Speeding Ticket Attorney in Virginia
Getting a speeding ticket is annoying – especially if you don’t think you were speeding or if you were simply keeping with the pace of traffic. Still, the simplest solution may seem like paying the fine to make the ticket go away. But speeding convictions can add up over time to cause serious consequences for you. Fortunately, depending on the specific circumstances of your case, you may have options or legal defenses to reduce the severity of your speeding ticket or get it dismissed altogether.
An experienced Virginia speeding ticket lawyer can help you explore all your options and advise you as to whether you might be able to pursue a more favorable outcome to your citation. To learn more, contact Upton Law, PLLC to speak with Virginia traffic ticket lawyer Samantha Upton about your legal options in a free and confidential consultation. Samantha focuses her practice exclusively on traffic citations and criminal defense. She will give you a straightforward, realistic assessment of your case and explain the steps she can take to help you seek the best outcome possible.
How a Virginia Speeding Ticket Attorney Can Help You
Virginia speeding ticket attorney Samantha Upton can help you handle and potentially challenge a speeding citation in Virginia by:
- Providing honest advice about whether you have a potential avenue to contest your ticket or seek a reduction or alternative disposition of the citation
- Helping you understand the potential consequences of paying the ticket or being convicted of the citation, including the impact it may have on your driving record and your driving privileges
- Handling all aspects of your case, which will be especially helpful if you are an out-of-state driver who cannot easily return to Virginia to appear in court
- Pursuing all potential factual and legal defenses to seek a reduction or dismissal of your speeding ticket
When you work with Upton Law, PLLC, you will also get the financial certainty of knowing how much your legal fees will be right from the start. Your attorney will quote you a flat fee at the outset. You won’t have to worry about running up extra charges if you talk to your attorney or if your case takes more work than initially expected.
Types of Speeding Violations
Virginia law recognizes several types of speeding violations, imposing more significant fines and penalties for the more serious and dangerous types of speeding offenses. Examples of speeding violations in Virginia include:
- Speeding 1-9 mph above the posted or legal speed limit
- Speeding 10-19 mph above the posted or legal speed limit
- Speeding 20 mph above the posted or legal speed limit
- Speeding in excess of 85 mph
- Work zone violations
- School zone violations
Most speeding violations in Virginia result in only a ticket and a fine. However, excessive or dangerous speeding, including driving well in excess of the posted speed limit or engaging in street racing, can also lead to a misdemeanor criminal charge of reckless driving.
Understanding How Officers Clock Speeding
Law enforcement officers in Richmond and throughout Virginia use one of several methods to clock vehicle speed:
- Radar – A radar gun measures the speed of a vehicle by calculating the change in frequency from a radar signal that is sent out from the gun and bounces off a vehicle. Although law enforcement agencies across the country have moved away from using radar for vehicle speed measurement, its use remains popular in Virginia due to the state being one of the few jurisdictions that outlaws the possession of radar gun detectors inside the passenger compartment of a vehicle.
- LIDAR – This laser-based radar system has become more widely adopted by law enforcement agencies over the past few years due to its improved ability over traditional radar guns to target individual vehicles.
- Pace method – In this technique, an officer in a vehicle follows a target vehicle at a set distance and keeps pace with that vehicle. The officer then concludes that the speed displayed on the police cruiser’s speedometer is also the speed of the target vehicle.
Consequences of a Speeding Ticket Conviction
A conviction on most basic speeding tickets will result in the imposition of a fine, along with court fees. For a basic speeding ticket, you will be assessed a fine equal to $6 for every mile per hour (mph) over the posted or legal speed limit you were clocked at. This fine can jump to $7 per mph if you are caught speeding in school or work zones and $8 per mph for speeding in certain designated residential areas.
A speeding ticket conviction will also get you demerit points on your driving record. Speeding 1-9 mph above the speed limit carries three points. Speeding 10-19 mph above the speed limit carries four points. Excessive and reckless speeding offenses carry six points.
While demerit points stay on your driving record for at least several years, the actual conviction stays on your record even longer, ranging between three and five years depending on the offense. Reckless speeding criminal offenses can stay on your driving record for 11 years.
Accumulating enough points within a certain time frame can lead to DMV probation or the suspension of your driving privileges. Additionally, having speeding offenses on your record may lead to the loss of your job or loss of employment opportunities, especially if you hold a commercial driver’s license (CDL) or work in a field that requires you to drive.
Common Speeding Ticket Defenses
If you get a speeding ticket, there may be legal and technical defenses that can reduce the severity of your speeding offense or get your ticket dismissed altogether. Potential speeding ticket defenses include:
- Emergency, such as if you were rushing yourself or someone else to the hospital emergency room.
- Broken speedometer, if you can show that your vehicle’s speedometer was malfunctioning, that you were unaware that it was broken, and that you believed you were driving at a lawful speed due to the malfunction.
- Completion of a driver improvement clinic, which can lead to a dismissal of your speeding ticket if you successfully complete a clinic within a certain time frame.
- The officer clocked a different vehicle than yours, or the police pulled over multiple vehicles at once without individually clocking each vehicle.
In some cases, a court may also reduce or dismiss a speeding ticket if it is the driver’s first traffic offense, and the person otherwise has no driving infraction or criminal record.
Talk to a Speeding Ticket Lawyer in Virginia Now
If you have been ticketed for speeding in Virginia, you don’t have to simply accept paying a fine and getting points imposed on your driving record. You may have options available to you to contest the ticket and avoid the penalties that come with it. Don’t wait to get legal help. Contact Upton Law, PLLC and get a skilled traffic violation defense lawyer on your side today.