginia entails driving faster than the posted speed limit in a particular area. Speed limits vary depending on whether the road is in a town, residential area, near a school, or highway safety corridor.
Penalties for Speeding in Virginia
Speeding tickets are considered traffic violations that are punished by Virginia’s demerit point system through the DMV and through the court system. The Virginia demerit point system is structured in a way that once you accumulate a certain amount of demerit points in a specific time interval then your Virginia driver’s license will be suspended (link to driver’s license suspension page).
Everyone, whether licensed in Virginia or not, will have a Virginia driving record upon receiving a traffic ticket conviction. Your actual speed and the amount over the speed limit you were driving determines how many demerit points you will receive against your driving record.
You will receive 3 demerit points if you were:
- Speeding between 1 mph – 9 mph above the posted speed limit. This will be on your driving record for 5 years.
You will receive 4 demerit points if you were:
- Speeding between 10 mph – 19 mph above the posted speed limit. This will be on your driving record for 5 years.
You will receive 6 demerit points if you were:
- Speeding 20 mph and above the posted speed limit. This will be on your driving record for 11 years.
Demerit points remain on your driving record for two years from the date that you received your speeding ticket, but the violation will remain on your record from 5 years to 11 years, depending on the severity of the offense.
In addition to being assessed points against your driver’s record, you will also be responsible for court costs and fines. The court costs and fines of your speeding ticket will depend on how fast you were going over the speed limit and where the violation occurred. If your speeding ticket occurred in a safety corridor and you do not challenge the ticket, then your fines will double. Speeding ticket fines can be as high as $250. Court processing fees / costs are typically around $64, which is in addition to the fine for the speeding ticket.
What happens if you do not fight your speeding ticket in Virginia?
Paying your ticket is an admission of guilt. If you choose to not fight your Virginia speeding ticket in court, you will still be responsible for paying for it – whether you mail a check or pay online. You will still accumulate demerit points and the offense will appear on your Virginia driving record.
Other consequences of Speeding Tickets in Virginia
A speeding ticket can unfortunately have a negative impact on other areas of your life. Your vehicle insurance rates will more than likely increase. A speeding ticket may also put your job in jeopardy if you are required to drive for work. Should you accumulate enough demerit points on your driving record, your Virginia driver’s license will be suspended.
Out-of-State Drivers and Speeding Tickets
If you are an out-of-state driver, it may not be necessary for you to appear in court. Most of the time, your lawyer can appear in court on your behalf to defend your speeding violation without you having to appear at all.
Another item to consider, or discuss with an attorney, is what or how your home state (place you are licensed) will handle the ticket. Although your speeding ticket may not be considered reckless driving in Virginia, it might be in your home state. Virginia has reciprocity agreements with most other states. Reciprocity agreements allow for traffic offenses that occur in Virginia to be reported back to the driver’s home state. Your traffic violation may be evaluated in your home state and carry additional penalties in addition to those that you face in Virginia. North Carolina and Texas are two examples of states that carry additional, and potentially quite severe, penalties for out of state tickets.
The Roanoke Criminal Attorneys at Copenhaver, Ellett & Derrico invite you to call to discuss your options in defending your speeding ticket in order to ensure that your legal rights and best interests are protected. We are experienced competent attorneys who possess a clear understanding of Virginia speeding / traffic laws, have familiarity with the local jurisdictions, and are knowledgeable of common defenses / challenges available. Increase your chances of receiving a lower number of points on your driver’s license, decreased fines or having your ticket dismissed or amended by contacting the Roanoke Criminal Attorneys today.
Facing a speeding ticket in Virginia?
If you’ve received a speeding ticket in Virginia, the experienced criminal defense attorneys at Copenhaver, Ellett & Derrico can help evaluate the details of your case and your options. For an appointment at our Roanoke office, call us at (540) 343-9349.