Almost everyone who drives on a regular basis will speed at some point in their lives. It is almost inevitable. Due to modern technology, vehicles are much faster and better handling than ever before. Exceeding the speed limit in Fairfax County is so easy due to open roads that even simple inattention can result in increased insurance rates and DMV demerit points. Speeding is a moving violation and may not be reduced by Judges just because you have a good driving record. However, a traffic attorney can help your speeding ticket by working towards a reduction and, sometimes, a dismissal. Remember, prepaying your speeding ticket is a guilty plea to the charge and you will be assessed points according to the severity of the offense. We regularly handle speeding tickets in all of the localities in Fairfax County including the Fairfax County General District Court, Fairfax City General District Court, Town of Vienna Court, and Town of Herndon Court. We offer a free consultation and would be happy to discuss your case. Give us a call at 703-273-4100 or use the contact form below.
Speeding 1-9 mph above the posted speed limit
Speeding at 1-9 mph over the speed limit is a 3 point offense. This means that 3 points will be deducted from your driving record upon a guilty finding. In addition, it will remain on your driving record for 5 years. Depending on your insurance company, your rates may increase.
Speeding at 1-9 mph is a rare charge because Fairfax County Police Officers and Troopers typically don't bother people driving at this speed. In fact, we have seen Judges in the past dismiss these charges simply because the violation is so minor. In one particular case we observed a Judge advise the officer that he did not wish to see these types of charges. Fair enough.
Speeding 10-19 mph above the posted speed limit
Speeding at 10-19 mph over the speed limit is a very common charge in Fairfax County. A conviction for speeding at this level is a 4 point offense that will result in a loss of 4 points on your driving record. This offense will remain on your driving record for 5 years and may also lead to an insurance rate increase.
Speeding at 10-19 mph over the speed limit is avoidable in Fairfax County. If you have a good driving record we have a good track record in getting the charge lowered to a no-point non-moving violation that will not affect your insurance rates or appear on your driving record. To achieve this, we will want to discuss your background and gather mitigating evidence to show the court that you are an upstanding individual with a good record. Sometimes, we will have you take a driver improvement course prior to court. In our experience, these steps are worth it in the end.
Speeding 20 mph or more above the posted speed limit
Speeding at 20 mph or more is another common charge in Fairfax County. A conviction is a 6 point offense that will result in a loss of 6 points on your driving record. This offense will remain on your driving record for 5 years and may also increase your insurance rates.
If you have been charged with speeding at 20 mph or more in Fairfax County, there will be a decision to make whether or not to have an attorney. At this speed, you could have been charged as reckless driving but the officer cut you a break and wrote you up for simple speeding instead. Depending on how fast you were clocked, we may recommend to simply prepay the offense. In other instances, we will recommend you go forward with an attorney to help with damage control. Typically, we can help reduce the speed so that it goes from a 6 point offense to something like a 3 point offense so that it will not affect insurance rates or DMV points as much as the original charge would. In certain cases, we can do even better than that depending on the record and officer's observations.
Speeding Costs in the Fairfax County Traffic Court
The court costs for speeding in Fairfax County is $67.00. Court costs are included whether or not you prepay the speeding ticket. In addition to court costs, there is typically a fine which can be up to $250.00. However, depending on the speed involved, the fine is usually less than that. There is a Uniform Fine Schedule pursuant to the Rule of the Virginia Supreme Court that governs fines for traffic infractions. Below are some of the more common speeding offense:
Speeding Generally (§46.2-870): In highways where the posted speed limit is 55 mph, 60 mph, 65 mph, and 70 mph, the fine is $6 per mile over the posted speed limit. This includes major highways such as Route 28, Interstate 66, Interstate 95, and the Dulles Toll Road. We have seen cases in which there is a lower speed limit where the police officer uses this code section such as on Route 29 where the speed limit is 45 mph for a large part of it. While this is technically incorrect the Judges don't worry about it and proceed normally.
Speeding in School Crossings (§46.2-873): In areas where there is a nearby school (school zone) with warning signs indicating that a school crossing is in progress, the posted speed limit is 25 mph. These are the flashing signs you see near schools. The fine is $7 per mile over the posted speed limit though the statute allows a fine of up to $250.00. These school zone signs are illuminated for 30 minutes before school starts and for 30 minutes after school ends. There are other instances when a school sign can be illuminated when the presence of children crossing the area is likely such as for after-school activities. However, in most cases, anyone charged with this code section outside of the aforementioned 30 minutes has a good defense to their case that the school zone sign should not have been lit and are therefore only responsible for the regularly posted speed limit on that road.
Speeding in Business or Residential (§46.2-874): In areas where the speed limit is 25 mph such as neighborhoods or areas where there are businesses. The fine is $6 per mile over the posted speed limit.
Speeding in Cities and Towns (§46.2-875): In areas where you are driving through a municipality, the fine of $6 per mile over the posted speed limit. The speed limit in these areas is 35 mph. This includes a lot of roads within the jurisdictions of Fairfax City, Town of Vienna, and the Town of Herndon.
Speeding in Highway Work Zone (§46.2-878.1): In areas where workers are present with highway work zone signs the fine is $7 per mile over the posted speed limit. However, there is a provision in the statute for a fine of up to $500.00. There is no set speed limit by statute so the area is governed by whatever speed limit sign is present.
Speeding Ticket Court Process in Fairfax County
Upon being issued a speeding ticket you have two options: Prepay the ticket or contest the ticket. If you choose to prepay the ticket then there is no court. You are essentially admitting guilt, paying a fine and court costs, and resolving the matter. If you choose to contest the ticket then there will be court and a Judge will decide the outcome. Contesting or Fighting the speeding ticket doesn't necessarily mean you will have a trial (but you can if you wish). Many times you are looking leniency and a reduction of the charge. Whether or not the Judge will agree to reduce the speeding ticket depends on a variety of factors. The reason you may wish to contest the ticket is to minimize the possibility of DMV points and insurance rate increases. The court does not assess points but the DMV does by virtue of what happens in court.
When we are hired on a speeding ticket in Fairfax County we automatically go to court to fight the ticket. Sometimes this means having a trial or, in many cases, it means arguing to have the charge lowered. Prosecutors are not assigned to handle speeding tickets in the Fairfax County General District Court so these cases are done directly before the Judge. When we appear for our clients we speak to the Police Officer and go over the facts of the case and their evidentiary proof supporting the charge. In most cases we advise the Police Officer what we're seeking to do and, if they do not object (most don't), we then go before the Judge to argue for a reduction of the charge. In the localities of Fairfax City General District Court, Town of Vienna Court, and the Town of Herndon Court there are prosecutors involved so most speeding cases are resolved by plea agreement.
In preparing to contest a speeding ticket, it is always a good idea to take a defensive driving class. Most Judges in Fairfax County like it when people take the class because it shows a sense of responsibility and that they care about the outcome of their case. Not all Judges in Fairfax will give credence to a defensive driving class but most will. As a result, the defensive driving class is an important component of contesting a speeding ticket. We will generally recommend our clients provide their driving record to us as well. When our client has a good driving record and has taken the class we are in a much better position to achieve a favorable outcome in court.
Have a Lawyer for your speeding ticket in Fairfax County
Prepaying the ticket can seem cheaper in the beginning but can be more expensive in the long-term. We can appear in court, on your behalf, and resolve the speeding offense in your absence. This will save you from missing work or family obligations. We will also be sure to understand your expectations and will only enter a plea within the confines of our attorney-client agreement.
We have clients that have used our help with traffic tickets many times over the years. We are proud to say that these clients maintain an impeccable record because these clients were able to get our help from the outset. In other instances, we get clients calling us because they face a license suspension because of a rapid accumulation of points . In each of those instances, we can help and recommend you give us a call for a free consultation.