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What Should Out-of-State Drivers Know About Speeding in Virginia?


Nature lovers from all over the country travel to Virginia to revel in its natural beauty year-round. Many people arrive by car or rent a vehicle during their stay so they can experience the famous Skyline Drive, a 105-mile route that runs north-south through Shenandoah National Park. The park consists of 200,000 acres of forest, hiking trails, waterfalls, and native wildlife. Blue Ridge Mountain peaks glow in endless shades of red as autumn settles in and cotton-candy sunsets are among the park’s most beloved vistas. 

With some of the most scenic roads in the country, it’s difficult to refrain from cruising along the state’s network of highways and backroads. Anyone with lead feet will catch the attention of a Virginia State Police officer and may face harsh consequences. If you’re from out-of-state, help yourself to the view, but beware of receiving a citation for speeding. 

Why It’s Important to Drive Cautiously in Virginia?

Along with some of the country’s most striking landscapes, Virginia is home to punitive speeding laws. Drivers from other states should know that here, speeding could potentially lead to a criminal charge. 

Virginia differs from other jurisdictions in that a speeding charge may double as a charge of reckless driving, a criminal offense. This differs from many other states in which reckless driving by speed isn’t a charge. Instead, in these other states, any speed over the limit could result in a traffic infraction. That isn’t the case in Virginia. You could face a criminal charge once you hit 20 miles per hour or more over the speed limit, or if you drive 80 miles per hour or more anywhere in the Commonwealth. 

Such high speeds may lead to a misdemeanor charge, which may lead to relatively harsh penalties. You may require legal counsel to resolve your criminal charge. If you’re caught speeding in Virginia, be sure to speak with a knowledgeable traffic lawyer who can review the charges against you and protect your interests.

What Should I Do After Receiving an Out-of-State Speeding Ticket?

If you’ve been pulled over for speeding in Virginia, there are a few crucial steps you should take before contacting a lawyer. First, it’s important to find out whether your citation for speeding was an infraction or a criminal charge. Analyze the document you sign carefully to make sure you are not holding a summons for reckless driving. If there is no specific charge, you can check whether there is a request for you to attend court. If you do not need to attend court, you have an infraction against you, which is less serious than a criminal charge. If you do, you’re facing a misdemeanor criminal matter and should get a Virginia traffic lawyer on the phone right away.

What Could I Face If I Don’t Pay a Speeding Ticket in Virginia?

Failing to pay a traffic ticket in Virginia could cause you to face penalties in your home state. Most states communicate with each other about driving offenses; thus, your home state would likely issue penalties for having an unresolved traffic matter in another state. You could also lose your driving privileges in Virginia if you go 30 days without paying the ticket. 

Many people might refuse to pay a speeding ticket because they know that doing so is an admission of guilt. However, if you go without paying the fine, you could face additional penalties that can further damage your driving record and reputation. When you work with a lawyer, you choose a third option that can help you steer clear of serious penalties.

How Can a Virginia Traffic Lawyer Help Me Fight a Speeding Ticket?

Traveling to and from your home state to resolve a speeding offense can be a huge hassle. An attorney can represent you in court and appear on your behalf, saving you considerable time and money. Your lawyer can fight the charge against you just as if you were there in person, so you can avoid the journey while they’re representing you. He or she can help you avoid admitting guilt, which will help you keep your driver’s license. Consider working with a Virginia speeding ticket lawyer to resolve your legal issue as painlessly as possible.

At Pendleton Law, our team of attorneys has extensive experience representing people facing criminal traffic charges in Virginia. Our team has successfully handled thousands of cases and has a strong reputation for providing top representation on a personal level. Our founder, Christina Pendleton, has been designated as a “Super Lawyer Rising Star,” an award given to less than 2.5% of all attorneys in the country. See how we can help you by calling our criminal traffic hotline at (804) 554-4444 or complete our contact form for a free case review.