Is a Speeding Ticket a Misdemeanor in Virginia?
A speeding ticket is not usually a misdemeanor in Virginia but is rather a traffic violation. However, speeding that a law enforcement officer deems particularly dangerous may qualify as reckless driving, a misdemeanor offense in Virginia.
Penalties for Speeding in Virginia
The penalties for speeding in Virginia depend on whether you’re charged with speeding or reckless driving.
If you face a traffic infraction for speeding, penalties may include:
- Fines beginning at $6 for every mile over the speed limit
- Three to six points on your license
- Elective or mandatory traffic school
As points on your license add up, you may face more significant sanctions. A speeding ticket could result in suspension or revocation of your driving privileges, depending on your driving record.
Penalties for a reckless driving conviction are significantly more serious. If you face a criminal charge of reckless driving, penalties may include:
- A Class 1 misdemeanor conviction on your record
- Up to one year in jail
- Six points on your driver’s license
- A fine of up to $2,500
- Suspension of your driving privileges for as many as six months
These substantial penalties could cause you to lose your job, suffer personal problems, and seriously disrupt your quality of life. The effects of a reckless driving conviction are long-ranging, too. The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) notes that a reckless driving conviction generally remains on your record for five to 11 years.
The Difference Between Speeding and Reckless Driving
Law enforcement officers in Virginia have some leeway to determine what is speeding versus reckless driving. Code of Virginia § 46.2-852 says that if a person drives in a way that endangers others, whether they’re driving too fast or erratically, they’re guilty of reckless driving.
Code of Virginia § 46.2-862 explains that you may face a charge of reckless driving if you were traveling more than 20 mph beyond the posted speed limit. Traveling at a speed beyond 85 mph on any road in Virginia could also expose you to a reckless driving charge.
Any speeding violation that does not fit these criteria could qualify as a traffic infraction rather than reckless driving
Potential Defenses for a Speeding Violation
It is critical that you avoid a reckless driving conviction, and a lawyer could build an appropriate defense for your situation. Some potential defenses against a speeding violation are:
- The instrument the law enforcement officer used to capture your speed was inaccurate
- Your vehicle was not the one that the officer caught speeding
- The law enforcement officer committed some other error or relied on other improper tactics
In some cases, an attorney may advise that their client simply admit fault and ask for leniency. Your lawyer will advise you based on the unique details of your case.
Why Hire Shannon & Associates, P.C. to Defend You from a Speeding Violation in Virginia?
Shannon & Associates, P.C. have made traffic tickets a key piece of our practice. We understand the fine line between a speeding ticket and a reckless driving conviction. Our attorneys work tirelessly to help our clients secure the best possible outcome when facing a speeding violation.
Our firm will assist you by:
- Learning the details of your case
- Seeking any evidence that can help us get your speeding violation dismissed or reduced
- Negotiating with those who can dismiss or reduce the charges against you
- Doing everything we can to help you avoid a reckless driving conviction
Our firm knows Virginia law, and we’ll fight to help you avoid the severe consequences of a reckless driving conviction.
Call Shannon & Associates, P.C. Today for Your Free Consultation
Do not wait to hire Shannon & Associates, P.C. for your case. Whether you’re facing a speeding ticket or a reckless driving allegation, there is a path forward. Our goal is clear: to help you avoid harsh sanctions and move forward with your life.
Call Shannon & Associates, P.C. today at (757) 228-5529 for your free consultation. Time to prepare your defense may be limited, so don’t wait to call our team.