How Many Points Does a Speeding Ticket Have in Virginia?
The answer to this question depends on a number of different considerations:
- what you are convicted of, AND
- what state you are licensed in
What Are You Charged With, or What Were You Convicted Of?
Many people call me and say they have a speeding ticket, but they really have a RECKLESS DRIVING BY SPEED charge. These are two very different things. How can you tell the difference? Look at your ticket, and look for the LAW SECTION. It will tell you the Virginia Law that you are charged with violating.
This is charged under Virginia Code 46.2-862. If this is your charge, it is NOT a speeding ticket. Reckless driving by speed (even 81 mph in a 70 zone) is punished as follows:
- class 1 criminal misdemeanor
- leaves you with a permanent criminal record if you are convicted
- punished with up to 12 months in jail
- fine up to $2500
- license suspension up to 6 months
- can have employment consequences, immigration issues, school/financial aid issues
- if you are licensed out of state, many states suspend your license
Besides these consequences, if you are licensed in Virginia reckless driving is the maximum 6 demerit points and the conviction stays for 11 years. If you are licensed in another state the points are up to your home state and they MAY have an automatic suspension provision.
Many states automatically suspend your license for any conviction for reckless driving (I have seen Connecticut, DC, Michigan, Georgia, etc do this). So check with your home state to determine points and the suspension if you are convicted of misdemeanor reckless driving.
READ YOUR TICKET CAREFULLY, IF IT SAYS 46.2-862 IN THE LAW SECTION, THEN YOU ARE CHARGED WITH A CRIMINAL MISDEMEANOR AND NOT SPEEDING
Speeding tickets are traffic infractions. Officers sometimes have the discretion to charge you with EITHER speeding OR reckless driving. For that reason, it is VERY important that you know and understand what you are actually charged with.
EXAMPLE: If you drive 90 mph in a 70 zone the officer USUALLY writes the ticket under 46.2-862 which is RECKLESS DRIVING. But the officer has the discretion to write it under 46.2-870 which is a simple SPEEDING law section. So sometimes there is overlap, and the officer will USUALLY write the more serious charge, but not always. So check your ticket.
Virginia Speeding Ticket Points if You Are Licensed in Virginia
Speeding 1-9 mph: 3 demerit points for 5 years
Speeding 10-19 mph: 4 demerit points for 5 years
Speeding 20 mph: 6 demerit points for 5 years
Keep in mind that these points only have a 1:1 correlation if you are LICENSED IN VIRGINIA. Also, insurance companies will individually determine how to treat a speeding ticket if you are licensed here and they are all different.
Virginia Speeding Ticket Points if You Are Licensed in Another State
The points usually do transfer to your home state, but it is usually not a 1:1 transfer. Out of state drivers will be governed by the rules of their home state regarding the points. Again, if you are charged with reckless driving then it is a permanent criminal misdemeanor that never goes away and can never be expunged if you are found guilty. Reckless driving is different and it is NOT speeding. Also, it usually does not matter if this is a first offense Virginia reckless driving or second offense. But some states do differentiate if you have a history of serious traffic violations.
In addition, many states will automatically suspend your license for reckless driving. I have seen Connecticut, Washington D.C., Michigan, Georgia, and other states do this.
If you are charged with SPEEDING in Virginia, then your HOME state will determine the number of points you get. Virginia will notify your home state (usually about 30-60 days after the conviction) and your home state determines points.
It is Best to Get Your Ticket Reduced or Dismissed
I field calls all the time where people regretted pleading guilty, and they try to hire me to fix a conviction. Sometimes I can, and often I cannot due to the timing. If you have a Virginia speeding ticket, or a Virginia reckless driving charge then call an experienced traffic lawyer to guide you through the process.
We can usually get your charge reduced or dismissed, depending on the facts of the case and where you got your ticket. 804-873-4004