What to Expect at a Norfolk Speeding Ticket Hearing

Speeding tickets do not require drivers to show up to court. If someone wants to go ahead and plead guilty without going to court, they are able to do that by paying the fine online or through the mail. The problem with doing that is the individual is then admitting guilt without giving themselves any opportunity in court to possibly have the ticket completely thrown away or at least reduced to a lesser offense. It is generally recommended that someone facing a speeding ticket attend court, as they really have nothing to lose, and may be able to get the charges dismissed. This is especially true with the aid of a Norfolk speeding ticket lawyer, who can prepare them for what to expect in a speeding ticket hearing.

Process of a Speeding Ticket Court Date

When someone arrives to court for a speeding ticket, most jurisdictions have very similar rules, but there are slight differences. In general, there will be a list of all of the people that have court that morning. The driver should find their name and which courtroom they are in, if they don’t already know. Then they should go sit in there, as soon as it opens, and wait for the judge. If someone has an 8:00 AM case, then sometimes they have to wait outside of the courtroom until 8:00 AM when the door is unlocked and everyone is ushered into the courtroom.

It is recommended that the individual arrive early. That way they give themselves enough time to find where they should be. Sometimes the judges in some jurisdictions actually come out early and it is definitely bad for someone to miss out when the judge calls their name.

The Parties Involved

The parties involved in a Norfolk speeding ticket hearing are the judge, the police officer who issued the ticket, and, if the individual has hired counsel, their attorney.

The courtroom is public, so anybody who has court that day will be able to watch any particular case.

After the Judge Calls the Case

The judge will first ask someone how they plan on pleading to the charges—whether they are going to plead guilty, not guilty, or no contest. The answer to this question will determine what the judge does next. If a person pleads guilty, then they have the opportunity to argue sentencing at this point. If they pleading not guilty, then the judge will hold a trial.

Common Questions

The judge can ask whatever he wants relating to the incident. He can ask if there is any evidence that anyone would like to put on in terms of the sentence or argument. If there is a trial, then the judge can ask questions related to what happened at the scene of the incident. Generally, the officer will give a testimony as to what happened and the defense then has an opportunity to cross-examine the police officer based on his testimony. The defense always has the opportunity to cross-examine the officers, even if they don’t have a lawyer. Sometimes the judge can ask questions to the officer as well to get a clearer understanding of what happened.

Then it is the defense’s turn to put on evidence. There is no obligation for the defense to say anything, but if there are questions from the judge, at this point they will be asked.

Risks Involved in Going to Court

Unlike speeding tickets, reckless driving tickets are criminal offenses, which require the driver to appear in court to answer to the ticket. In reckless driving cases, an individual cannot prepay online and they cannot admit guilt in any other way except for going to court. Because speeding tickets are a lesser offense than a reckless driving charge and does not lead to criminal charges, it is in a person’s interests to contest them as vigorously as they can in court. This way, the individual preserves all of the possibilities and give themselves the opportunity to fight the ticket. Speeding tickets are heard in the general district court of the jurisdiction in which the driver was pulled over.

There is not very much risk in fighting a ticket. Fighting a ticket will generally not result in worse consequences for someone if they are found guilty. The consequences will generally be exactly the same as if they had plead guilty from the start, so it makes sense for them to give themselves a chance. An attorney plays an integral role in the process, and speaking with a lawyer can help clear up any concerns a person may have.