Did You Get a Virginia Speeding Ticket Out of State? Or Did You Get a Virginia Reckless Driving Out of State Driver Charge?
I get calls all the time from people with a Virginia speeding ticket who are out of state drivers. The Virginia State Police write a lot of tickets. They ticket Virginia drivers and outofstate drivers frequently. If you are a Virginia driver, then you probably know about reckless driving. There is a big difference between a Virginia speeding ticket and a reckless driving Virginia out of state ticket. So did you get a Virginia speeding ticket out of state or a Virginia reckless driving as an out of state driver ticket? The difference can be significant for out of state drivers charged with speeding or reckless driving in Virginia.
Out of state drivers getting charged with a Virginia speeding ticket or a Virginia reckless driving charge is common. Yet, regardless of the specific circumstances, the offense is a misdemeanor if it is charged as reckless driving. It is punishable by up to one year in jail and a hefty fine as well. If you recently received a ticket for reckless driving, but you live out of state, it is critical to contact an experienced traffic and criminal defense attorney who practices in Virginia. Even Virginia speeding tickets can have hefty penalties for out of state drivers, and sometimes a license suspension.
What is Reckless Driving? And How does my Reckless Driving Virginia Out of State Ticket Impact Me Since I Live Out of State?
Anyone charged with a Virginia reckless driving charge, but lives out of state, is guilty of reckless driving if a prosecutor can demonstrate one of the following:
- They were driving 20 miles per hour or more more than the speed limit; or
- They were driving over 80 miles per hour
- Reckless driving is a criminal offense and it leaves you with a permanent criminal record across all 50 states if you are found guilty
- Speeding in Virginia is a traffic infraction, and is not a criminal offense
If you were driving LESS than 81 mph and LESS than 20 mph over the limit then it will be a speeding ticket. A Virginia speeding ticket out of state is better than reckless driving. The potential range of punishment for a speeding ticket is less severe than reckless driving.
Virginia Speeding Ticket Out of State Driver
How will a Virginia speeding ticket effect me? Will this go on my record? Will I get points? Will my insurance go up because of the Virginia speeding ticket? Out of state drivers call me all the time. And these are common questions I get. When I talk to someone charged with a Virginia speeding ticket, I first try to verify their charge. As noted above, reckless driving in Virginia can be 11 mph over the limit. So I need to make sure if people are charged with a Virginia speeding ticket or reckless driving.
A lot of people tell me they have a speeding ticket but they mean reckless driving. There is a big difference. A Virginia speeding ticket carries the following potential range of punishment:
- fine of $0-250
- judge cannot directly suspend your license but DMV can
- potential insurance issues
- points on your license
- potential license suspension from the DMV (but not the judge)
For out of state drivers, the consequences can be more severe. Many states have special rules on speeding tickets. For example, in North Carolina, if you are driving in a 55 mph zone and drive 15 mph or more over the limit then you are subject to an automatic license suspension. In addition, the North Carolina penalties for a speeding ticket for insurance can be severe. It is always important to get it reduced as low as possible in all states.
If you have a Virginia speeding ticket, you need to be aware that your insurance company may significantly increase your rates, or they may get rid of good driver discounts. And you may not even know the consequences until it is too late. In my experience, people often call 6 months to 3 years after a ticket and that is when the insurance increase happens. At that point, there is nothing we can do.
YES, YOU CAN BE CHARGED WITH A RECKLESS DRIVING VIRGINIA CRIMINAL OFFENSE FOR DRIVING 81 MPH in a 70
In Virginia, anything over 80 mph is reckless driving and it is a criminal misdemeanor. It does not matter if you live out of state. Virginia decides what constitutes reckless driving, and whether it is a criminal misdemeanor or not. Your home state, if you live out of state, has no say in the matter. If you are convicted, it leaves you with a permanent criminal record across all 50 states if you are convicted. That conviction never goes away and can never be expunged. Potential out of state consequences for Virginia reckless driving:
- up to a year in jail (generally reserved for higher speed cases, bad driving records, or endangerment)
- license suspension up to 6 months
- fine up to $2500
- insurance rate increases
- rates double, triple, or the insurance company drops you from coverage
- employment consequences
- Virginia reckless driving shows up on criminal background checks
- consequences with education/school
Even if an out of state driver’s actions do not fall under the Virginia reckless driving by speed law, a reckless driving charge is still possible. Under Virginia’s catch-all provision, it a crime to drive a vehicle at a speed or in a manner that endangers the life, limb, or property of another person. As long as a police officer is willing to testify that your driving endangered others, a Virginia reckless driving charge is possible.
What Can We Do to Help Fix the Virginia Speeding Ticket for an Out of State Driver?
