What You Need to Know About Speeding in Virginia as an Out-of-State Resident

virginia speeding ticketIf you ever drive in Virginia, you need to know something about Virginia traffic laws, especially Virginia speeding tickets. Did you know that you can go to jail over a Virginia speeding ticket?

Even if your speeding offense is not serious enough to warrant jail time, you could still place your ability to drive in Virginia in jeopardy by speeding, and your home state might even revoke your license.

Lastly, an out-of-state speeding ticket is not good for the pocketbook.

Speeding Penalties in Virginia

Virginia speeding ticket fines are among the nation’s most expensive, and among the most variable. First, Virginia assesses a minimum $62 for every traffic ticket as court costs. After that, you pay:

  • $6 for every mph over the speed limit;
  • $7 for every mph over the speed limit if you were driving in a work or construction zone; or
  • $8 for every mph over the speed limit in a residential area, plus another $200.

Adding up taxes, court fees, and other fees, the total cost for a speeding ticket average around $200. It can get even more expensive.

The faster you were driving, the higher the fine; and some courts impose more court costs for things like courthouse construction costs.

Virginia Speeding Laws: The DMV Point System

Do you hold a Virginia drivers’ license? Even if you are from a different state and hold that state’s license, you might regularly drive in Virginia.

For instance, if you live in DC or Maryland, you might work in Virginia. And if you regularly drive in Virginia and get ticketed for speeding there, the Virginia DMV points could impact you even if you don’t have a Virginia driver’s license.

Virginia operates on a system of merits and demerits. Any traffic violation will cost you demerit points.

A speeding ticket, for example, will cost you three to six demerit points. Voluntarily attending safe driving school can earn you merit points, up to a maximum of five.

If you accumulate 18 demerits in 12 months or 24 demerits in 24 months, Virginia will suspend your driver’s license for 90 days.

The Driver License Compact

The Driver License Compact is an information-sharing organization of US states, under which states share information about the driving records of each other’s drivers.

This is done so that an out-of-state driver cannot avoid the consequences of a bad driving record by simply returning home.

Virginia has an agreement with every Driver License Compact state to report driving-related violations of the law to the driver’s home state.

Every US state is a member of the Driver License Compact except Georgia, Michigan, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.

Even if you hold a driver’s license from one of these states, however, there is no guarantee that they will not learn of your speeding ticket in Virginia.

If your home state discovers your Virginia ticket, it will penalize you based on its own laws, not Virginia’s. Virginia can, however, ban you from driving in Virginia.

Criminal Speeding in Virginia

In Virginia, speeding is a criminal offense known as Reckless Driving by Speed if:

  • You drive more than 20 miles per hour over the speed limit; or
  • You drive more than 80 mph (even if you were driving less than 20 miles over the speed limit).

Fine

A reckless driving conviction almost always has a fine imposed. The judge can impose any fine up to $2,500. Depending upon the circumstances of the case and your history, your fine will hopefully be much less than the maximum.

Jail Time

Some courts have a formulaic method to impose jail time for reckless driving by speed. For example, some courts impose a day of jail for every mph over 90 mph.

Some courts start counting at 100 mph. Most judges do not stick strictly to a schedule of jail time, but for high-speed cases, jail can definitely be an issue to fight.

Failure to Appear

You cannot avoid this distressing state of affairs by prepaying your ticket, returning home, and avoiding Virginia in the future. In fact, you cannot prepay a Reckless Driving by Speed ticket.

In many courts, the judge will require you to appear personally in court, and they will issue a warrant for your arrest if you fail to appear. In other courts, the judge will allow your lawyer to appear on your behalf.

Although judges will not always sentence a defendant to jail for Reckless Driving by Speed, failure to show up for any jail sentence will result in a warrant for your arrest.

What Happens If You Don’t Pay a Speeding Ticket From Out of State?

In Virginia, you must pay your traffic ticket fines within 90 days of the conviction date. You can always contest it in court.

If you lose, however, you must still pay the fine. If you miss the deadline you could accumulate interest charges and collection actions may begin. Indeed, the judge might even issue a warrant for your arrest.

Aggressive Representation

My name is Andrew Flusche, and I know exactly how to fight an out-of-state speeding ticket. Any lawyer can boast of his legal prowess, but not every lawyer has so many former clients who spread the good word for him.

If Virginia has ticketed you, especially if it is Reckless Driving by Speed, contact me immediately to schedule a free consultation.

Call me at 540-318-5824, email me at andrew@andrewflusche.com, or contact me online for a free consultation. My main office is in Fredericksburg, Virginia, and I handle local courts all around the area.

 

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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I wrote the book on reckless driving. It’s the most-reviewed Virginia reckless driving resource on Amazon.com.

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I wrote the book on DWI. It’s jam-packed full of answers for your case.

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My special report about driving on suspended explains six critical issues to possibly fight in your case.

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