How to Beat a Virginia Speeding Ticket

Breaking the law by speeding is a gamble. But almost everyone does it from time to time. Some people do it every time they get in a car.

When you speed, you’re gambling on two things:

  • You won’t hurt anyone
  • You won’t get caught

Unfortunately, hundreds of times a year, people do get caught, and they do hurt someone. If you’re looking down at your own Virginia speeding ticket, you’re also probably looking for a way to get out if it. Here’s everything you need to know.

Fight Traffic Ticket in Virginia

If you plead "not guilty," you’ll have to go to court, where you will have the opportunity to explain your case. Of course, so will the officer who wrote the ticket. Was it somehow unfair? Were there extenuating circumstances? The speed limit in Virginia is typically determined by engineers looking at the lane width, pavement type, and terrain, among other factors. If you feel the speed limit was set unfairly or even unsafely, you may have an argument in your favor.

Of course, pleading not guilty is yet another gamble. If the judge finds you guilty, you’ll have to pay the fine plus court fees, incur the demerit points, and face a possible hike on your car insurance premiums. And even if you’re found not guilty, you won’t face a penalty, but you will still have to pay the court fees (and attorney fees, if you hired one).

Pleading Guilty

If you don’t have an airtight case, you may consider just paying the ticket to avoid any added risk. If that’s the case, you might be able to reduce your demerit points by enrolling in a Virginia state-approved Defensive Driving Course. If you complete the course and erase the points from your record, you could prevent your insurance rates from going up. This can wind up saving you hundreds, even thousands of dollars down the road.

Before you make the decision to plead guilty or not guilty, you should probably check your personal driving record. That way, you’ll know of you can afford to contest the ticket, or if you should just take the defensive driving course right away to get the points reduced.

It’s also worth noting that if you do decide to contest your ticket, and the judge ultimately finds you guilty, you will still have the option of taking a defensive driving course to reduce your demerit points.

VA Driver Improvement Program

Conversely, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles has created a program that rewards cautious drivers, and helps to educate risky ones. With the Virginia Driver Improvement Program, safe drivers can accrue 1 “safe point” for each calendar year they go without any violations or suspensions. They can also earn 5 safe driving points by voluntarily completing a driver improvement course. Virginia drivers can accrue up to a total of 5 safe driving points that they can spend to offset any demerit points they accumulate.

So the next time you’re faced with a Virginia speeding ticket, and you can’t cancel it out with safe driving points, you may want to look into a Virginia Driver Improvement Clinic to keep those rates low, and to prevent any future tickets from happening!

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