Receiving a ticket in a state outside of home residence can be annoying and intimidating. With this in mind, the following is information out of state drivers in Virginia should know regarding Virginia speeding tickets.
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Compared to other jurisdictions, the state of Virginia has very harsh speeding laws. Virginia has charges, such as excessive speeding, that other jurisdictions do not have as a charge at all. This means that someone going the exact same speed in another state would not be charged with anything more than a ticket, while in Virginia that same person would face a criminal misdemeanor for reckless driving. This criminal misdemeanor will also be taken very seriously by the state as if convicted it will appear on your record forever, and show up whenever a background check is done. So certainly in Virginia speeding is nothing to be taken lightly.
If an out of state driver receives a speeding ticket in Virginia, the first thing that they should do is make sure that what they are being charged with is speeding and not reckless driving. On the ticket, it should state specifically what the charge is, and whether it’s reckless driving or speeding.
For reckless driving, sometimes the officer will write “RD” for reckless driving or they will straight out write in longhand, “reckless driving.” For speeding oftentimes, the document will not say anything but the charged speed, but sometimes it will also have a “SP” or say “speeding” to specify that it is a speeding ticket. If it does not say either way and you are still not sure, right underneath where the charge is written, there is a box that is checked or unchecked which says that the person issued this document is required to appear in court.
If they do not have to appear in court, chances are the ticket is for speeding and not reckless driving. If they are required to appear in court, chances are it is a reckless driving ticket. However, making that distinction is the most important thing to do after receiving a ticket in Virginia.
An out of state driver who does not pay the ticket by the due date is treated the same as a Virginia driver would be. Here in Virginia, unpaid fines are cause to have a license suspension. Even though an out of state driver does not have a Virginia license, their privilege to drive in Virginia can be suspended nevertheless.
Additionally, interest can be assessed on the overdue fines, however, the biggest consequence is by far having your license suspended.
Yes, because most states in the US are part of the Driver License Compact, these states have agreed to notify each other of all traffic violations that happen to any out of state drivers in their state. Virginia is included in this compact and therefore sends out information to the out of state driver’s home state whenever they receive any type of ticket in Virginia.
Usually, the home state treats this the exact same way that they would treat the ticket if it had occurred in the home state, as long as the offense exists in the home state as well.
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