Getting a speeding ticket can be irritating, but there are some circumstances where it can be much more than an inconvenience. Depending on your driving record and the severity of the charge, a speeding ticket could result in losing your driving privileges and other penalties. In these cases, it’s natural to wonder whether you can contest a speeding ticket and what the benefits of doing so are.
There are certain circumstances where it makes sense to fight a speeding ticket, but you’ll need help from a Virginia traffic offense lawyer. The Fairfax criminal defense attorneys at Leary Law have extensive experience handling traffic offense cases at both the trial and appeal levels. You can learn more about our legal services by calling either of our Virginia offices, visiting our contact page, or speaking with a live chat agent.
Penalties for Speeding in Virginia
The penalties for speeding depend on how far above the limit you were traveling and other circumstances of your case. According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, the penalties for speeding are as follows:
- 1-9 mph over the posted speed limit: 3 demerit points on your driver’s license
- 10-19 mph over the posted speed limit: 4 demerit points on your driver’s license
- 20 or more mph over the posted speed limit: 6 demerit points on your driver’s license
A few demerit points on your driver’s license are not necessarily a major problem, but they can be in certain cases. If you accumulate 18 or more demerit points in 12 months or 24 points in 24 months, your driver’s license will be automatically suspended for 90 days.
It’s important to note that those caught driving 20 or more mph over the speed limit could be charged with reckless driving. Unlike more minor traffic violations, reckless driving is a Class 1 misdemeanor at a minimum and can be upgraded to a felony charge, either of which could result in jail time, hefty fines, and the loss of your driving privileges.
When It Makes Sense to Contest a Speeding Ticket
In most cases, the best way to deal with a speeding ticket is simply to pay the fine and move on. However, there are some situations in which you might want to contest the ticket, such as:
- When a speeding ticket will cause you to lose your driver’s license
- When a speeding ticket will result in a substantial increase to your insurance premiums
If you’re thinking about fighting a speeding ticket, it’s important to know that contesting the ticket doesn’t always work. Your chances of reaching a successful outcome depend on the available evidence, relevant case law, your prior driving record, and other factors.
There’s one circumstance in which it’s nearly always worth it to fight a traffic violation: if you’re accused of reckless driving. Speeding can result in a reckless driving charge, but it carries much stiffer penalties. You’ll need help from a lawyer right away.
How to Fight a Speeding Ticket
If you wish to contest a speeding ticket, you have two choices. The first option is to go for a plea deal, in which the speed is reduced, resulting in fewer points on your license. This still requires pleading guilty to a crime, and those points will stay on your record for some time.
The second option for contesting a speeding ticket is to fight for a full dismissal in court. If you wish to have a speeding charge dropped entirely, it’s important to get help from an experienced criminal defense attorney. Given how many speeding cases the courts handle every day, you must make your point quickly and have strong evidence to back up your case. Working with a lawyer gives you a much stronger chance of having your case dismissed.
If you have any additional questions about fighting speeding tickets in Virginia, we’d be happy to answer them for you. Contact us today to set up a consultation with our criminal defense team.