What Is the Severity of Speeding Offenses in Virginia?

What is the severity of speeding offenses in Virginia

At some point in their lives, most people have decided to drive faster than the posted speed limit.

However, drivers should know that speeding offenses can carry serious consequences, particularly if you were traveling fast enough for your offense to be considered reckless driving.

I am Andrew Flusche, Attorney at Law, a dedicated Virginia traffic law and criminal law attorney who aggressively represents clients facing all types of traffic-related offenses.

I have helped countless drivers keep their licenses and stay out of serious legal trouble.

Are Speeding Tickets Criminal Offenses?

When it comes to the seriousness of a speeding offense in Virginia, a lot depends on the type of ticket. In Virginia, speeding is a traffic violation, which is not considered a criminal offense.

However, if the police pull you over and cite you for reckless driving, it is a crime.

More specifically, reckless driving is a Class 1 Misdemeanor, which carries potential penalties of up to six DMV points, a fine of up to $2,500, a jail sentence of up to 12 months, and a license suspension of up to six months.

Consequences of a Virginia Speeding Ticket

If you are issued a speeding ticket in Virginia, you will receive demerit points against your license.

If you accrue enough demerit points within a certain amount of time, the DMV suspends your license.

Your car insurance also gets more expensive, as the insurance company now considers you to be a more dangerous driver.

Typically, demerit points stay on your record for two years from the date of the offense. However, the underlying conviction itself remains on your record for a separately specified period of time.

For example, a speeding ticket for going one to nine miles per hour over the speed limit remains on your record for three years. However, a reckless driving conviction stays with you for 11 years.

What Is Reckless Driving in Virginia?

Under Virginia law, there are a few ways to pick up a reckless driving ticket. However, the most commonly issued reckless driving citation is based on speed.

In Virginia, reckless driving occurs when you either exceed the posted speed limit by 20 miles per hour or more, or you exceed 85 miles per hour, regardless of the posted speed limit.

For example, on a road with a speed limit of 60 miles per hour, you may face reckless driving charges if the police pull you over traveling 81 miles per hour.

However, if the speed limit was 70 miles per hour, as it is on some Virginia Highways, you may face reckless driving charges for traveling 86 mph, which is only 16 mph over the posted speed limit.

Can I Go to Jail for Speeding?

If police cite you for your speeding, there is no possibility of receiving jail time. This is because speeding is not a criminal offense. However, if you face reckless driving charges, there is a possibility of jail time.

If the police claim you were traveling over 95 miles per hour, it is possible that the judge will consider jail time.

There is no bright-line rule for when a judge may sentence you to jail, as it varies by location, court, the individual judge, and the circumstances of your case.

Recent Case Result: High Speed Reckless Driving Case WON Over Calibration Error

(Cases depend upon unique facts. Past cases do not guarantee future outcomes.)

THE STORY: Jane came to me with a high speed reckless driving ticket. She was shocked when I told her that she was facing possible jail time. I had her prepare for trial by doing a driving school and community service, so we could use those at sentencing to plead for mercy from the judge.

When her reckless driving court date came, I inspected the deputy’s tuning fork calibration certificates before Jane’s case was called. I immediately spotted a problem with the certificate and knew we had a strong defense for Jane’s case.

The judge called the case, and I plead not guilty for Jane. I told the judge that we disputed the accuracy of the radar due to the calibration certificate issue. The certificate in question was a copy of the original. That is permitted under Virginia law, but only if the copy is certified by the custodian of the original to be a “true and accurate” copy. The copy in Jane’s case was allegedly certified to by accurate one year before the calibration was even performed. It was absurd on its face, and the judge did not permit the calibration to be used. The satute and did NOT allow the officer to testify about my client’s speed.

CASE OUTCOME: VICTORY! The judge found the calibration certificate inadmissible, which resulted in him dismissing Jane’s reckless driving ticket. Her license was saved along with her physical freedom.


Can I Lose My License for Speeding?

There are two ways that a speeding or reckless driving citation could result in the suspension of your driver’s license.

If either a speeding ticket or reckless driving ticket puts you over your demerit-point limit, the DMV administratively suspends your license.

Alternatively, if you are found guilty of reckless driving, the judge could decide on his own to suspend your license. Judges typically suspend driver’s licenses for reckless driving in high-speed cases or when the defendant has a poor prior driving record.

If the judge decides to suspend your license, you may qualify for a restricted license. A restricted license allows you to drive for limited purposes, including to work, school, your children’s school, or the doctor.

Contact a Virginia Traffic Lawyer for Immediate Assistance

If you were recently issued a speeding citation or a reckless driving ticket, remember that you have options.

When you pay a ticket, it is the equivalent of pleading guilty, and you give up any right you have to fight the ticket. And once you pay, it’s too late to go back if you change your mind.

I am Attorney Andrew Flusche, a respected Virginia reckless driving attorney who has extensive experience handling all types of traffic offenses.

Throughout my career, I have handled thousands of reckless driving cases, and I know what it takes to successfully defend against a Virginia speeding or reckless driving citation.

To learn more, call me at 540.318.5824 today. You can also reach me through our online contact form.


Andrew Flusche

My name is Andrew Flusche. I am a traffic and misdemeanor defense lawyer in Virginia. I limit my practice to traffic tickets and misdemeanor defense, so I know the ins and outs of these offenses. I literally wrote the book on reckless driving in Virginia which you can get on Amazon here or download for free here. I opened my practice in 2008 after earning my Juris Doctor degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. Since then, I have earned over 600 5-star reviews from happy clients on Google, Yelp, and Facebook. If you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor offense in Virginia, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Your initial consultation is always free, and you'll talk directly with me about the details of your case.

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