Speeding Charges in Loudoun County

Although it may seem like a minor offense, speeding tickets can carry a variety of consequences ranging from increased insurance rates to fines and jail time in some cases. As a result, it is important that you understand what to expect and take all the necessary steps possible to minimize the harm. Below, a Loudoun County speeding ticket lawyer discusses speeding tickets in Virginia and what you should know. For more information call today.

What is Speeding in Loudoun County?

In Loudoun County, you can be ticketed for going any amount of speed over the limit up to 19 miles per hour, at which point the offense becomes reckless driving if someone is going 20 miles per hour or more. You can also be ticketed for driving too fast for the conditions as the weather conditions allow even if you’re not going much faster than the speed limit.

Difference Between Speeding and Reckless Driving

While reckless driving can certainly be charged due to speed, it’s considered a misdemeanor in Loudoun County which is actually a criminal charge. Simple speeding tickets are traffic offenses, which carry no jail time at all, and only have an effect on someone’s driving record. This can be a bit confusing, but the important thing to remember is that a reckless driving charge is not the same as a speeding ticket because what appears to be a ticket is actually called a summons when we are talking about reckless driving.

A summons is a substitute for the arrest process that usually accompanies criminal charges. Instead of being like a ticket, which just shows the charge and offers information on how to pay for the offense, a reckless driving summons is a promise to appear in court on a set date to answer for the charge. Also, while someone can receive a reckless driving summons for speeding, this is not the only way to charge someone with reckless driving, so it isn’t completely accurate to call reckless driving the same thing as a speeding ticket.

Challenging a Speeding Ticket

You are not required to show up to court for a speeding ticket, due to that fact that it is not a criminal offense. In fact, if you so choose you can pre-pay your ticket online or pay within 40 days of your court date and never have to step foot in court. The effect of doing this, however, is admitting guilt before you have a chance to defend yourself. A much better option in many cases is give yourself a chance to have the ticket reduced or dismissed by fighting it. If you want to fight your ticket, you either must appear in court to do so, or hire an attorney that can appear for you to fight the ticket.

Consequences of a Speeding Ticket

If you receive points on your driving record then your insurance rates typically go up for three years. Once you have received one speeding ticket, or more, it will be harder for you to get a subsequent ticket dismissed or reduced by arguing that you typically don’t drive in such a manner. Judges like to reward people with good clean driving records, and are more inclined to dismiss a charge for someone who has never had a conviction before, or who hasn’t had a conviction in a significant period of time. Once you establish a pattern of breaking driving laws you will lose the judges’ sympathy.

Importance of A Loudoun County Speeding Ticket Lawyer

A Loudoun County speeding ticket lawyer can help put doubt on the facts presented by the officer or can offer up arguments as to why the driver should not be convicted even if they are found to be guilty. A Virginia speeding ticket lawyer can cross-examine the police officer’s testimony and attempt to poke holes in it. Additionally, an attorney can make sure each step was followed exactly, and if not, push to have the case dismissed.