A speed limit is a maximum number of miles per hour that a motor vehicle can travel down a designated stretch of roadway. Exceeding this speed limit is always technically a violation of the law, and even traveling below this limit can lead to speed-based charges if a driver is going slow enough to impair or endanger the average flow of traffic. Although some states also have posted speed minimums, Virginia does not have speed minimums.
There is no default or automatic speed limit in Prince William County because almost all areas of the roadway will be governed by a corresponding posted speed limit. Read below to learn more about speed limits in Prince William County. And if you are facing a speeding-related charge, contact an experienced lawyer today.
The best defense to exceeding the speed limit in Prince William County is that the speed limit was not posted on a sign, or if so, the sign was not visible to passing drivers. Another related defense is that the speed limit was not in force at the alleged range during the time of the driving, such as when speed limits change for school zones and construction zones at certain times of the day.
Traveling with the flow of traffic is never a technical defense to a speeding charge. However, it is favorable in the sense that it means the accused was not traveling at such a speed difference as to interrupt or endanger the movement of other drivers on the road.
Exceeding the speed limit is never allowed under the law. However, there are margins of excess so small that law enforcement will tolerate them. Although not guaranteed, police will not typically stop someone for speeding who is going nine miles per hour or less above the posted limit. That being said, officers have the right to pull someone over for going just one mile per hour above the speed limit.
There are a variety of mitigating circumstances for speeding, some of which are much more notable to prosecutors and judges than others. The best excuses have to do with circumstances of physical necessity, such as rushing to a hospital for emergency treatment. Other explanations that are somewhat sympathetic include having a malfunctioning speedometer, driving an unfamiliar new or rental car, being a lost driver from another state with different speeding laws and ranges. More common excuses that usually do not add much mitigation are that someone had to go to the bathroom, was running late to work, or not realizing the extent of their speed.
If there is no sign displaying the posted speed limit, a driver does not technically have to obey any particular speed limit. In that situation, the law only requires that a driver not drive too fast to safely travel on that particular road under the particular traffic and weather conditions in place at the time.
The highest speed limit in Prince William County for highways is 70 mph, which is located on some portions of Interstate 66 that run through the county. This is also the highest speed limit category that Virginia has as a state.
If you have any questions about speed limits in Prince William County or how a criminal attorney could help, call us today.