To be released 5-20-15
My Virginia Lawyer Blog
My Virginia Lawyer blog intended to educate and update Virginia's citizens in the practice of Law.
Have you been caught speeding? Reckless Driving? Want basic answers without needing to hire an attorney? The below four tips will help guide you throughout the legal process. There is no one answer on how to beat a speeding ticket. Instead, go into court as educated as possible.
Question #1 – Should I show up to court to contest my speeding ticket or reckless driving ticket?
RTW: Show up! The law requires the officer that wrote you a ticket to show up to court. If you show up to court ready to try your case and the officer does not, a motion should be made for the court to dismiss your ticket.
Question #2 – How should I plead to a speeding ticket or reckless driving ticket?
RTW: "How do you plead" will be the first question asked by the judge. Your plea of guilty or not guilty will likely have a large bearing on the outcome of your case. If you plead guilty or no contest it is likely that the officer will not have the same burden of proving his case beyond a reasonable doubt, and will likely just give a summary of the evidence to the court. It is likely that pleading guilty or no contest will lead to a swift conviction resulting in fines and points accessed to your license.
Question #3 – Was the radar properly calibrated?
RTW: As a defendant in a court of law, you have the right to cross examine officers. This includes the right to inquire into if the radar device that was used to measure your speed was accurate at the time of the citation. Virginia Code 46.2-882 permits the admissibility of calibration certificates. By cross examining the officer on the calibration of a radar or other measuring device you have the opportunity to make the court inspect the very core of the claim against you.
Question #4 - How was I charged with Reckless Driving when I was not going 20 miles over the speed limit?
RTW: Virginia Code 46.2-862 states that a driver shall be guilty of reckless driving if they are speeding more than 20 miles per hour above the speed limit or if their speed is in excess of 80 miles per hour. This is extremely important keeping in mind that the speed limit on many portions of interstates in Virginia, including sections of Interstate 64, Interstate 81, and interstate 95 are 70 miles per hour. This means that going merely 11 miles over the speed limit on an interstate that is a posted 70 mile per hour could result in a reckless driving ticket.