Once you determine what kind of ticket you were issued, you must speak with an experienced Wytheville, Virginia speeding ticket lawyer at The Law Office of Mark T. Hurt about your infraction. Once we learn the details of your situation, we can begin working to create a solid legal defense to either your simple speeding or reckless driving charges.
At first glance, a speeding ticket and a reckless driving ticket might appear very similar. In fact, if a law enforcement officer did not arrest you for reckless driving, he or she likely gave you a sheet of paper that told you where you should go to court to fight your driving infraction. If your officer did not make it clear which ticket they gave you, there are a few things you can do in order to determine if you got a reckless driving ticket for speeding or “just” a speeding ticket.
What Are the Differences Between the Two?
Even if you have only been charged with driving too fast, it may benefit you to speak with a Wytheville speeding ticket lawyer. Although speeding infractions are not always serious, they can result in hefty fines, points off your driver’s license and spikes in your insurance premiums. Mounting a defense to a speeding ticket can take a bit of time and effort up front but save you a great deal of money in the long run.
If a police officer has charged you with reckless driving for speeding, however, the potential consequences are significantly more serious and the need to speak with a speeding ticket lawyer in VA is that much more urgent. The law typically categorizes reckless driving—even for speeding—as a misdemeanor. In more serious cases, the officer may charge you with a felony. This could mean:
- A permanent criminal record
- Jail time
- Large fines
- Driving improvement courses, and
- License suspension
How Do You Know Which Ticket Is Which?
As a VA speeding ticket lawyer from The Law Office of Mark T. Hurt may explain during a consult, the officer who pulled you over or showed up to the scene should have clearly told you if they were charging you with reckless driving or if they were simply giving you a speeding ticket. However, nerves run high after an officer pulls you over and you may have missed what they said. If this is the case, you can look at the summons or the ticket they gave you.
If they charged you with reckless driving, this should be clearly written under the “charge” section of a summons. Additionally, the officer likely crossed off the area of the paper where you have the option to pre-pay. Please consider connecting with a Wytheville, VA speeding ticket lawyer regardless of which kind of ticket you have received, but certainly if you have been charged with reckless driving.
What Should You Do If You Have Been Charged with Reckless Driving?
If the officer charged you with reckless driving, you should take this reality even more seriously than you would if cited with a speeding ticket. After you have given yourself time to regroup, please consider calling The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt so we can review your case and discuss your best defense options. You should always go into court prepared—to the best of your ability—and this starts with the right legal representation. Call our office today to set up your consultation.
What to Expect After Receiving a Traffic Ticket
In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, distractions can easily get in the way of driving and result in a traffic ticket. There are many things that can get you a ticket, from speeding to texting while driving to running a stoplight or stop sign. If you get pulled over and receive a ticket, it’s good to know what happens next, and what options you can take from there.
Immediately Following the Ticket Issuance
When you are issued a traffic ticket, the officer will request you sign it. This is not an admission of guilt on your part, but it is required, and failure to sign it means that the officer can arrest you. Once the officer has left, write down as many details as possible for later reference, such as the time the incident occurred, what happened leading up to the incident, the exchange between you and the officer, and the weather. This is especially important if you feel the ticket was unjustified or inaccurate and you plan to fight the ticket in court with help from a Virginia speeding ticket lawyer.
3 Possible Next Steps
Once you’ve been issued the ticket, there are three options on how to handle it. The one you choose may depend on the severity of the fine, any potential points taken off your license or other penalties.
- Pay the Ticket: This is generally the hassle-free route. If your ticket is not severe and does not revoke points from your driver’s license, it can save you a lot of time and effort to simply pay the ticket and be done with it. This does mean, however, that you admit guilt to the violation, and your insurance costs may go up as a result.
- Request Mitigation: In this case, you admit that you are guilty of the violation but would like a hearing to explain the circumstances in which the violation occurred. This seeks leniency with the judge in hopes that he or she will lower the fine or offer an alternative to losing points on your license, such as taking a driving course. Insurance costs can still go up because of your admission of guilt.
- Contest the Ticket: If you feel the ticket was unjust or that the penalties are too steep, you can fight it in court before a judge. You will have to provide evidence that you are not guilty, and a prosecutor will attempt to prove the opposite. The judge will then decide whether to keep the ticket or throw it out.
Depending on the severity of the penalty, it can be beneficial to hire a lawyer for speeding tickets from VA to defend your case. If you are ever unsure of how to proceed after receiving your ticket, we are always a good source to turn to with questions and uncertainties.
Defenses Against a Traffic Ticket
When you find yourself being pulled over by law enforcement while driving, your mind may race to all the things you may have done wrong. When the officer finally tells you what you did and writes you a ticket for it, you may want to fight it. While you are not perfect, perhaps you do not believe the charge is valid.
Fighting traffic tickets may seem like an uphill battle, but there are ways to get out of a jam. Deciding to stand up to a traffic infraction may come down to the possible defenses you can wield. Discover some common ways to combat the fines and points a traffic ticket can bring:
The Officer Did Not Follow Procedure
There are times when everyone makes mistakes, including police officers. There are a multitude of procedural issues cops must follow, and if just one is not, a judge may throw the ticket out. One mistake law enforcement officers make is failing to complete the ticket in full. For example, they may miss the section where they need to fill in the proper speed limit, or they may put the speed down incorrectly.
It is a good idea that you return to the area where an officer pulled you over to check the speed limit for yourself. A speeding ticket lawyer in Wytheville, Virginia from The Law Office of Mark T. Hurt is familiar with fighting tickets, so we may be able to tell you if the officer made an error.
The Way Your Speed Was Clocked Was Faulty
You have the right to ask the officer for proof of your speed during a traffic stop. If you don’t do it then, you may request it in court. The officer must inform you of the way they checked your speed, either by air, timing your vehicle between two points or radar. If the officer is unable to provide that information, the charge may get tossed.
The Officer Fails To Attend Court
One of the most common ways people beat traffic tickets is to show up to court. When they do, and the officer does not, the case may be dismissed with no charges or repercussions to you.
Engaging the services of a legal professional is the best way to find out the best defense for your ticket. Make the call today to a lawyer for speeding tickets in Wytheville at The Law Office of Mark T. Hurt for immediate counsel.
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