You might be surprised what happens if you get stopped for speeding in Virginia. Even if you don't live here, you may find yourself passing through for business or vacation. Educate yourself in advance. The way Virginia deals with speeders has been a hot topic this year, thanks to the jail sentences of our own Patrick George and now Washington Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth. In light of this, we asked Virginia traffic defense attorney Andrew Flus to shed some light on the state's speeding laws. Many people think nothing of being stopped for speeding. You'll get a ticket which you can just pay when you get back home.
Speed regulations and speed limits are intended to convey the maximum speed motorists should and can legally drive under typical weather, road and traffic conditions.
For other conditions, motorists should reduce their speed accordingly as required by law. Speed Limits also assist law enforcement personnel and promote better traffic flow by potentially reducing a wide variance in speeds.
Virginia's General Assembly establishes the statutory speed limits for all highways statewide and gives authority to cities and incorporated towns and to the Virginia Department of Transportation VDOT on state-maintained roads, to decrease and in certain instances increase, speed limits under their jurisdiction. Speed limits other than statutory speed limits are established based on an engineering study as required by Virginia law as well as standard engineering practice.
The study analyzes various factors affecting the safe and appropriate speed on a particular road such as the type of road e. If it's regular speeding, you can decide about paying it versus hiring a lawyer to try to have it dismissed.
But if you're charged with reckless drivingyou need to think carefully about how to respond. Most importantly, beware of the counties that let you just pay the ticket. Be sure you're making an informed decision before you accept a conviction for reckless driving.
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You'd be surprised how many people try to get an old reckless driving conviction expunged in Virginia, only to be told that it's impossible. In Virginia, if you are found guilty of a crime, it's on the record for good.
The best way to learn the truth about what you're really facing is by calling a local traffic lawyer who regularly handles cases where your ticket is pending.
You don't have to hire them.
But they should be willing to give you an overview of the realistic punishments that the judge may impose. Knowing what you're facing gives you the power to make a solid decision about the costs and benefits of different approas.
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If the judge never gives jail for the speed you're accused of, that could certainly make the ticket a little less stressful at least. It's critical to talk with a local lawyer, since these cases vary widely across Virginia.
For example, in some courts, mph is the magic line where jail becomes a threat. But in other courts, 90 mph could land you in jail for a couple days. That makes a big difference if you're charged with 92 in a 70 mph zone.
People often ask why Virginia treats speeding so harshly. There are many opinions on this, but it seems like a mix of reasons.
One is political. Legislators want to look like they're keeping people safe, and having stern traffic laws theoretically makes the roads safer.
Almost every year there are proposals in the Virginia General Assembly to loosen the reckless driving laws, and they seem to routinely fail. Save Certified Single: Mix and Mingle to your collection.
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