You may not think that getting a speeding ticket in Virginia is a big deal. However, it can carry serious penalties—especially if this is not your first ticket. Even if it is your first one, you do not want it to affect your driving record. Once you have a negative mark on your driving record, you will have it for years down the road, and this can affect other aspects of your life—such as increased auto insurance premiums. Fortunately, hiring an experienced traffic law attorney can help you get the ticket dismissed or reduced to a less serious traffic infraction.
What Are the Penalties for Speeding in Virginia?
In Virginia, speeding tickets are pre-payable offenses, which means that a person does not have to appear in court if he pays the ticket in advance of the court date. What many people do not realize is that they are admitting guilt for the traffic offense by paying the ticket. The consequence is that the person will have a conviction on his driving record for five or more years.
Speeding tickets are punishable by fines through the court system and a demerit point system governed by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The number of demerit points on your driving record depends on how fast you were driving. You could be assessed the following demerit points:
- Three demerit points. You would receive three demerit points on your driving record for driving between one and nine mph over the posted speed limit. This conviction will stay on your driving record for five years.
- Four demerit points. The penalty for driving between 10 and 19 mph over the posted speed limit is four demerit points, which also remains on your driving record for five years.
- Six demerit points. If you are caught driving 20 mph or more over the posted speed limit, the penalty is six demerit points on your driving record. The conviction will remain on your record for 11 years. In addition, you could be charged with reckless driving if you are driving 20 mph over the speed limit.
The demerit points can be removed from your record after two years, but the actual conviction stays on your record for 5 to 11 years, depending on how much you were exceeding the speed limit. In addition, you will owe fines and court costs. The fines are doubled if you were speeding in a safety corridor. Fines can be up to $250 and court costs are approximately $64 on top of this.
Can Your Driver’s License Be Suspended for a Speeding Ticket Conviction?
Your driver’s license can be suspended if you receive too many demerit points over a short period of time. This could happen if you accumulate these demerit points:
- If you receive 18 demerit points within 12 months, your driver’s license would be suspended for 90 days.
- If you receive 24 demerit points within 12 to 24 months, your driver’s license would also be suspended for 90 days.
In addition, you will be required to take a driver improvement class before your driver’s license will be reinstated. You could also be placed on probation for six months and then placed in a control period for an additional 18 months.
Can You Take Steps to Reduce the Demerit Points on Your Driving Record?
You may be able to reduce the demerit points on your driving record after your conviction. For every year of good driving, a positive or safe point will be added to your driving record. In addition, if you voluntarily complete a driver improvement class, you can regain five positive points on your record. However, you can only receive a credit for taking this class once every two years.
How Hiring an Experienced Traffic Accident Attorney Help If You Get a Speeding Ticket
The experienced traffic law attorneys at Greenspun Shapiro PC understand the serious ramifications of a speeding ticket conviction on your driver’s record. We can help ensure that your legal rights are protected, raise any defenses you may have to the ticket, and fight to have the ticket dismissed or reduced to a less serious outcome with fewer demerit points. Start an online chat today to schedule your free consultation.