Consequences for Sussex County Speeding Ticket Conviction
The consequences for speeding in Virginia can be significant, and the effects can impact your life for many years. As mentioned above, numerous Virginia traffic convictions are classified as class 1 misdemeanors. This means that your sentence could include fines, penalties or “points” against your driver’s license, required completion of additional drivers’ education classes, and/or jail time. A conviction of this sort can stay on your record for up to 11 years, wreaking havoc on your life the entire time. Possible penalties include:
- Fines (starting at $6 for each mile you were traveling above the speed limit)
- Court fees and costs
- Suspension or revocation of your Virginia driver’s license
- Moving violation “points” on your Virginia driver’s license, the accumulation of which can lead to suspension (i.e., if you rack up 18 points within 12 months or 24 points in 24 months)
- Court-ordered driver’s education classes
You may also experience significant increases in your auto insurance rates that last for years—on average, Virginia drivers see an increase of more than 7 percent per year for three years! You might even have difficulty obtaining insurance coverage at all.
There are many different classifications for speeding charges in Virginia, including:
- Speeding more than 15 mph over the applicable limit
- Speeding in a work zone or in a highway safety corridor
- Speeding on bridges, tunnels, or interstates
- Driving too fast for conditions (even if under the posted speed limit)
- Exceeding the speed limit on non-surface treated highways or certain other highways
- Exceeding the speed limits for vehicles traveling under special permits
- Speeding—Reckless Driving
Experienced Speeding Ticket Defense
Don’t automatically pay your ticket! If you pay a ticket, whether by mail, over the phone, or online, you plead guilty to the charged offense! When you do so, you lose the right to argue your case in court; a conviction is entered against you on the ticketed charge.
But the ticket itself is not an automatic conviction! You have the right to contest a speeding ticket, appear in court, and plead your case. Sometimes, you can explain the circumstances that led to the ticket or present other facts in your defense that persuade the court to dismiss the charges or issue a lesser punishment. Being represented by experienced, high-quality legal counsel dramatically increases your chances of obtaining a favorable result when you contest a ticket. Hire a lawyer who understands the local laws and court system and will fight for justice on your behalf. This is the best way to avoid significant fines and other serious long-term consequences.
The experienced, skilled traffic ticket attorneys at Leavitt & Martin will make sure you know your options and understand the potential consequences of the charges you’re facing. We will help you present an appropriate and persuasive defense, based on the facts of your case, and ask the court for reduced fines and minimal penalties. We will appear with you in court and help you through the frustration and stress of dealing with legal proceedings. We fully understand the techniques and common practices of local law enforcement officers and sheriff’s departments, and we will put our experience to work on your behalf!
Successful Outcomes & Client Satisfaction
We have been defending clients charged with speeding in Sussex County for many years. Over that time, we have used many defenses to challenge speeding citations. Some defenses come up frequently, including:
Mistakes by the Ticketing Officer (Technicalities)
The Commonwealth of Virginia requires that every police department calibrate its radar guns every six months. If an officer testifies in court regarding evidence obtained from a radar gun, he or she must be able to present a valid calibration certificate for the instrument. This certificate must be either an original or a certified copy, and it must have been valid at the time of the citation. If the officer is unable to produce this certification when requested by a defense attorney (either because he or she does not have it, only has a photocopy, or otherwise cannot comply with all the requirements), the testimony about the radar gun reading can be properly excluded from evidence. Without evidence from the gun, a speeding ticket will often be dismissed. We have successfully used this defense many times.
Police officers are only human–sometimes they make mistakes! If a ticket is incorrect or improperly issued (for example, it has the wrong date or time or cites an incorrect violation number), this can be grounds to dismiss the charges. Although this seems like a minor “technicality,” a mistake like this can mean that testimony about when an officer witnessed the alleged wrongdoing and issued the ticket doesn’t make sense. Citing the wrong statutory section number or description of the violation makes it impossible for the court to enter a proper conviction. If your ticket has a mistake like this, it may be possible to get the charges dismissed.
In some situations, a judge may agree to dismiss the charges against you or reduce your penalties if there were extenuating circumstances that justified your speeding, like a genuine emergency situation. For example, if you were speeding to rush a critically injured passenger to the hospital for lifesaving care, a court may reduce your penalties or dismiss the charges in the interest of justice. Although this defense isn’t very common if it applies to your situation it can be very effective.
Improperly Calibrated Speedometer
You can be convicted of speeding even if you didn’t intend to exceed the limit (e.g., if you didn’t realize the speed limit had dropped or if you didn’t notice how fast you were going). However, if you can prove that your car’s speedometer was malfunctioning, the court may take this into account. Proving that your equipment was broken could result in a reduction of the charges to a non-moving violation (e.g., a “defective equipment” charge rather than speeding) or lowering of the penalties even if the court doesn’t dismiss the charges. Our experienced traffic ticket lawyers have used this defense for clients in the past with good results.
Our sympathetic, knowledgeable traffic attorneys have helped many clients contest Virginia traffic ticket issues, including speeding. Read one satisfied client’s review of our representation: