Getting a ticket for exceeding the speed limit may sound like a minor inconvenience, but the consequences can be significant and lasting. The number of miles per hour above the speed limit can help escalate the penalties or even lead to a reckless driving charge.
A Wide Range of Penalties
Traffic violations are not uncommon in the Commonwealth. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that in 2014, Virginia ranked 7th among all states in the number of driving citations issued. The possible penalties imposed by the court for traffic violation convictions can include:
- expensive fines
- a suspended license
- permanent loss of driving privileges
- jail time
Traffic convictions stay on an individual’s DMV record for several years. Some offenses can remain permanently, and this could cause problems with current or potential employers. Additionally, the demerit points assigned to the DMV record for traffic convictions often result in increased insurance rates.
Getting and Using a Certified Speedometer Calibration Report
If you were cited for speeding in Virginia, a certified speedometer calibration report is allowed as evidence in court. This report can be considered by the judge or jury in determining guilt or innocence and in deciding punishment.
It is important to have speedometer calibration performed by an honest auto mechanic who will issue an official Speedometer Calibration Certificate that can be used in court. The mechanic will use a machine to measure the accuracy of the vehicle’s speedometer and will provide a professional statement of any variance from actual speed.
Many vehicles, even new ones, have speedometers that are not completely accurate. Traffic courts sometimes drop or reduce a ticket for speeding based on a “faulty equipment” plea. A speedometer that is proven to be inaccurate can affect your penalty. For example, if the calibration report reveals that your speedometer is 5 mph low, and you’re charged with driving 85 mph in a 65 mph, the judge may change the ticket to driving 80 in a 65 mph zone.
Defending a Traffic Violation Charge
An experienced traffic defense attorney can help you put together the best defense possible for your case. If you are facing traffic charges in the Fairfax area, Darwyn Easley will provide a free consultation to assess your case. Complete our contact form, or call Easley Law Firm at 888-386-3898 to get started.