Speeding tickets can result in demerits on your license as well as significant fines. You have the right to fight these charges against you. However, Prince William County speeding ticket hearings can be difficult to handle without an experienced legal professional by your side. If you need help dealing with your speeding charges, contact an attorney as soon as possible.
If law enforcement issues a speeding ticket that is a non-criminal traffic infraction, they may not be required to appear in court to answer for their charge. The requirement to appear in court is only triggered by the possibility of receiving jail time, and traffic infractions cannot be punished by a period of incarceration. However, if the offender wants to be able to testify, present evidence, or question the prosecution’s case in their defense, then this individual must appear in court for a potential trial.
Speeding ticket cases are heard in the Prince William County General District Court if the defendant is an adult. However, if the speeding ticket holder is a minor, then a judge may hear their case in the Prince William County Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court.
It is uncommon for a speeding ticket case to go to trial, or for an individual to be found not guilty as a result of a trial. Judges are used to quickly convicting speeding ticket defendants based on an officer’s testimony because otherwise, the courthouse would not be able to get through all of the cases they need to on a certain day.
Usually, the best someone can hope for in a speeding ticket trial is for the judge to doubt the officer enough, or sympathize with the defendant enough, that they choose to convict the defendant of a lesser infraction. The judge also may offer the defendant a way to get the charge ultimately dismissed if they are open to completing a driving class or a specified amount of community service hours.
Most speeding ticket hearings in Prince William County involve the defendant, judge, and citing officer. Sometimes if a person hires an attorney for a speeding case, the officer will request a county prosecutor to be assigned as well for their own assistance. Witnesses for each side also may be present but are often not subpoenaed.
A defendant in Prince William County can plead guilty, not guilty, or no contest at a speeding ticket hearing. Guilty and no contest are fairly similar, and may result in the judge finding the defendant guilty accordingly. In these situations, an accused individual may still argue what their sentence should be or ask for the charges to be reduced or dismissed after pleading guilty. However, a full trial may not happen where the officer can be questioned.
Pleading not guilty results in a full trial to be conducted, where the defendant has the chance to be found not guilty. Additionally, they may still argue for a certain outcome at sentencing even if they lose their trial.
While most speeding cases do not go to trial, having a hearing may still be an option. If you want to contest the charges against you, speak with a skilled attorney. They could explain the Prince William County speeding ticket hearings process as well as give you legal advice about your case. To learn more, call today.
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