Consequences for New Kent County Reckless Driving Conviction
The penalties for speeding in Virginia can be significant and the secondary effects can stick with you for many years. If you are convicted of a speeding ticket classified as a class 1 misdemeanor, you may be fined, issued penalties against your driving rights, required to take additional drivers’ education classes, or even sentenced to jail time. A class 1 misdemeanor conviction can stay on your record for up to 11 years and cause all kinds of unanticipated difficulties. Penalties for even low-level speeding convictions can include:
- Fines (starting at $6 for each mile over the speed limit)
- Court fees and costs
- Suspension or revocation of your Virginia driver’s license
- Moving violation “points” that accumulate on your Virginia driver’s license, enough of which can lead to suspension (18 points within 12 months, or 24 points in 24 months)
- Significant increases in vehicular insurance rates that can last years (on average, an increase of more than 7 percent per year for three years for Virginia drivers!)
- Inability to obtain any vehicle insurance coverage at all
- Mandatory attendance at additional driver’s education classes
There are many different, specific categories of speeding charges in Virginia, including:
- Speeding more than 15 mph over the limit
- Driving too fast for conditions
- Speeding in a highway safety corridor or work zone
- Speeding on bridges, tunnels, and interstate highways
- Exceeding the speed limits for vehicles under special permits
- Exceeding the speed limit on non-surface treated highways or certain other highways
- Speeding—Reckless Driving
Experienced Speeding Ticket Defense Attorneys
If you submit payment for a ticket by mail, phone, or online, you are pleading guilty to the charged offense! By doing this, you give up the right to contest the ticket or argue your case in court; following payment, a conviction is entered against you and you have no opportunity to challenge the punishment issued by the court.
A speeding ticket itself is not an automatic conviction! You have the right to contest a speeding ticket by appearing in court to plead your case. Explaining the circumstances surrounding the ticket or presenting other facts in your defense convince the court to reduce your sentence or dismiss the charges entirely. Being represented by experienced and knowledgeable legal counsel increases your chances of obtaining a favorable result and suffering fewer negative consequences. The best way to avoid harsh fines and other serious long-term consequences is to hire a lawyer who understands the local laws and court system and will be your advocate through the challenging legal process.
The friendly, approachable traffic ticket attorneys at Leavitt & Martin will make sure you know the potential consequences of the charges you’re facing. We will present your defenses in court, arguing for reduced fines and minimal penalties, and we will help you through the stress and frustration of the court system. We understand the methods and techniques of local law enforcement and we will use our experience on your behalf!
Representation of Out-of-State Clients
Getting a traffic ticket in a place you don’t live can be inconvenient and costly. Our attorneys frequently represent out-of-state drivers cited for speeding in New Kent County. Because of its location between Richmond and coastal vacation areas and military bases, local county police officers have a reputation for targeting drivers with out-of-state plates for expensive speeding citations, especially along I-64. For out-of-state residents or military personnel on active duty, attending multiple court appearances to contest a Virginia speeding ticket can be nearly impossible. Because of this, you may be tempted to just pay the ticket—but this means you plead guilty to the charged offense, resulting in a conviction and penalties to be determined by the Court. In addition to fines, fees, and other consequences to your driving privileges in Virginia, a speeding ticket in New Kent County could cause you to face serious penalties in your own home state. If you live in North Carolina, for example, you could have your license suspended or revoked if you are convicted of certain Virginia traffic offenses!
The experienced attorneys at Leavitt & Martin are here to help you. We can appear in court on your behalf and represent your interests without you ever needing to appear for many kinds of speeding tickets. We’ll handle your traffic ticket issues while you rest easy and go about your life.
Successful Outcomes and Client Satisfactions
We have defended clients charged with speeding in New Kent County for many years. Over that time, we have used a variety of defenses, where applicable, to argue that traffic tickets issued to our clients should be reduced or dismissed. Some frequently-occurring issues that might be appropriate in your situation include:
- Improper Radar Gun Calibration
Virginia law requires that each police department calibrate each of its radar guns every six months and maintain appropriate documentation of compliance. When an officer testifies in court about a reading from a radar gun to support a speeding charge, he or she must also be able to present an original calibration certificate for the instrument or a certified copy thereof that was valid on the date of the alleged offense. If the officer cannot comply with this requirement upon request (because he or she does not have a current certificate, only has an uncertified photocopy, or some other reason), the testimony about the radar gun reading may be properly excluded from evidence. Without radar gun evidence, a speeding ticket will often be dismissed. We have successfully used this defense many times for our clients.
Police officers can make mistakes when filling out a ticket. If a ticket bears a mistake, like the wrong date or an incorrect statutory citation number/name, it can be grounds for dismissal. This is because the conflict between the ticket and the officer’s testimony about the alleged wrongdoing can be contradictory or confusing. A ticket that cites an inappropriate code section number or has an incorrect description of the violation can also be impossible to prosecute. Problems such as these may support a complete dismissal of the charges.
- Emergency Situations/Justification
Sometimes, presenting evidence that there were extenuating circumstances may convince the Court to reduce your charges to a lesser offense or dismiss them entirely. A genuine emergency situation may, very rarely, be a valid justification for speeding. If you prove that you were speeding because you were transporting a seriously injured passenger to the hospital for lifesaving care, for example, the judge may give you a lighter sentence or dismiss the charges against you. This defense isn’t very common, but if it’s appropriate to your situation, it can be very effective.
- Improperly Calibrated Speedometer
Even if you don’t mean to speed, you are still responsible for and subject to punishment under the law. If you can prove that your car’s speedometer or other equipment was malfunctioning, however, the court may take this into account. Showing your equipment was defective can result in a reduction of the charges or lowering of the penalties even if you don’t get a complete dismissal. Leavitt & Martin’s experienced traffic ticket attorneys have used this defense for clients in the past, when appropriate, with good results.
Quality Legal Representation
Our rates for legal representation are reasonable, whether your traffic ticket is for simple or complex matters, and we offer a free consultation to evaluate your situation. Our skilled, honest, and kind defense attorneys are able to help you contest all kinds of Virginia traffic tickets. Our many years of experience in Virginia’s courts allow us to confidently defend your interests and help minimize the penalties you incur. If you have been issued a speeding ticket in New Kent County, the lawyers at Leavitt & Martin will represent you and fight for the best possible outcome. Call us directly at 804-873-4004 or contact us online to schedule your free initial consultation.