Just because you face consequences that are potentially severe does not mean that is the end of the story. We specialize in Virginia speeding tickets and reckless driving tickets and many of our clients are out of state drivers. The reasons that most people hire me are:
- most of my out of state clients do not need to appear in court once I am hired
- this depends on the speed and the court
- some courts and some cases still require your presence in court
- this is usually for serious cases where jail is likely
- as a Virginia traffic specialist, I know how to get the best outcome possible for every case
- outcomes vary based on where you got the ticket (what court the case is in), the speed cited, the driving record, etc.
- Leavitt & Martin has 100 percent 5 star client reviews for thousands of prior clients
When an out of state driver calls me about their Virginia speeding ticket, I try to gather as many facts as possible about their case. I want to know exactly what court the case is in, the alleged speed cited, the driving record, etc. This will give me a much better idea of what to expect for any given case. I know what to expect for each particular case, and I will honestly advise clients and potential clients about what to realistically expect in each case.
Leavitt & Martin can Usually Get Your Virginia Speeding or Reckless Driving Ticket Reduced or Dismissed Even When you are an Out of State Driver
The outcome on any given speeding or reckless driving ticket can hinge on a number of factors unique to each case:
- who the judge will be
- we always know the judge who is regularly SCHEDULED to be in court, but judges take vacations, get sick, etc.
- we know all of the different substitute judges since we specialize in traffic law
- the speed cited
- 100 mph is different than 81 mph in a 70
- the speed cited often makes a great deal of difference
- higher speeds (88 mph in 70 and up, and anything 20 mph or more over the limit is starting to become a high speed case)
- what the driving record looks like
- what the person does for a living
- whether there was additional endangerment
- young child in the vehicle
- whether there are mitigating circumstances
- whether or not a legal defense exists
Some charges can get dismissed based on a legal defense. Others get dismissed or reduced with driving school, or by agreement with the prosecutor (if you are in a jurisdiction where they get involved). And in other jurisdictions the judge will reduce or even dismiss the case even when there is no legal defense. Common reductions to Virginia speeding tickets and reckless driving tickets for out of state drivers include:
- reduced from a higher speed reckless driving charge to a simple speeding ticket
- reduced to a non moving violation that has no points
- reduced to improper driving (you can read about IMPROPER DRIVING HERE)
All of these factors play a role in what ultimately happens with your reckless driving charge. Out of state clients need to be aware of what to expect in any given case. No attorney can guarantee a result ethically, but if you specialize in traffic work in Virginia, you should know what to expect.
Virginia Reckless Driving Out of State Driver
The reckless driving by speed law in Virginia is by far the most commonly written reckless driving charge. Police are on the major highways, I95, I85, and I64 enforcing these speeding and reckless driving laws. Many people consider some areas to be speed traps. Either way, enforcement is high when it comes to speeding in Virginia. So take care to watch your speed. If you find yourself with a speeding or reckless driving ticket, you will want to get it reduced as low as possible. Here are some of the other reckless driving laws in Virginia:
Reckless driving Virginia Out of State Drivers: § 46.2-853 Driving vehicle which is not under control; faulty brakes
Virginia Reckless driving Out of State Drivers § 46.2-854 Passing on or at the crest of a grade or on a curve
Reckless driving Virginia Out of State Drivers § 46.2-862 Exceeding speed limit
Reckless driving Virginia Out of State Drivers § 46.2-863 Failure to yield right-of-way
Reckless driving Virginia Out of State Drivers § 46.2-864 Reckless driving on parking lots, etc.
Reckless driving Virginia Out of State Drivers § 46.2-865 Racing; penalty
Reckless driving Virginia Out of State Drivers Mitigating Factors
Those convicted of reckless driving who are licensed out of state can have their licenses suspended for up to six months. They can also have six points added to their license, pay a fine as much as $2,500, and even spend time in jail. Fortunately, judges do take certain mitigating factors into account, such as:
- A good driving record;
- How many tickets has the out of state driver had the last five to ten years. Often, getting an out of state record to bring to court for the Virginia reckless driving ticket is crucial
- Whether the speedometer reading was incorrect;
- Whether the radar had calibration issues; and
- Did the out of state driver have a legitimate emergency that justified speeding
- many drivers say they needed to use the restroom, etc and that doesn’t help as it’s not an excuse to speed
In some cases, a judge will reduce a Virginia out of state reckless driving charge to a charge of improper driving. This is a traffic infraction that is punishable by a fine of $500. This charge only carries three DMV points and falls off the driver’s record after three years. A driver, especially from out of state, is much more likely to have the charge reduced with the help of an attorney.
What are the Penalties for a Virginia Speeding Ticket when you Live Out of State?
