Speeding is prosecuted harshly throughout Virginia, and Loudoun County is no exception. In fact, Loudoun is even more strict. There is no leniency in a speeding charge, even for out-of-state drivers who may not be aware of Virginia’s strict speed laws. It can be confusing for an out-of-state driver, especially when facing a traffic infraction or misdemeanor. Therefore, hiring an experienced Loudoun County speeding ticket attorney is an appropriate course of action, as they are familiar with the Virginia laws and know how to argue the ticket in court.
Loudoun treats speeding a little differently than other jurisdictions, because Loudoun is much harsher on speeders. Other jurisdictions generally only have speeding as a traffic infraction—no matter how fast you’re going. In Loudoun, once you pass a particular speed, depending on the speed limit of where you’re driving, it becomes reckless driving, which is a Class 1 Misdemeanor and a criminal offense.
This is a serious charge. In another state, driving at such speeds doesn’t usually have much of an effect on you and would actually disappear from your record in a few years, but in Loudoun it will follow you forever and can actually land you a few days in jail.
The first thing that an out-of-state driver should do if he receives a speeding ticket in Loudoun is to call a local Loudoun speeding ticket attorney. If the out-of-state driver does this, then all of the other steps that he has to take are going to be more manageable. A lawyer can help that out-of-state driver figure out if they’re being charged with reckless driving or speeding. A Loudoun attorney can sometimes help an out-of-state driver get approval from a judge to not have to come back to Loudoun to appear in court.
Loudoun requires people who are charged with criminal misdemeanors to appear in court, but sometimes if someone has been charged with a reckless driving ticket and it’s really close to the line between speeding and reckless driving, it’s often possible for the lawyer to appear on their behalf.
If you look at your ticket, it generally has a section where it tells you what the charge is, where the officer will write how fast the driver was going. Next to those numbers, it will specify either speeding or reckless driving. Sometimes it will be abbreviated as “SP” or “RD”. If it doesn’t say that, then a few boxes below that there’s a section that says that the driver is able to waive their court appearance. If this box is checked, then it’s a speeding ticket. You don’t have to go to court for that. If the box is not checked or the whole entire section is crossed out, then more than likely it’s reckless driving, which requires a mandatory court appearance.
Loudoun sends the out-of-state driver’s home state information regarding the offenses that happened there. That means that the home state of the driver can take whatever action they feel is necessary against that driver, as if the charge had happened in their own state.
If you get a speeding ticket in Loudoun and you want to contest it, your lawyer can go to court on your behalf without you having to make an appearance at all. This is good for out-of-state drivers because they don’t have to come back to Loudoun, which can be expensive and time consuming. This also helps even if you’re pleading guilty because a lawyer can help negotiate the possible penalties so you don’t have to just accept whatever you would have gotten if you had prepaid online.
Additionally, people who have specific concerns, such as not wanting to pay the fine or being worried about a license suspension, can discuss this with their attorney and receive advice. It’s a lot more flexible with the lawyer on your side.
The laws in Loudoun are in place because of safety reasons. The Commonwealth assumes that if you are driving on the Commonwealth’s roads, you are aware of the laws. Not knowing what the laws are is not a defense. If you didn’t know that 80 mph or more is excessive speeding, then you might face a reckless driving ticket.
Out-of-state drivers should be aware of the speeding laws in Loudoun. They should know that driving fast here is a much bigger deal than it would be in most other states. Rather than just getting a speeding ticket, they could face the possibility of getting a reckless driving summons, which is a criminal Class 1 misdemeanor and is a much bigger deal than just a traffic infraction.
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