Consequences for Amelia County Reckless Driving Conviction
The penalties for speeding in Virginia can be significant and the effects can linger for many years. Many traffic convictions are Class 1 misdemeanors, punishable by fines, penalties against your driving rights, required additional drivers’ education classes, and even jail time. Some of these consequences can continue to negatively affect your life for years; a conviction can stay on your record for up to 11 years. Penalties can include:
- Fines (beginning at $6 for each mile over the speed limit)
- Court fees and costs
- Suspension or permanent revocation of your Virginia driver’s license
- Moving violation “points” on your Virginia driver’s license, which can accumulate and lead to suspension (if you pick up 18 points within 12 months, or 24 points in 24 months)
- Significant increases in vehicle insurance rates that can last years (on average, an increase of more than 7 percent per year for three years!)
- Inability to obtain insurance coverage
- Having to attend additional driver’s education classes
There are many different kinds of speeding charges in Virginia, including:
- Speeding more than 15 mph over the limit
- Speeding in a work zone or highway safety corridor
- Speeding on bridges, tunnels, and interstates
- Exceeding the speed limits for vehicles under special permits
- Driving too fast for conditions
- Exceeding the speed limit on non-surface treated highways or certain other highways
- Speeding—Reckless Driving
Experienced Speeding Ticket Defense Attorneys
If you pay a ticket by mail, phone, or online, you plead guilty to the charged offense! This means that you lose the right to contest the citation or argue your case in court and a conviction is entered against you. The speeding ticket itself is not an automatic conviction!
It is your right to contest a speeding ticket and appear in court to plead your case. Explaining the circumstances of your citation or presenting other facts in your defense may convince the court to reduce your sentence or dismiss the charges entirely. Quality legal counsel increases your chances of obtaining a favorable result and reducing the sentence issued by the court. The best way to avoid heavy fines and other serious long-term consequences is to hire a lawyer who understands the local laws and court system and will fight for justice on your behalf.
The experienced, understanding traffic ticket attorneys at Leavitt & Martin will make sure you know the potential consequences of the charges you’re facing. We will argue your case in court, asking for reduced fines and minimal penalties, and we will help you through the stress and frustration of dealing with legal proceedings. We understand the methods and techniques used by local law enforcement and 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 overwhelmingly inconvenient and expensive. Our attorneys often represent out-of-state drivers cited for speeding in Mecklenburg County. Because of its popularity as a tourist destination and its location on the North Carolina state line, local county police officers have a reputation for targeting drivers with out-of-state plates for expensive speeding citations, especially along I-85. For out-of-state residents or military personnel on active duty, appearing in court (sometimes multiple times) to contest a Virginia speeding ticket can be near impossible. You may be tempted to just pay the ticket, but this means you plead guilty to the charged offense and have no way to mitigate the penalties that result. In addition to Virginia fines, fees, and other consequences, a speeding ticket in Mecklenburg County could cause you to face serious penalties in your own home state. You could face suspension of your North Carolina driver’s license, for example, if you are convicted of certain Virginia traffic offenses!
Contact the experienced attorneys at Leavitt & Martin. For many speeding tickets, we can appear in court on your behalf and represent your interests without you ever needing to appear. You can rest easy and go about your life while we handle your traffic ticket issues.
Successful Outcomes and Client Satisfaction
We have many years of experience defending clients charged with speeding in Mecklenburg County. Over that time, we have used a number of defenses, as applicable, to argue that traffic tickets should be reduced or dismissed. Some frequently-occurring issues that could be appropriate in your situation include:
Mistakes by the Ticketing Officer (Technicalities)
Virginia law requires that each police department properly calibrate each of its radar guns every six months. When an officer testifies in court about a reading from a radar gun, he or she must also be able to present an original calibration certificate for the instrument, or a certified copy thereof, valid on the date of the alleged offense. If the officer is unable to comply with this requirement when requested by a defense attorney (whether because he or she does not have a current certificate, only has a photocopy, or some other reason), the testimony about the radar gun reading can be properly excluded from evidence. Without radar gun evidence, a speeding ticket will often be dismissed for lack of evidence. We have used this defense many times to obtain good results for our clients.
Mistakes on the Ticket
Sometimes, a ticket is incorrect or improperly issued (for example, it may have the wrong date or an incorrect statutory citation number/name). Such a mistake can make an officer’s testimony about when they witnessed the alleged wrongdoing and issued the ticket contradictory or confusing. A ticket that cites the wrong code section number or bears the wrong description of the violation can also be impossible to prosecute. Problems such as these may support a complete dismissal of the charges against you.
Emergency Situations as Justification
Sometimes, a court may agree to reduce your charges to a lesser offense or dismiss your case entirely if you show that there were extenuating circumstances. A genuine emergency situation is one thing that may, in certain very limited circumstances, be a valid justification for speeding. If you can show the court that you were speeding because you were transporting a critically injured passenger to the hospital for lifesaving care, for example, the judge may reduce your penalties or dismiss the charges. This defense is fairly rare, but can be very effective if appropriate.
Improperly Calibrated Speedometer
A speeding conviction doesn’t depend on a driver’s intent (i.e., even if you don’t mean to speed, you can still be held accountable under the law). If you can prove that your car’s speedometer was malfunctioning, however, the court may take this into account when it metes out punishment for the offense. Showing your equipment was defective can result in a reduction of the charges or lowering of the penalties even if the charges aren’t completely dismissed. The experienced traffic ticket attorneys at Leavitt & Martin have used this defense for clients in the past with good results.
Quality Legal Representation
Our rates for legal representation are reasonable for both simple and complex matters, 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 many years of experience in Virginia’s courts, allowing us to confidently defend your interests and minimize the penalties you incur. If you have been issued a speeding ticket in Mecklenburg 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.