Virginia Criminal Defense Attorney
If an out-of-state driver receives a speeding ticket in Fairfax, the first thing that he or she should do is call a Fairfax speeding ticket attorney to talk about what their options are and what the speeding ticket is being charged as. Sometimes, the language of the speeding ticket in Fairfax can be worded in such a way that a guilty finding would actually result in more points in the other person’s state than it would in Fairfax. Additionally, an attorney is important to make sure that you are not being charged with something more serious than a traffic infraction.
With out of state driver specifically it may also be beneficial to hire an attorney so they can appear on your behalf. Sometimes, fighting a speeding ticket can take multiple court dates, so you want a local attorney who knows how to navigate the court system and can waive your presence in order to fight the case on your behalf.
Fairfax treats speeding differently from other jurisdictions. In particular, Fairfax takes speeding at certain speeds much more seriously than other jurisdictions. Individuals from other states often don’t understand that what they’ve been charged with is not speeding at all, but is actually reckless driving.
In Fairfax, you can be charged with reckless driving if you are going 80 miles per hour in a 70-miles-per-hour zone simply because you’re violating the reckless driving statute by going 80 miles per hour. Since this can be charged as reckless driving in Fairfax, you’re facing a potential criminal conviction on your record, whereas in other states, it would only be charged as a speeding ticket. In particular, people who’ve been previously pulled over in Maryland or D.C. are often confused as to why they are being charged with a crime when they have only received speeding tickets in these other states.
The laws in Virginia are a lot stricter when it comes to going certain speeds, so anytime you’re going 20 miles per hour or more over the speed limit or 80 miles per hour or more in any speed zone, you could be charged with reckless driving and you could be facing a criminal conviction. That is different from a lot of people’s experiences in other states.
The main thing that every out-of-state driver should know about speeding tickets in Fairfax is that the treatment of your speeding ticket or reckless driving charge is going to be extremely different depending on the county that you are charged in. A lot of out-of-state clients will say that they heard that there was a particular result in a particular county, and unfortunately, the same thing does not happen in every county in Fairfax. For this reason, it’s important to find an attorney who knows the local procedure, the local judges and the local prosecutors. An attorney with that local experience can give you the most accurate view of what’s likely to happen in your case.
If an out-of-state driver doesn’t pay a speeding ticket by the due date, he or she will be found guilty in absentia, which means guilty in his absence, and he or she will be assessed not only a fine that’s decided by the judge, but the court costs as well.
If you get a speeding ticket and simply do not show up to court, you will have to pay more as well as lose your opportunity to fight the speeding ticket by arguing that the officer did not accurately catch your speed or somehow otherwise made a mistake in calculating your speed.
If you are facing a ticket in Fairfax and want to contest the ticket there are a variety of ways in which an attorney can help. First of all, the attorney can talk to you about the facts of your case and let you know whether or not it would be worthwhile for you to fight the ticket. He or she can also advise you regarding what you can expect should you fight it, your probability of winning the case or reducing it to a lesser ticket.
Secondly, the attorney could actually go to court on your behalf and waive your appearance in order to negotiate with the prosecutor and enter into an agreement without your presence. This is particularly helpful if you can’t make it into court because you live out of state or you’re not able to take off of work. An attorney can appear for you and take care of everything that you need accomplished without your presence.
Additionally, an attorney can help to facilitate creative ways of negotiating a deal in order to reach your particular goal. An attorney will talk with you about what you hope to achieve, whether it’s to avoid any more points on your license or to have a fine under a certain amount of money in order to avoid issues with security clearance. A speeding ticket attorney will be able to assess your goals and create an effective plan for either fighting your case or convincing the prosecution to reduce or amend the charge to something that will help you achieve the outcome that you want.
Not being aware of Fairfax’s traffic laws is not a legal defense in Fairfax. Ignorance of the law is something that the courts do not have a lot of patience for and will not recognize as a legitimate defense. Not knowing the speed limit is likewise not a defense in Virginia.
If you didn’t know that driving at 80 miles per hour or more is excessive to the point that you could be charged with reckless driving, the Virginia court system will not give you any kind of leniency just because you didn’t know or you’re from a state where that speed is treated as a lesser offense. That’s why it’s really important to have an attorney represent you in these types of cases. An attorney can create a defense specific to your case that may allow you to avoid a conviction. Going in yourself to argue that you simply didn’t know the law will certainly not help you gain favor with the judge and will probably earn you a conviction for reckless driving.