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How to Fight Speeding Ticket Cases

3 min read
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A Richmond speeding ticket lawyer can negotiate with prosecutors to have the charges reduced to non-moving violations like County Code Violations or Defective Equipment. They will also fight to have the charge dismissed altogether.

A traffic ticket is a serious offense and can impact your DMV record in addition to your insurance. It is important to find a local lawyer who understands the local rules.

How It Works

While Virginia speeding ticket cases may seem like minor offenses, they can cause long-term problems for a driver’s license and insurance rates. The best way to combat these consequences is to fight the ticket in court with an experienced attorney.

For cases where you choose not to fight the ticket, you can prepay the fine before your court date using the information sheet that is attached to your summons or call the general court telephone number listed on your summons and ask them what you owe. You can then mail a money order or certified check to the court.

For cases where you decide to fight the ticket, it is a good idea to hire an attorney who can aggressively cross-examine the officer and make sure that every defense avenue is fully explored. An experienced Richmond lawyer can also help out-of-state drivers understand the penalties they are facing and how these might impact their ability to drive in their home states.

Pleading Not Guilty

If you want to fight your Virginia speeding ticket, you should be represented by an attorney who is going to aggressively cross examine the officer. You want someone who believes that everything is negotiable and who will push hard to get you the best result for your case.

Many drivers who prepay their fine without retaining an attorney will be found guilty of the violation in abstentia because they did not appear in court to enter a plea. That is because most traffic courts do not set speeding ticket cases for arraignment.

In general, speeding tickets can be resolved without you having to go to court by pre-paying the fine online or obtaining a Virginia driver improvement course that will allow you to avoid demerit points and a conviction. Reckless driving cases are different, however, and those are always set for arraignment. You should read your citation carefully to determine whether a court appearance is required for your particular violation.

Cross Examining the Police Officer

When the officer testifies, his or her words are very important in your case. Your lawyer can cross examine the officer about his or her statements to challenge them for relevance and accuracy. For example, the lawyer can ask the officer where he or she was standing when he or she allegedly saw you run a stop sign or speed through a light. This might reveal that the officer was too far away to see you clearly or there were intervening objects blocking his or her view.

In Virginia, speeding tickets can result in high fines and demerit points on your driving record that impact your insurance rates for years to come. A good Richmond traffic ticket attorney will know how to cross examine the officer and challenge the state’s evidence with the goal of getting your case reduced or dismissed. A good lawyer knows the judge you will be appearing before and prepares the case in a way that will have the highest chance of success with that particular judge.

Representation in Court

In Virginia you must respond to a speeding ticket or other traffic violation by going to court on the date specified on the ticket. If you don’t go to court you will lose the option to have the case dismissed by paying fines and court costs. You will also be responsible for demerit points and increased insurance rates.

When you go to court the judge will ask the officer to testify about what happened. Then your attorney will cross examine the officer about his version of events. You can also provide mitigating evidence, such as a clean driving record and proof that your speedometer is malfunctioning.

You can also plead no contest in your case. This is similar to pleading guilty because it admits that the Commonwealth can prove the charge against you. It is still best to consult with a Virginia reckless driving attorney about your case before deciding on this option. You have the right to appeal any finding by the General District Court and a Virginia traffic attorney can help you with this.