Speeding: Why It May End Up Being Worse Than You Thought

January 23, 2023
driving car fast on road holding steering wheel of automobile

There are many different types of reckless driving, including Reckless Driving by Speed, in Virginia. Knowing some of these laws is important if you’re driving in the area, especially in the event that you get involved in such situations. Having an experienced reckless driving lawyer at Rudolphi Law will make things in handy.

While reckless driving is considered a serious violation, specifically  a Class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia. Basic speeding can still come with its fair share of fines as a traffic violation if you’re charged based on Virginia speeding laws. But it’s important to note that there are instances when reckless driving directly involves speeding or reckless driving by speed.

Speeding in Virginia

Although common, speeding in Virginia has serious consequences. If your speed were above the limit in Virginia, your offense could be a mere traffic infraction. 

Penalties for speeding depend on the roads or highways drivers pass through. Cases where higher penalties for speeding include: 

  • School Zones 
  • Residential Districts
  • Highway Work Zones

In many highways, the speed limit in Virginia is 55 mph, but if your speed is charged beyond the posted limit, you will get a traffic infraction. In terms of demerit points, it could range from 3, 4, or 6 points (0-9 mph being the lowest number for speeding, 10-19 being a 4-point infraction, and 20+ mph being the highest).

But 20mph above the speed limit is not always a mere traffic ticket. In most cases such as that, you’ll no longer receive a basic ticket; instead, you’ll have a reckless driving charge, which is a criminal offense. 

What Happens When You Are Caught?

An officer who gauges your speed as 20mph or more over the speed limit or over 85mph will run your driving record after stopping you. If the officer determines that your speed was excessive in the ways described above, a charge for reckless driving by speed can be filed. Officers may issue a ticket for simple speeding under these circumstances, but have less discretion when the amount over the speed limit or speed itself is excessive. 

It is not uncommon to see speeding and reckless driving by speed cases accompanied by a DUI charge. These charges put together can aggravate one another and make navigating the case more complicated.

If you are charged with speeding or reckless driving by speed, a reckless driving lawyer Fairfax VA will likely instruct you to take some mitigating measures pre-court like completing a defensive driving course. These measures are not meant to punish you but rather to help prepare for the possibilities that could occur on your court date.

Consequences of Speeding 

A violation of Virginia’s speeding laws usually comes with a maximum fine of $250. However, certain areas such as residential streets and highway safety corridors can trigger more robust fines.

In contrast, Reckless Driving by Speed carries more severe consequences. For a reckless driving charge, you can be sentence to up to 12 months in jail, a fine of up to $2,500, and suffer a suspension of your privilege to drive for up to 6 months. These penalties become more and more likely with cases of excessive speed (over 90mph usually). Likewise, a reckless driving lawyer in VA comes in handy in these situations.

In any case that you have involving in speeding, whether it’s a traffic infraction or a reckless driving offense, contact Rudolphi Law, a reckless driving lawyer in Fairfax, VA, as soon as possible.