Go Back  DVD Talk Forum > General Discussions > Other Talk
Reload this Page >

Speeding Ticket in Virginia...advice?

Other Talk "Otterville" plus Religion/Politics

Speeding Ticket in Virginia...advice?

Old 08-21-04, 04:01 PM
  #1  
DVD Talk Special Edition
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Posts: 1,865
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Speeding Ticket in Virginia...advice?

Ok, I got a ticket going 59 in a 45 today, but I've never gotten any other tickets before in my life.

If I go ahead and go to court, do I plead guilty but request that my ticket be dismissed if I go to traffic school? Has anyone else tried this?

I know that if I pre-pay it'll just be $126. But if I go to court and lose it'll be $126+court fees.

Also, does anyone know how many points a speeding ticket takes off your license? Do insurance companies only start increasing your rates if you have a negative balance in points?

Last edited by Zodo; 08-21-04 at 04:18 PM.
Old 08-21-04, 05:33 PM
  #2  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Formerly known as "brizz"/kck
Posts: 23,425
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
pay it, and don't drive 60 in a 45. that's my advice.
Old 08-21-04, 07:06 PM
  #3  
DVD Talk Ultimate Edition
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 4,472
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Virginia doesn't have traffic schools (edit: strike that, they do apparently. For some reason I was never given the opportunity). You can go to court, but the best you can probably hope for is that by admitting to the charge, the judge will reduce the fine.

Last edited by BJacks; 08-21-04 at 10:51 PM.
Old 08-21-04, 07:08 PM
  #4  
DVD Talk Godfather
 
DVD Polizei's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 52,647
Received 4 Likes on 4 Posts
See if you can plea "No Contest" and pay a lesser fine. No Contest does not mean you're guilty. It just means you want to settle for the betterment of everyone involved.
Old 08-21-04, 07:12 PM
  #5  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Seattle
Posts: 8,978
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I know women don't appreciate it, but I didn't know you could get a ticket for speeding in a vagina

c'mon title change!
Old 08-21-04, 07:21 PM
  #6  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: The sprawling metropolis of Manassas Park, VA USA
Posts: 3,616
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
http://www.dvdtalk.com/forum/showthr...light=speeding

I am also in Virginia and they DO offer Traffic schools if you go to court. Don't plead guilty--plead NOT guilty and ask the cop questions. The judge will respect that you showed up and may give you the Traffic school option.

I am currently doing an online school...pretty simple and not that expensive considering the alternative.

And believe me pleading Nolo Contendre will make absolutely no difference in the fine/points. All that means is you aren't contesting the evidence and they will find you guilty anyway. Waste of time.
Old 08-21-04, 07:24 PM
  #7  
DVD Talk Ultimate Edition
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 4,472
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Why please Not Guilty when you know you were speeding? In my experience with VA judges, they look more favorably on people simply admitting they were speeding, and are more likely to reduce the fine. I was never given a Traffic School option before, so I don't have any experience with that.
Old 08-21-04, 07:27 PM
  #8  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: The sprawling metropolis of Manassas Park, VA USA
Posts: 3,616
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Because pleading NG means that you are contesting the evidence. Ask about the Radar calibration, Vehicle logs, and other things.

I used the info from these websites and I got out of my ticket (cop left early and the court tried to get continuance, but I didn't let em)

http://www.beatmyspeedingticket.com/...ng_ticket.html

http://www.tipmra.com/index.htm

http://tipmra.com/protect_your_insurance_rate.htm
Old 08-21-04, 07:34 PM
  #9  
Moderator
 
nemein's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: 1bit away from total disaster
Posts: 34,150
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Unless it turns out like the one time I actually bothered showing up for court where the judge and the officer were exchanging friendly banter before the hearing... I just took my lumps and got out of there
Old 08-21-04, 08:07 PM
  #10  
DVD Talk Ultimate Edition
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 4,472
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally posted by Foole
Because pleading NG means that you are contesting the evidence. Ask about the Radar calibration, Vehicle logs, and other things.
I'd say it also depends on where the ticket was issued. If it's a small court like Goochland County or Green County, then forget about getting it dismissed. If it's a larger jurisdiction like Fairfax County, then maybe you have more options (I never got pulled over in the DC Metro area). Personally, I just chalk the ticket up to bad luck and pay the lowest fine possible.
Old 08-21-04, 08:21 PM
  #11  
DVD Talk Special Edition
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Posts: 1,865
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Well, it was in James City County...not sure how big that court is.

I'm not going to plead 'not guilty' since i AM guilty. I'm just thinking that maybe the judge will be leanient since this is my first ticket in like 9 years of driving. I'm mainly just wondering how I go about requesting that they offer me traffic school.

