Fairfax Speeding Ticket Charges

Although it may seem relatively straightforward, there are many different circumstances that can lead to a speeding charge beyond simply going over the posted speed limit. Additionally, in Virginia, if you are going 20 mph over the speed limit or over 80 mph you can be charged with a criminal offense called reckless driving.

Below, a Fairfax speeding ticket lawyer discusses these instances of speeding in more depth and how law enforcement will typically track your speed. For assistance with your ticket, call and schedule a consultation today.

What Is Considered Speeding in Virginia?

In Virginia, violations that are considered speeding include:

  • Driving over the posted speed limit
  • Driving too fast for conditions
  • Or failing to obey special speed limit zones

Not only can these results in a conviction on your driving record but also points on your license, a license suspension or revocation for repeat offenders. Additionally, in Virginia, you can also be charged with a criminal misdemeanor for speeding. Once your speed reaches 20 mph over the speed limit, or goes over 80 mph, it is charged as reckless driving. In appearance, it is very similar to a speeding ticket, but in reality, the piece of paper is not a ticket, but is what is called a summons. This is essentially a substitution for a traditional arrest, and once the driver signs it, they are promising to appear in court on the stated day.

Reckless driving is more serious than a ticket because a conviction would be listed on your criminal record, and the conviction also comes with possible jail time. Always check what the officer gives you to make sure you know whether you’re facing a speeding or a reckless driving charge.

Police Officers Proving Recording of Speed

In most cases, officers use equipment specifically designed to record your speed. Along with whatever instrument the officer uses, there’s paperwork that goes along with it that shows the equipment was working properly and was well maintained and calibrated.

What If You Weren’t Going As Fast As An Officer Says?

In the officer’s testimony in court, he has to say how he arrived at the determination that you were speeding and the officer must testify as to the accuracy and reliability of this method. For example, he must state that he used his radar gun to determine the driver’s speed and that the radar gun had been calibrated within a certain 6 months of the traffic stop by someone who is qualified to calibrate it accurately. He should also have the certificate of calibration with him to prove this. So while it may seem like it’s just the officer’s word against your word, the officer has a little bit more on his side than just his stated opinion.

Since they are officers of the court, law enforcement officers have a presumption that they’re telling the truth. Impeaching the law enforcement officer’s credibility and his recollection of the facts can be used as a defense to reduce the weight of his testimony.

Can You Be Pulled Over For Going Only 5 Mph Over The Speed Limit?

Generally, a police officer will not pull you over for driving faster than the speed limit by less than 5 miles per hour however any speed in excess of the posted speed limit is considered a ticketable offense so it is not impossible to be pulled over for only going five miles per hour over.

Common Ways Speeding Tickets Are Issued In Fairfax

Due to the fact that there is so much traffic in Fairfax, Police officers routinely wait for speeding vehicles on roads that are heavily trafficked during particular hours such as rush hour, where they will simply sit and just wait for the next speeder to come. There are a lot of roads with speed limits that seem lower than one would expect which drivers speed on regularly.

On these types of roads, it’s not uncommon for police officers to have set up speed traps. A speed trap is when officers hide around a corner or in side street and tracks motorists’ speeds as they pass. They’re also common when the speed limit changes, to a lower speed than before or on heavily trafficked roads.

What To Expect From a Fairfax Speeding Ticket

You should expect a conviction to result in points on your driving record and subsequently an increase in your insurance. You should  look carefully at your ticket to make sure that it’s only a speeding ticket and not something more serious like reckless driving. You should then look for an attorney to help you try to have a speeding ticket dismissed in court or at least reduced so that you’ll have less points and therefore have to pay lower premiums on your insurance in the long run.