You may not initially believe that receiving a speeding ticket is a serious issue, but the implications of being convicted of speeding in Virginia can be substantial. While many people opt to simply pay their speeding ticket to avoid physically appearing in court, there can be several negative implications of this decision. Speeding ticket consequences can range from increased insurance rates to license suspension to jail time, in severe cases.
With the help of an experienced attorney at Driving Defense Law, it is possible to avoid these consequences and minimize the impact the speeding ticket has on your life and your freedom. To learn more about how we can defend your rights and have your ticket reduced or dismissed altogether, consider contacting us at (757) 929-0335 today.
How Are Virginia’s Speeding Laws Different from Other States?
The major difference between Virginia’s laws and the laws of other states is that speeding can result in a criminal misdemeanor for reckless driving. According to the Code of Virginia § 46.2-862, any person who drives a vehicle at a speed that endangers others can be charged with reckless driving. Under Virginia law, if you are going 20 miles per hour or more over the speed limit, or over 85 miles per hour on any road in the state, you can be charged with a criminal misdemeanor. Compared to civil infractions, criminal misdemeanors carry much harsher penalties.
Because of Virginia’s unique speeding laws, it is easy to find yourself facing criminal charges for reckless driving. The penalties for a first-time reckless driving charge can include up to four months in jail, fines of up to $750, and a maximum of two years of probation. For this reason, if you are facing criminal charges for reckless driving, it is important to fight back against your charges to minimize these serious speeding ticket consequences.
Even if you are not facing criminal misdemeanor charges, it is not always advised to simply pay your speeding ticket. Paying your speeding ticket is an admission of guilt, which can have major implications such as points on your driving record that can lead to a license suspension and other consequences.
What Are the Legal Consequences for Speeding?
Individuals who are convicted of speeding may be required to pay fines and accrue points on their license based on a demerit point system. The Department of Motor Vehicles assigns demerit points based on the speed you were going. In Virginia, there are three categories of speeding offenses: three-, four-, and six-point convictions. The number of points you will receive for speeding are assigned as follows:
- Three points if you were going 0-9 miles per hour over the speed limit. The conviction will remain on your record for up to 5 years.
- Four points are given if you were going 10-19 miles per hour over the speed limit. Again, the conviction will stay on your record for 5 years.
- Six points if you are caught driving 20 miles per hour or more over the speed limit. Reckless driving convictions also result in six demerit points on your license. The conviction will remain on your record for eleven years.
Can You License Be Suspended due to a Speeding Ticket?
Your license may be suspended If you receive a certain amount of demerit points over a specific timeframe. For instance, if you receive eighteen demerit points within a one-year period, your license will be suspended for ninety days. Furthermore, receiving twenty-four demerit points within a two-year period will also result in a ninety-day license suspension. There may also be additional speeding ticket consequences in conjunction with a suspension of your license, including attending driver’s safety school or being placed on probation.
Why Should You Never Simply Pay Your Speeding Ticket?
At Driving Defense Law, we do not advise our current or prospective clients to simply admit guilt and pay their speeding tickets. You have the fundamental right to defend yourself against allegations in court, yet many people do not fully assert this right. Each speeding ticket that you receive is an indication that you have violated the law and that you pose a risk to other drivers on the roads. Paying your speeding ticket and accruing points on your record can eventually lead to your license being suspended and result in a steep increase in your insurance rates, for example.
If you choose to fight your charges, the courts may dismiss your case and these consequences may be avoided altogether. For instance, some courts may dismiss the ticket if you agree to attend driver’s safety school or complete community service. In other situations, your attorney may negotiate a lesser charge for your speeding ticket. This is particularly important if you have been charged with reckless driving. Fighting your charges can be the difference between spending months in jail and accepting a lesser charge to maintain your freedom.
How to Defend Against Speeding Ticket Consequences
If you are considering fighting back against a speeding ticket, the most important first step is to seek legal assistance from an experienced attorney. The role of a traffic ticket defense attorney is to review the facts of your case, organize evidence to help minimize your charges, and successfully reduce or dismiss your conviction. Your attorney will utilize a variety of strategies to defend against speeding ticket consequences, including:
- Law enforcement was using improperly calibrated radar or lidar guns
- You were unaware that you were speeding due to an uncalibrated speedometer
- Prior to this violation, you had a demonstrated record of safe driving
- There was a necessary reason for your speed, such as a medical emergency or preventing greater harm
There are a range of defenses that your attorney can use to protect your rights and minimize the consequences of your speeding ticket. Ultimately, depending on the facts of your case, fighting your speeding ticket may be a more advantageous option compared to simply paying the ticket and admitting guilt.
Contact an Experienced Attorney at Driving Defense Law Today
If you or a loved one recently received a speeding ticket, it is important to seek legal assistance as soon as possible. With the help of an experienced attorney, you can defend your rights, reduce or dismiss your conviction, and mitigate the serious speeding ticket consequences that come with admitting guilt and paying your ticket immediately. To book a free case evaluation with our team, consider connecting with Driving Defense Law via text or call at (757) 929-0335 today.