There definitely are are online traffic schools in Virginia. They cost $50, but I'd much rather just pay that.
Old 08-21-04, 08:39 PM
  #12  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: DC Metro Area
Posts: 379
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I've been to traffic court here VA (both in Fairfax Co, and City of Alexandria). My first time I asked for a continuance hoping the cop wouldn't show for the next date. He did. I pleaded not guilty, judge didn't care and gave me a fine+court costs for a 75 in a 55 - this was my first ticket. Oh well, think of it as a tax.

What I noticed in the Alexandria court was that people that were pleading "guilty with explanation" were getting either dismissed or lower fees. You still have to pay court costs and get points, but you don't get taxed as much.
Old 08-21-04, 08:45 PM
  #13  
DVD Talk Special Edition
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Posts: 1,865
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
How much are the court costs typically?

I really don't care about paying any one time fees, I'm just concerned that this could effect my insurance costs.

I'm pretty sure I'm at +5 right now, but if I'm found guilty on this ticket that goes down to a +1. I'm not sure if insurance companies just look at your points or what though.
Old 08-21-04, 08:46 PM
  #14  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 3,236
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
When I was 17 I was cited for reckless driving in Fairfax county. I rear-ended some poor girl on I-66. Anyway, I showed up and pleaded "guilty with an explanation" and mumbled something about fiddleing with the radio. The judge reduced it to improper driving and let me take a 2 day traffic course with my mom. Upon completion, the points were dropped from my record. I don't recall a fine either.

YMMV.
Old 08-21-04, 10:23 PM
  #15  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 16,173
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
My experience in VA is if you plead NOT GUILTY, the judge will go after you unless there really is some hard evidence that you are not guilty (doubtful).

VA DOES offer traffic school, I know I have taken it a few times

VA also offers to let you take traffic school online, this kicks ass.

My advice (having fought a dozen or so tickets in VA), is to plead GUILTY with explanation (or whatever your specific courts option similar to this is). This means you either 1. get to speak with the judge for a few minutes before he gives final sentence, or 2. and the better option, you get to speak with the prosecutor before the judge even has to bother with you.

Work the angle of you are sorry, you were not paying attention to your speed, you will gladly pay the fine and is there any way the court could have some mercy on you since you do not have many tickets, etc, etc, etc. Be sincere and act like you have learned your lesson (everyone in the courts hates a pompus ass or the slightest bit of arogance). Bargain out to traffic school for a dismisal if you can. I have always had good luck doing this, even with a handful of tickets of my record.

Bring your checkbook, you have to pay before you leave (although I have seen some cases where the judge let a peron go an extra few days before paying because they pleaded they just didn't have the money).
Old 08-22-04, 08:19 AM
  #16  
DVD Talk Special Edition
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Posts: 1,865
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the good advice 4KRG. I figured that I'd just explain that I was just going with the flow of traffic and honestly didn't realize how fast I was going.

Did you actually say "Can I possibly just go to traffic school" to the judge?


I guess no one really recommends a lawyer. Are they just not worth it for small cases like this?
Old 08-22-04, 09:56 AM
  #17  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: The sprawling metropolis of Manassas Park, VA USA
Posts: 3,616
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Before I went to my traffic court trial, I went and watched how the VA traffic court works. I watched countless people plead Guilty or Guilty with explanation or Nolo Contendre and they were ALL mowed down like tall grass. The judge doesn't care about your "explanation"; they just want some of your money. Only the Not Guilty pleaders got any kind of break since they all put the cops evidence into question.

Plead Not Guilty and fight it. Give yourself a chance to set the terms of your fine. I did and got out with only paying for traffic school and didn't even have to pay court costs.

Whatever you do, DON'T mail it in ahead of time. This accomplishes nothing and just gives the court everything they want. You might as well just plead guilty. If you go and demonstrate that you are going to fight tooth and nail, they may just pass you by and go after all the other people who don't know any better.

There were people there pleading Guilty and their cop wasn't even in the courtroom! Sheesh
Old 08-22-04, 10:33 AM
  #18  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 16,173
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The process will vary by county and by court. I have had the most success with traffic school dismisal in Loudoun county. In Loudoun you get a chance to talk with the prosecutor and cut some deal before the judge makes his final ruling.

I did straight out ask the prosecutor for reduced charges or possible dismal of the ticket if I attended traffic school. Once I was given a reduced charge, instead of 78 in a 55 I was charged with 64 on a 55 (major difference in VA) and a couple of other times I was given the traffic school option for full dismisal of the ticket.

