Speeding Offenses In Virginia Beach

Although a speeding ticket may seem relatively minor it is important to note that it can have long term consequences on both your driving record and insurance. For this reason it is important, if accused, that you understand what constitutes speeding in Virginia and take the necessary precautions before contesting your ticket.

To learn more about speeding or discuss your case call and schedule a consultation with a Virginia Beach speeding ticket lawyer today.

Different Types of Speeding Offenses in Virginia

In Virginia, there is general speeding which is a traffic infraction and there is also a criminal charge of reckless driving which is excessive speeding. The difference between these is that a traffic infraction is punishable by a fine and will only affect your driving record, whereas a criminal infraction affects the same things as a traffic infraction but, in addition, also affects your criminal record and is a jailable offense.

When it is Considered Speeding in Virginia

In Virginia speeding means going over the legal speed limit or driving too fast for current road conditions. For example, if it is raining and you are driving within the speed limit you can still be charged for a speeding violation if your speed seems unsafe. You can also face a speeding violation if you are in a special zone such as a school zone during school hours or construction zones.

Technically you can be pulled over for going any speed faster than the posted limit, however, it is very unlikely as usually officers pay more attention to drivers going 5 miles an hour or more over the speed limit.

Things that People Don’t Realize About Speeding Tickets in Virginia

People in Virginia don’t realize that speeding tickets are almost identical to reckless driving tickets in terms of how they are issued and what the ticket itself looks like. This becomes problematic when people think that they are getting a speeding ticket and are actually getting a reckless driving ticket.

Reckless driving is a Class 1 Misdemeanor whereas general speeding is a traffic infraction. The difference is that a conviction for a misdemeanor remains on your criminal records for the rest of your life and could have an effect on future opportunities such as employment or your ability to obtain housing or student loans because they are going to do background checks and misdemeanors don’t look good. Whereas speeding being a traffic infraction only goes towards your DMV driving records and over time a conviction will disappear completely.

How an Officer can Prove that they were Recording the Speed of your Vehicle

An officer can typically prove they were recording the speed of your vehicle using either RADAR or LIDAR equipment. This equipment not only records the speed but it also comes equipped with a calibration certificate which will accompany the readings. This calibration certificate has detailed information about the equipment itself and about the speed and it should show that the equipment has been properly maintained and calibrated within a certain period of time since the person used it and the officer will have this in court.

What if I Wasn’t Going as Fast as they Said I was and How do I Prove that in Court?

Often in speeding ticket cases people will not believe they were going as fast as the officer says. Unfortunately the officer has a lot of credibility in court which makes it very tough if it is simply your word against the officers. An officer will likely also have a backup of the calibration certificate that comes with the equipment and, assuming everything on the calibration certificate is up to date, they will also have the backup of the liability as an officer of the court, whereas someone’s opinion needs to be backed up the same way. So if you truly believe that you weren’t going that fast you are going to need more than just your opinion. This can be in the form of a passenger that witnessed how fast you were going or anything else that can somehow demonstrate that what you are saying is the truth and not what the officer is saying.