Most people get a speeding ticket at some point in their lives. Some people think it's no big deal because the Commonwealth's Attorney (prosecutor) chooses not to get involved in speeding infractions in Fairfax County. While that sounds good, it really is not, because now you are going directly before a judge without having an opportunity to negotiate your case with a prosecutor in an effort to work the case out favorably. Fines, fees, and costs of speeding tickets can add up, and your violation will likely result in demerit points on your Virginia driver's record.
For those reasons, it's a good idea to retain the services of an attorney to resolve your case.
HOW CAN I GET A LAWYER FOR A SPEEDING TICKET?
Contact John Kassabian of Kassabian & Kassabian, P.L.C., in Fairfax, VA. As a Virginia traffic lawyer, free consultations are part of the services he provides.
In Fairfax, prepaying for speeding tickets is considered an admission of guilt and waives your hearing. If you wish to contest your Virginia speeding ticket, a lawyer can be retained to represent you when you appear in court.
THE CONSEQUENCES OF SPEEDING TICKETS IN VIRGINIA
If you are issued a ticket for speeding in Virginia, the DMV adds violation points o your driver's license record. Accruing too many of these points in 12 to 24 months results in either a driver's license suspension or being placed on a DMV administrative control period and a requirement to take a driver improvement course.
If you are clocked speeding up to nine miles per hour over the limit, three points will be added to your record. From 11 to 19 miles per hour over the limit, four points are added. Twenty miles per hour over the limit (or more than 85 miles per hour regardless of the posted speed limit) results in six demerit points.
In Fairfax, Virginia, offenders must pay $66 for a processing fee when they pay their ticket, and typically $6 per mile over the speed limit (for regular speeding), $7 per mile over the speed limit (for speeding in a school crossing or highway work zone), or $8 per mile over the speed limit plus $200 for speeding in a residential zone.
That means the cost of a 20-over speeding ticket in a residential zone would typically be $426 – and that's not taking your previous driving record into consideration. If your driving record is bad, the court can impose a fine of up to $250 for a simple speeding fraction. The fines, costs, fees, and demerit points can add up quick!
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU SKIP COURT?
If you don't prepay your ticket, you have to appear in court. Failure to appear results in an additional fee of $35. And the judge then assesses your fine in your absence—which could very well turn out to be more than the original amount it would have cost if you'd prepaid the ticket. In other words, that $426 ticket could turn into a much larger expense.
Appearing in court gives you a chance to communicate the reasons why you may have been speeding, challenge the charge, review the officer's calibration documents, talk with the officer, and offer evidence as to a possible faulty speedometer and other mitigating evidence. Valid reasons for speeding could include emergency situations. Say, for example, you were attempting to put space between your car and a reckless driver. Or you may have been in a situation where an emergency vehicle (or even a police cruiser) came up on you suddenly, which caused you to speed to avoid collision or to get out of the way.
An experienced attorney can help you present a defense or offer mitigating factors for your speeding ticket and represent you during your court appearance. Contact John Kassabian for a free consultation. He will listen to your story and give you the guidance you need.