Consequences for Hopewell Speeding Ticket Conviction
The penalties for speeding in Virginia can be significant. Even more than the initial penalties, the effects can continue to snowball and affect your life for many years. Most traffic convictions are Class 1 misdemeanors, punishable by fines, penalties against your driving rights, required additional drivers’ education classes, and even jail time. Possible penalties include:
- Fines (beginning at $6 for each mile over the speed limit)
- Court fees and/or costs
- Suspension or revocation of your Virginia driver’s license
- Moving violation “points” on your Virginia driver’s license, which can lead to suspension (if you accumulate 18 points within 12 months, or 24 points in 24 months)
- Significant increases in vehicle insurance rates that may last years or result in inability to obtain coverage
- Mandatory driver improvement classes
There are many different types and categories of speeding charges in Virginia, including:
- Speeding—Reckless Driving
- Speeding in a Work Zone or Highway Safety Corridor
- Exceeding the Posted Speed Limit by 15 mph or more
- Speeding on Bridges, Tunnels & Interstates
- Exceeding the Speed Limits for Vehicles Under Special Permits
- Exceeding the Speed Limit on Nonsurface Treated Highways or Certain Other Highways
Experienced Speeding Ticket Defense Attorneys
If you pay a speeding ticket (by phone, mail, or online) without contesting it in court, you are pleading guilty to the ticketed offense! You automatically lose the right to challenge your citation or argue any defenses in court. The speeding ticket itself is not a conviction—you have the right to contest the charges by appearing in court to plead your case. Explaining the facts surrounding your citation may convince the court to reduce the charges or even dismiss the ticket entirely. Quality legal representation increases your chances of obtaining a favorable result and reducing the penalties issued by the court. The best way to avoid high fines, points on your license, and other severe punishments is to hire a lawyer who understands the intricacies of the local laws to advocate for you.
The experienced, understanding traffic ticket attorneys at Leavitt & Martin will explain the potential consequences of the charges you’re facing and help you pursue the best strategy. We will present your case and defenses, argue for reduced fines and minimal penalties, and help you through the stress and inconvenience of dealing with the court system. We understand the strategies, methods, and techniques used by law enforcement officers and prosecutors and will use our experience for your benefit.
Quality Legal Representation
Our rates for representation are reasonable and we offer a free consultation to help you evaluate your situation. Our skilled, honest, and friendly defense attorneys can help you contest all kinds of Virginia traffic tickets. We have years of experience in many of Virginia’s local courts, allowing us to confidently protect your interests and help you minimize the penalties. If you have been issued a speeding ticket in Hopewell, the lawyers at Leavitt & Martin will work with you to get the best possible outcome. Call us directly at 804-873-4004 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation.
Successful Outcomes & Client Satisfaction
In our many years of experience defending clients facing speeding charges in Hopewell, we have used many defenses as appropriate to argue for reducing or dismissing traffic tickets. Some defenses that could be applicable to your situation include:
Mistakes by the Ticketing Officer (Technicalities)
Virginia law requires police departments to properly calibrate each radar gun every six months. If an officer testifies in court about a radar gun reading, he or she must also be able to present an original, up-to-date calibration certificate for that instrument or a certified copy thereof. If a testifying officer is unable to comply with this requirement when asked by a defense attorney (if the certificate is invalid, out of date, or an uncertified copy, for example), the testimony about the radar gun reading may be excluded. Since most speeding tickets are based on radar gun evidence, excluding this testimony often results in a dismissal of the charges. We have been able to use this defense many times, obtaining successful results for many clients.
A ticket that has a mistake on it may be grounds for dismissal. This is because a mistake can make the evidentiary testimony contradictory or confusing. For example, if the ticket has an incorrect date, the issuing officer’s testimony about when he or she witnessed the alleged wrongdoing may contradict the citation. A ticket that cites the wrong code section number or bears the wrong violation description can also make the charges improper (e.g., a miswritten code number could refer to a violation of a law completely unrelated to traffic codes). Mistakes or errors such as these may result in a complete dismissal of the charges.
Emergency Situations as Justification
Sometimes, the court may choose to reduce your charges to a lesser offense or dismiss your case entirely if you can prove justification. Extenuating circumstances like an emergency situation can sometimes be a valid excuse for speeding. If you explain to the court that you were rushing to get a critically injured passenger to the hospital for lifesaving care, for example, the court may reduce your charges to a lesser offense, issue a lighter sentence, or dismiss the charges.
Improperly Calibrated Speedometer
Even if you don’t mean to speed, you can still be found guilty if the evidence demonstrates that you were exceeding the posted limits. If you can prove that your car’s speedometer or other equipment was malfunctioning, however, the court may take this into account when it metes out your punishment. This could result in a reduction of the charges, lowering of the penalties for your ticket, or possibly even dismissal. The experienced traffic ticket lawyers at Leavitt & Martin have used this defense for clients in the past with good results.
Representation of Out-Of-State Clients
Our attorneys frequently represent out-of-state drivers cited for speeding in Hopewell. Local sheriffs and state officers have a reputation for targeting drivers with out-of-state plates for expensive speeding citations, especially where I-295 passes through the city limits. If you reside outside the state or are on active military duty, contesting a speeding ticket in Hopewell can be inconvenient, frustrating, and expensive. Although it’s easier to just pay the ticket online or mail in payment, this means you plead guilty to the charged offense and must accept whatever penalties the court determines are appropriate (which may be high fines, multiple license points, or even jail time). In addition to Virginia fines and penalties, a speeding ticket in Hopewell could cause you to face consequences in your own licensed state. North Carolina, for example, may suspend a resident’s drivers’ license if they are convicted of a Virginia traffic offense conviction. Contact the attorneys at Leavitt & Martin to appear in court on your behalf and protect your interests so you can get on with your life without worrying about the legal proceedings.