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Old 04-21-2008, 10:43 PM
 
1 posts, read 16,233 times
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Hello,

I have been a VA Fairfax County resident for just over a year after moving from NY and I got my first speeding ticket here (first in 10 years and only my second in 22 years of driving). I was on one of those fairly desolate country roads just east of Manassas and missed a speed zone sign. I was ticketed for 50 in a 35, which probably pretty accurate and was an honest mistake on my part.

So now what? In NY, if you have a clean record and go to court, the judge will often reduce the offense if you agree to take a driver's safety class. (If you get a second ticket within a given period, they tend not to be so lenient). Does VA (especially Fairfax County) operate in a similar manner?? I have heard from one person already that Fairfax County won't reduce a ticket unless it is an blatant error and often they will increase fines and or points if you go to court and are found guilty. Is this at all true??? Should I just do the "prepay" thing?

I have no problem giving VA a little money for my mistake...I mean, I did screw up...but I am more worried about my insurance company punishing me for hundreds or thousands of dollars over the next several years for missing a speed zone sign on an essentially deserted road.

Any advice will be appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 04-22-2008, 07:12 AM
 
Location: -
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Driving Points are assessed by the Department of Motor Vehicles, not courts.
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Old 04-28-2008, 07:30 AM
 
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Default Do yourself a favor

call the court yourself don't take old advice i believe VA has changed thier laws as far as tickets go make some calls. I got a ticket some years back in VA on hwy 81 route 222 i will never forget, I went to court it was scary but the judge did allowed me to take drivers improvment class this judge by the way had thrown the book at a lot of folks just for speeding. I wish you the best go to court be honest it helps a lot but before that call and find out how its handled in that area.
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Old 04-28-2008, 08:08 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VEIK View Post
Driving Points are assessed by the Department of Motor Vehicles, not courts.
Yeah but if the court reduces the ticket, from say 20 over to 10 over, then the points go down also. This is often the way it works when you go to court for a speeding ticket... don't know anything about Fairfax County specifically though.

The courts don't actually assess the points, but their actions can reduce the points that are later assessed by the DMV.
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Old 12-30-2008, 01:59 PM
 
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if you haven't had a ticket in several years (5+) do you accrue safe driving points that would offset the demerit points?
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Old 12-30-2008, 05:44 PM
 
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The OP's main concern, and rightfully so, is the ticket's effect on his/her insurance rates.

Fines, points, etc are not the big deal in most cases...it's having the speeding conviction on one's driving record that matters to one's insurance company.

You have to have the ticket dismissed or be found innocent of the speeding charge for it not to go on your record. This is a long shot at best. A high dollar lawyer might get you off but also might charge you more than your insurance rates would go up with the conviction!

Sometimes insurance companies forgive an "incident" if you are a long-time, well behaved policy holder....

PS: to the poster mentioning "safe driving points"....you earn one per calendar year (up to a max of 5) without a conviction AND that you held a VIRGINIA drivers license. If the OP has only had a VA license for a year, they would only have one at this time. Good driving while licensed elsewhere doesn't count...
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Old 12-31-2008, 07:15 AM
 
Location: Central Maine
1,473 posts, read 2,939,543 times
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Sorry about the speeding ticket, but in VA, like most states, they have devolved into a tax. And you know what they say about death and taxes....

The insurance angle is a major ripoff. You may not be old enough to remember, but auto insurance companies (e.g. GEICO) used to make a big deal about donating radar units to police departments. The motive was supposedly to help us all be safer (it could have changed, but I don't believe there has ever been proven an association between speeding and frequency of accidents, only severity). The reality was that each ticket issued was a bonanza for the insurance companies. They jumped the rates on all the drivers issued tickets when there was very little additional risk (again, only minor speeding tickets). Each radar unit paid for itself about a hundred times! Some states have addressed this issue by not giving insurance companies access to "normal" speeding tickets. For example, in Georgia, they don't make available tickets under 15 mph over the speed limit. In Maine I don't believe they make available any civil traffic offense. I would be really curious as to what the policy is in VA.
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Old 01-04-2009, 03:30 PM
 
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Does VA have any type of "Safe Driver" designation? When I moved here from FL, I surrendered my FL license (of course) which had "Safe Driver" on it. My VA license does not have that.
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Old 01-04-2009, 03:37 PM
 
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No, VA does not have a Safe Driver designation; however, I found out that if you are an over-18 driver, if you voluntarily attend a driving clinic, you will get 5 "good" points on your license and, I believe, if you get a ticket the whole conviction and points will not go on your record. Of course, this is only the case if the course is taken proactively. If you take it after the fact, no deal. So, this won't help the OP at all.

OP, I think you are just going to have to pay.

I used to live in Maryland where, if you went to court with a ticket, you could pay double the fine but they would throw out the conviction and points. Not so in Virginia and have never heard of anyone being successful unless it was a complete error.

Many years ago, my co-worker was clocked at going 84 mph in a 55 zone. He was also charged with reckless driving at that speed. The car he was in was a rust bucket dump of a thing and he firmly agreed that he was speeding but was adamant that the car couldn't travel that fast without it being entirely uncomfortable. He went to court over that, got the judge to agree somehow, but still admitted speeding. He did get the reckless charge thrown out but not the whole conviction. Obviously they will work with you somehow but I just don't see the point if you can't get the whole thing thrown out.
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Old 03-31-2011, 09:35 AM
 
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A follow up note: In VA (at least in Alexandria City), if you have a good record you can appear in court & simply request (POLITELY!!!) that you be permitted to attend a driving school course in lieu of the ticket. If the judge agrees (which they did for me- and did for all of the others at that particular court setting/time/hearing), then you simply attend a driving course (you can do one online), present the certificate of completion back to the court & the ticket is wiped off your record. You do still have to pay the court costs (I am afraid I cannot remember if I still had to pay the ticket fine).

Please note: at the little court hearing portion the ticketing cop will be there & will say "John Smith (your name), VA license, rating +3 (or whatever your rating is- you get +1 point for each year you are a VA licensee and you do not have a ticket or accident, accidents & tickets cause point deductions)" If you have a good rating (i.e. I had +4), the judge will be much more likely to permit you to take the driving course in lieu of ticket, if you come in with a -18, don't get your hopes up.
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