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Defenses in Virginia Speeding Ticket Cases

Speeding tickets are very common in Virginia and can have negative consequences to your driving license and your wallet. Below, a Virginia speeding ticket lawyer speaks about some common defenses for speeding tickets, and what else you should know before heading to court.

Potential Defenses For Exceeding the Speed Limit

Due to the fact that speeding or reckless driving by speed is not a crime that requires intent, there are very few excuses for exceeding the posted speed limit. There may be certain emergency exceptions such as an emergency medical situation, emergency first-responder situation, or other family emergencies that will mitigate your circumstances. However, there are very few institutional events that will help you avoid being prosecuted for a speeding violation.

Can Going With The Flow of Traffic Be a Defense?

Saying, “I was just going with the flow of traffic” as a proper defense to someone speeding is certainly a myth, and it is certainly not going to hold up in a speeding case. It maybe more common for someone to exceed the speed limit on a certain road because that road is generally frequented by people travelling in higher speed, but that fact is not going to be a defense for exceeding the posted speed limit.

The most common example in Loudoun County is on on the Dulles Toll Road, which is a 55 mph zone in which drivers rarely travel 55 mph. However, I have never seen someone come to court and successfully argue, “I was driving 70 in a 55 mph zone but I wasn’t speeding because everyone else was going 70.” That excuse is certainly not going to work with the judge. It may mitigate the circumstances if it is a known area where people travel at a high speed, but it is certainly not going to be a defense for a speeding case.

Is Going 10 MPH Over The Limit Speeding?

While you are less likely to receive a speeding ticket for going less than 10 mph above the posted speed limit, it is certainly possible and it happens quite often.

For speeding offenses, you are given 3 demerit points on your license for a speeding ticket of 0 – 9 mph over the posted speed. You receive 4 demerit points on your license for going 10 – 19 mph over the posted speed limit, or 6 demerit points for 20 mph or more over the posted speed limit or a reckless driving ticket. Drivers should understand that law enforcement can and will issue tickets below 10 mph over the posted speed limit. Below 10 mph speed limit tickets are often seen in residential or business districts where the difference is much more apparent. For example 62 in a 55 may not be as offensive to highway safety in some areas, but 30 in 25 is certainly noticeable in others.

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