A Virginia speeding ticket will result in more than just a fine. If you are found guilty of speeding in Virginia, the DMV will add demerit points to your driving record. Demerit points are considered negative points, and will be subtracted from the number of points on your driving record. This post specifically focuses on DMV points as a result of a Virginia speeding ticket conviction.
Pre-Paying A Virginia Speeding Ticket is Admission of Guilt
Virginia speeding tickets are pre-payable offenses. This means the driver who received a Virginia speeding ticket can pay the fine and does not have to go to court. A speeding ticket is a traffic infraction and is punishable by a maximum fine of $250.
Some people are surprised that pre-paying a Virginia speeding ticket (and not going to court) will result in a guilty conviction. By pre-paying the fine, you are actually admitting guilt to the charge. Therefore, you have a conviction for a traffic infraction on your record. This conviction will remain on your Virginia driving record for several years.
Virginia Speeding Ticket and DMV Points
A number of people who find themselves in traffic court for a Virginia speeding ticket (or pay their Virginia speeding tickets online) do not realize that a conviction for a Virginia speeding ticket will add demerit (negative) points to their Virginia driving records.
A conviction in a Virginia traffic court for speeding 1-9 miles over the speed limit will add three negative points to your Virginia driving record. This conviction will remain on your driving record for five years.
You also may be convicted of speeding more than twenty miles over the posted speed limit. This can be charged as speeding or reckless driving. If it is charged as speeding, the DMV will add six negative points to your Virginia driving record. These points will remain on your record for five years.
However, you could receive a charge for Reckless Driving if you are driving more than twenty miles over the limit. This is no longer a traffic infraction, but a criminal charge. For more information on Reckless Driving by speeding charges in Virginia, click here.
You can also receive points on your Virginia driving record for driving too slowly (Va. Code §46.2-877). If you are convicted in a Virginia traffic court for impeding traffic by driving too slowly, the DMV will add 3 negative points to your record. The conviction will remain on your driving record for five years.
If you are 18 or 19 years old and receive any conviction resulting in demerit points, you will be required to complete a Virginia driving improvement class, in addition to any other fines and penalties.
Redeeming Your DMV Points After Virginia Speeding Ticket Conviction
It is possible to gain some of these negative DMV points back. Every year of good driving will add one positive (or safe) point to your Virginia driving record. Additionally, if someone registers for, and completes, a DMV-approved driver improvement course, he or she can regain five positive points. However, one can only receive credit for this course once every two years. You will also be required to complete a driver improvement course if you accumulate 12 points in a 12 month period, or 18 points in a 24 month period. The course must be a DMV-approved Driver Improvement Clinic.
For more information on DMV-approved driver improvement courses in Virginia, click here.
Virginia Speeding Ticket Conviction and Point Accumulation
Another important point to remember is that if you accumulate too many demerit points on your Virginia driving record in a short period of time, your Virginia driver’s license could be suspended. If you receive 18 points on your Virginia driving record within 12 months, your privilege to drive in Virginia will be suspended for 90 days. You will also be required to complete a driver improvement clinic before you can get your license restored. Your driving privileges will also be suspended if you receive 24 points in a 24 month period.
Other Consequences of Virginia Speeding Ticket Convictions
Additionally, if you fail to pay the fine from your Virginia speeding ticket and fail to show up to court to contest your Virginia speeding ticket, your driver’s license will be suspended if the fine is not paid within 30 days from your hearing. This will create even more problems.
If you are pulled over by the police in Virginia while your driver’s license is suspended, you could (and probably will) be charged with Driving on a Suspended License under Va. Code §46.2-301. This charge is a criminal misdemeanor, not a traffic infraction. The penalties include fines, jail time, and further driver’s license suspension. A conviction for Driving on a Suspended License in Virginia will also add more demerit points to your Virginia driving record. For more information on Driving on Suspended License charges in Virginia, click here.
A Virginia driver who has lost his or her privilege to drive can apply to the court for a restricted driver’s license. This allows him or her to drive only to work, school, religious services, day care, probation, jail and medical appointments. The list of places allowed on a restricted license is limited by statute and is very narrow. Driving in violation of the restriction could result in a Driving on Suspended License charge.
For some people, maintaining a clean driving record in Virginia is necessary for employment. If this pertains to you, it would be a good idea to consult with a Virginia traffic lawyer before simply paying the fine from a Virginia speeding ticket.
If you can fight the basis of your Virginia speeding ticket, you might be able to avoid points (or as many points) being added to your driving record and, consequently, the penalties that come with rapid point accumulation. Contact a Virginia traffic lawyer today to fight your Virginia speeding ticket and try to avoid these negative DMV points.
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