If you are charged with a Virginia speeding ticket and you live out of state, then you want to make sure that you address the ticket. Speeding tickets in Virginia carry points, and those points almost always transfer to your home state. In addition, if you live out of state, your insurance may raise your rates for a Virginia speeding ticket. In today’s day and age, insurance companies do not like drivers who speed. Traffic school, or defensive driving courses SOMETIMES help.
Many people believe that getting a speeding ticket out of state will magically not impact them in their home state but that is not the case. DMV administrators across all 50 states share information with each other. There is a uniform speeding code to allow DMV’s to communicate with each other. This means that your out of state speeding ticket in Virginia will be reported to your home state.
The Virginia speeding ticket laws are found HERE. Law section 46.2-870 is the most commonly written speeding ticket in Virginia. At Leavitt & Martin, we are experienced challenging these Virginia speeding tickets for out of state drivers. Call today for a free consultation.
Consequences for Out of State Drivers Charged with Virginia Reckless Driving
Those charged with reckless driving in Virginia may face consequences in their home state as well. The Interstate Driver License Compact is an agreement between some states. This means your home state might penalize for a charge in another state. In other words, you could be facing even worse penalties. As a Virginia defense attorney, I look for reckless driving defenses. If there is one, I can complete dismissal for outofstate drivers or drivers in Virginia.
At Leavitt & Martin, we take phone calls every week from people who want to expunge a reckless driving charge or speeding ticket. Usually, they are calling because they are facing one of the following:
- employment consequences
- job offer withdrawn or held up
- cannot find employment because the misdemeanor reckless driving shows up on background checks
- insurance consequences
- rates double or triple
- insurance company drops from coverage
- insurance rates increase $2000-3000
When people call in this situation, I usually cannot help. Once you are convicted, you have a limited right to appeal or file a motion to reopen. The bottom line is that these are costly tickets and it is always best to get them reduced as low as possible.
Will My Home State Find Out About my Reckless Driving Virginia Out of State Ticket? How about a Virginia Speeding Ticket Out of State Driver?
When you are convicted of reckless driving, the Virginia DMV notifies your home state for out of state drivers. Many states like, Connecticut, Michigan, Georgia, Washington D.C., and others have provisions where reckless driving will trigger an automatic license suspension for up to 6 months as well. So for out of state drivers, a Virginia reckless driving charge is often MORE serious.
The problem is that you will probably not find out until it is too late to change it or do anything about it. It often takes 30-60 days for your out of state dmv to find out about the Virginia reckless driving conviction and then they have to notify you of the license suspension. In the meantime, you only get up to 60 days to file a motion to reopen in Virginia. We can probably help you avoid all of these issues, if you hire us BEFORE you get convicted of your Virginia reckless driving out of state ticket.
Virginia Speeding Ticket Out of State
Can I just pay the ticket? Virginia speeding tickets are traffic infractions. So you can pay the ticket. If you pay the traffic ticket fines, they you will have demerit points. Virginia is part of the driver license compact. We report traffic violations to every state. Your home state will give you demerit points for traffic tickets. Insurance premiums increase for traffic tickets.
Reckless driving by speed is different. If you are charged with reckless driving, you cannot pay the ticket without severe consequences. Virginia traffic law says you cannot prepay reckless driving. It is a Virginia criminal offense. You do not always have to appear in court. Often, you can hire a reckless driving attorney or ticket lawyer to go to court for you. Every court has their own rules on when you need to appear in court.
Even if your Virginia traffic tickets or traffic violations are prepayable, you might want to fight the tickets. Our law firm can usually avoid demerit points or get the ticket dismissed. If you pay the ticket you will face:
- demerit points
- loss of safe driving points
- auto insurance increase
- driving privileges revoked
- demerit points lead to a license suspension
- commercial drivers face employment issues
- traffic ticket fines
- loss of safe driver auto insurance
- Outofstate drivers in Virginia can face increased penalties including drivers license suspensions
- mandatory driver improvement or defensive driving improvement course
Virginia traffic tickets are costly. An experienced ticket lawyer can often get traffic violations dismissed. Sometimes the judge will dismiss with a driver improvement course and sometimes a defense lawyer can outright avoid demerit points. If you drove above the posted speed limit, don’t just pay the fines. Call our law firm and we can help.
Contact an Experienced Traffic and Criminal Defense Attorney Today Who Has Handled Thousands of Virginia Reckless Driving Out of State Tickets
When you look for a defense lawyer, look for don’t just look for any Virginia defense attorney. Look for a specialized traffic ticket lawyer and reckless driving attorney who knows reckless driving defenses.
Did you receive reckless driving Virginia out of state ticket and need help? A traffic ticket lawyer can often help with your traffic offense. Contact Leavitt & Martin as soon as possible. Call (804)873-4004 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced traffic and criminal defense attorney.