Speeding in the Commonwealth of Virginia

I was ticketed for doing 20 miles over the posted speed limit of 55 mph in
Goochland County. On the ticket the officer wrote it as speeding with no mention
of reckless. I have a court date next Thursday. Do I need a lawyer for this?
will I be sited for reckless driving even though it is not written on the ticket?
Should I offer to take driving school for leniency on the ticket? This is my
first traffic offense in my life.

Asked on May 19, 2016 under General Practice, Virginia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

1) You can't be cited for any offenses (like reckless driving) not on the ticket.
2) Offering to take a defensive driving class, etc. is often a good thing to do and is generally recommended: the class itself can reduce any points inyou get in many cases, and also shows sincerity on your part, which will help you in negotiating with the procesecutor.
3) The prosecutor can recommend lesser charges (e.g. that you be allowed to plead to going fewer miles over the speed limit). Speak to the prosecutor when you get to court, before court proceedings begin (show up a little early). Be humble and contrite; offer to take a class; stress that you have an otherwise clean record. There is a good chance you will be allowed to plead to a lesser offense.
4) A lawyer will probably get you a somewhat better outcome than you would get yourself. The question is, is it worth it to pay an attorney, say, $500 to possibly get a point or so less on your license? That's something you have to decide.

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