Richmond Speeding Ticket Lawyer
Did you take that hill on a Richmond street going too fast and get caught in a speed trap? Maybe you were ticketed for driving what is normally the safe speed of 30 miles per hour, but in a school zone where the limit is much lower. Or you did not realize that freeway speed you were traveling was 20 miles over the posted limit.
In any case, you have a ticket you have to deal with it, and if it involves reckless driving, more could be at stake than the fine you will pay. It is also likely that your insurance rates will rise. Chances are, you could use a speeding ticket lawyer in Richmond to help you out of this predicament.
Speeding Ticket Repercussions
Being found guilty of any speeding offense [Virginia Criminal Code Section 46.2-870] can have serious repercussions other than the fine you might have to pay if convicted. Most of the following will likely happen:
- The court will post the conviction to your driving record.
- Points will be added to your DMV record (depending on the speed at which you were ticketed).
- An order to suspend your driver’s license could be issued (if you have enough points on your DMV record or if you were convicted of a reckless driving by speed violation).
- You could be ordered to attend a driver-improvement clinic.
- Your auto insurance company could be notified.
Due to these serious consequences it may be in your best interest to get in touch with a Richmond speeding ticket lawyer who can help minimize the damage of a ticket.
There are several speeding violations that are part of a more serious collection of Virginia moving violations that comprise reckless driving [Sections 46.2-861, 46.2-862 and 46.2-865]. Generally, any speeding charges 19 miles per hour (or less) over the posted speed limit are not considered “reckless speeding” unless other reckless violations are present when you are ticketed. But the things that usually get reckless speeders’ attention are the penalties upon conviction: a fine of up to $2,500 and a jail sentence that could be as long as a year [Section 46.2-868(B)].
If it is a first offense by someone with a good driving record, neither penalty will likely be handed down. But the fine usually exceeds those associated with lesser speeding offenses. And the chances are that even a good driver who is convicted of reckless speeding could spend a few days in jail.
Speeding Ticket Fines and DMV Points
Though traffic court judges in Virginia have discretion to modify the fine, usually based on the driving record of the accused, a general rule of thumb in anticipating the fine you would pay for any non-reckless driving speeding ticket is $6 for every mile per hour over the speed limit.
However, if you were ticketed in a school or work zone, you will pay $7 dollars per mph over the limit. Additionally, if you were ticketed for speeding in certain residential areas, your fine can total $200, plus $8 for every mile per hour over the limit you were traveling.
As for the DMV Uniform Demerit points you would be assessed, the following violations and the length of time they remain on your driving record are outlined below:
- Speeding 1 to 9 mph over the posted speed limit – three points for five years
- Speeding 10 to 19 mph over the posted speed limit – four points for five years
- Reckless driving (by speed) 20 mph or more over the posted speed limit, or in excess of 80 mph anywhere – six points for 11 years
- Reckless driving (specifically ticketed as racing) – six points for 11 years
If you have a couple of moving violations (and corresponding demerit points) against you driver’s license already, that recent speeding conviction could be all the DMV needs to suspend your privilege to drive. This is why you may want to plead not guilty and hire an experienced Richmond speeding ticket lawyer to help fight the ticket. Often, the DMV poses the biggest threat if there are already points on their driving record. Sometimes, people will try and evade speeding tickets or reckless driving charges by using a police radar detector, which are not allowed to be within reach of a driver while they are operating a vehicle. Getting caught with one can lead to additional penalties.
One advantage in having a local Richmond speeding ticket lawyer on your side is their knowledge of the local legal landscape, what to expect from certain traffic court judges, and the experience to deal with prosecutors before you’re scheduled to appear in court. This makes it possible to reduce your charges before trial, or make a case for leniency or dismissal at trial, depending on the circumstances of your particular case.
Richmond Traffic Court
All speeding offenses are heard in General District Court in the John Marshall Courts Building at 400 N. 9th Street in Richmond. Traffic violations are heard Monday through Friday beginning at 9:30 a.m. The judge will hear your case, not a jury. But if you or a Richmond speeding ticket attorney appeal your conviction, it will be heard as a brand new case in Circuit (Criminal) Court.