Speeding Offenses in Virginia

The following is information on speeding in Virginia including how police track speed and what the process is like for someone who receives a speeding ticket. To learn more schedule a free consultation with a Virginia traffic lawyer today.

What Are The Different Degrees of Speeding With Which Someone Could be Charged?

In Virginia, there is a wide variety of speeding laws. Reckless driving by speed is defined as driving 20 miles per hour or more over the speed limit or 81 miles per hour or more regardless of the speed limit. That is the most serious speeding offense that someone could face because it is a misdemeanor charge. Someone could be facing jail time and even license suspension. For other speeding offenses, for example driving ten to 19 miles per hour over the speed limit, a person would face a potential negative four points in their driving record and a fine. They could also face a potential negative three points in their driving record and a fine for driving as few as one to nine miles per hour over the speed limit.

What Methods do Police Officers Use to Track An Individual’s Speed?

Officers and state troopers in Virginia have a variety of methods for tracking speed. They can use LIDAR, which is a newer device to track someone’s speed. They can use the old fashioned radar, and they can also track speed by pacing a vehicle. All these methods are used, but each one has specific requirements demonstrating proper calibration the equipment, which is a requirement before and officer can testify about what speed their device showed.

How Can Someone Challenge These Methods?

In every case there are technical requirements which must be met in order for an officer to be able to testify as speed their device showed.  They must calibrate the device before and after their shift, periodically calibrate the device used to calibrate their speed detection devise, and finally officer must be trained on the device and periodically be re-certified.  If the officer fails to do any of these things, or fails to bring to court properly certified documents showing that they have done these things, it can result in the charge being completely dismissed.

What is The Process Like For Someone Who Gets a Speeding Ticket and Wants to Challenge It?

For any speeding ticket, a person is given a traffic summons and is told to appear in court. In order to challenge that ticket, it is necessary to hire an attorney who can talk with the prosecution and the officer, discuss the weaknesses of the case, and utilize potential resolutions. The individual also only has the right to plead not guilty. If they plead not guilty to a traffic ticket, that means they have to have their case tried before a judge in the General District Court who will decide the outcome of their case.

Who Would be Present At a Speeding Ticket Hearing?

The officer who wrote the ticket, who is usually the most important witness, as well as the prosecutor and the judge. It’s important to have an attorney present so that that attorney can talk to the officer and prosecutor before the case. They can examine the evidence as well as the strengths and weaknesses of the Commonwealth’s case. They will also be able to determine whether there is any alternative way to resolve the case without a conviction.