Just a note, in each case the judge or the prosecuor have also spoken directly with the officer before cutting the deal. If you did something the officer didn't like (like be difficult when you were pulled over) they generally try to screw you and won't deal. If the officer has no reason to take a personal issue with you, and the judge isn't in a hang everyone kind of mood, you can generally get some kind of break. BUt hey, each exact situaiton is differnert.

My experience pleading not guilty, and watching others do the same, that it's not the way to go UNLESS you have some evidnce that your speedometer isn't working properly (yes this happens and can be proven) or something similar.

I have tried to prove police radar is innacurate and the judge basically laughed at me. I had reports from NIST and various other documents, I asked for radar calibration sheets, I asked to see the officers training certificates on the specific model of radar gun used, etc, etc none of them have ever worked for me. Once I eve had a cop tell the judge that my vehicle 'appeared' to be speeding to his trained eye and the radar confirmed, the judge agreed that the officer's visual perception of my speed meant that the radar could not have been completely inaccurate like my documentation showed.

Foole is right on when he says they just want you money, that is all they want. Tickets are not about public safety. If you plead not guilty you make them much much more agressive because they want you guilty so they can get their money.

I also agree, don't just mail your ticket in. At least go have the experience of our fine court system

I would have hired a lawyer if I could find one that would take a simple speeding case. It seems in VA lawyers don't want to bother with you unless your driving infraction means jail time (like DUI or man slaughter or something). If you can find a VA lawyer that will help you, it may be worth it, and in that case do whatever the lawyer tells you and ignore all of us

In other states I have had very good luck with the lawyer route, they have gotten me completely out of tickets without even traffic school (but I still had to pay court costs etc and lawyer fees)

edited - forgot to add, the judge will not care what other cars on the road were doing. Do not speak of other drivers, they are not in court you are. Just because others broke the law, does not mean it is any less of an offence for you to. This seems to really piss judges off that I have seen.

Last edited by 4KRG; 08-22-04 at 10:37 AM.
Old 08-22-04, 10:52 AM
  #19  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Formerly known as "brizz"/kck
Posts: 23,425
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
My advice (having fought a dozen or so tickets in VA),
Jesus....My advice would be to take away your damned license....
Old 08-22-04, 01:30 PM
  #20  
DVD Talk Special Edition
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Posts: 1,865
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Now that you mentioned the cops and judge talk before the case, that gets me worried. I was actually in a construction zone, but the cop didn't put that on the ticket (i'm guessing b/c it was right at the end of the construction zone).

Can the judge actually change the offense to 'speeding in a construction zone' even if that's not mentioned on the ticket?
Old 08-22-04, 05:36 PM
  #21  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Waterford, MI
Posts: 1,202
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Once when I was 19, I got a reckless ticket coming back from Virginia Tech on the last day of the school year I was going 82 in a 65. Unfortunately, I thought reckless was only anything over 20 in that state but the cop told me anything over 80 was also considered reckless driving. So, scared to death as I was at getting a reckless ticket, I went to court and pled guilty with explanation. Mumbled some excuse, looked genuinely scared I'm sure, and got the charge reduced to 80 in a 65 which kept me from having a reckless on my driving record. So, depending on the type of infraction, guilty with explanation is definitely a valid option.

Anytime I've gotten a ticket since then, not that often, the cop writing the ticket has not written me up for the full amount of miles so I usually just pay it and skip going to court.

Michael
Old 08-22-04, 05:37 PM
  #22  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 16,173
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally posted by brizz
Jesus....My advice would be to take away your damned license....
Yes, and you are god and you are perfect. I will strive to better myself and to be more perfect like you in the future. Thanks for pointing out the error in my ways.


Zodo, the judge can pretty much do what he wants. Unless you come off like an ass you will be fine going to court.
Old 08-23-04, 03:01 PM
  #23  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Phoenix
Posts: 601
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Move to any of the other 49 states, where radar detectors are legal.
Old 08-23-04, 03:07 PM
  #24  
DVD Talk God
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Directionally Challenged (for DirecTV)
Posts: 123,243
Likes: 0
Received 4 Likes on 4 Posts
I did traffic school once in VA - 6 or so years ago. Stupidest thing I ever experienced. I don't how the people who started this 'business' ever got the government to sign off on it but kudos for them for finding a unnecessary business, subsidized by gov't, that they can clean up with.

I got a ticket last Fall. I had zero points when I got it (prior ticket was 3 1/2 years prior so all those points had fallen off my record). I pled not guilty and stated that I hadn't gotten a ticket in over 3 years. The judge fined me $50 + court costs ($55), but most importantly, no points (which is all I was gunning for).

Last edited by Red Dog; 08-23-04 at 03:09 PM.

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.