Located in the lower portion of the Great Valley of Western Virginia, Smyth Valley boasts some of the most spectacular outdoor views and recreation.  Breathtaking scenery lines the winding roads that span the Blue Ridge Mountains, Hungry Mother State Park, Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, and the Holston River valleys.

To Smyth County residents and visitors, racing sports cars and riding motorcycles along Claw of the Dragon and Back of the Dragon trails is an integral part of life in the county.  However, local law enforcement officers often set up traffic stops and speed traps along these and other routes to catch unsuspecting drivers unfamiliar with local driving regulations.  It’s important to understand that Virginia traffic laws are more restrictive than many other states, making it critical for Smyth County residents and visitors who travel through Virginia frequently to understand the regulations.

Take Advantage of our Free Consultation – Call our Office 24/7 and Learn Your Options if You’ve Received a Ticket!

If you received a traffic citation and would like to learn your options for contesting the ticket, call our office to schedule a free consultation with Smyth County traffic lawyer Mark Hurt.  He can listen to the facts of your case and explain your legal options for mitigating penalties or obtaining a dismissal, as well as how we can help.  We are dedicated to helping those who have received a ticket learn about their options, and there is no cost to speak with us for the initial call.

How Much Does an Experienced Virginia Traffic Lawyer Cost?

Many law firms charge clients by the hour, which can be an incentive to bill.  Legal fees sometimes even are more costly than the fines associated with a ticket.

At The Law Offices of Mark Hurt, we believe that hiring an attorney should make both practical and financial sense, which is why we offer fixed-fee representation in traffic citation cases.  For convenience, we also accept credit card payments.

VA Traffic Laws You Should Know About

To avoid penalties, such as steep fines, license suspensions, demerit points on driving records, misdemeanor or felony criminal charges, increased insurance premiums, and incarceration, it is important for all Smyth County drivers to understand Virginia traffic laws.  The following are some of the standard driving regulations that must be followed in the area.

What Is the Speed Limit in Smyth County for Roads that are Not Posted?

Speed limits are intended to convey the maximum speed drivers should (and can legally) drive under normal weather, road, and traffic conditions.  However, individuals should reduce their speed accordingly as required by law or during other conditions, such as during storms or while in school zones.

In Virginia, if the speed limit is not posted, the speed limit that governs will be the speed limit under Virginia statutes.  Under the Virginia Code, these limits are:

  • 55 mph for most highways,
  • 45 mph for trucks on routes numbered 600 or higher,
  • 25 mph in residential areas, and
  • 35 mph on unpaved roads.[1]

Notwithstanding these limits, the maximum speed limit can be 60 mph to 70 mph where indicated by lawfully placed signs (erected subsequent to a traffic engineering study).  These speed limits apply to:

  • interstate highways;
  • multilane divided, limited access highways; and
  • high-occupancy vehicle lanes separated from regular travel lands, such asS. Route 17, U.S. Route 23, U.S. Route 29, U.S. Route 58, U.S. Alternate Route 58, U.S. Route 301, U.S. Route 360, U.S. Route 460, U.S. Route 501 between the Townof South Boston and the North Carolina state line, State Route 3, and State Route 207 where such routes are nonlimited access, multilane, divided highways.[2]

In addition to speeding, a person may also be issued a citation if they are traveling at such a slow speed as to impede the normal movement of traffic, unless there is an emergent situation.[3]

What Are the Penalties for Speeding in Smyth County?

The penalty for a first speeding offense is $8 per each mile above the speed limit and a $51 processing fee.  If a driver is stopped in a residential area, the fine is $200.  Offenders may also face prison time and have their license revoked, depending upon specific factors.

What Is Reckless Driving in Virginia?

An individual can be convicted for reckless driving for a variety reasons, including:

  • Driving a vehicle with faulty brakes;
  • Operating a car which is not under control;
  • Driving with an obstructed view;
  • Passing two vehicles abreast;
  • Passing at a railroad grade crossing;
  • Failing to give proper signals;
  • Passing a stopped school bus;
  • Failing to yield the right-of-way or reduce speed when approaching stationary vehicles;
  • Exceeding the applicable speed limit by 20 mph;
  • Driving over 85 mph (regardless of the speed limit);
  • Reckless driving on parking lots;
  • Racing; or
  • Aggressive driving.[4]

Reckless Driving is at least a Class 1 Misdemeanor in Virginia

Every person convicted of reckless driving is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia.  However, the penalty can increase to a Class 6 felony if the individual is driving without a valid operator’s license due to a suspension or causes a fatality.[5]  Further, a fine up to $2,500 may be imposed, along with a prison sentence of twelve months.

Driving Without a License in Smyth County is a Misdemeanor.

Any individual convicted of driving without a license in Virginia is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor and may be penalized with up to a $1,000 fine and six-month jail sentence.  However, the charge can be upgraded to a Class 1 misdemeanor for a second or subsequent offense, and the court can suspend a person’s driving privileges for up to 90 days, assess a fine up to $2,500, confiscate a vehicle, and impose a jail sentence up to one year.[6]

Other regulations relating to driver’s licenses in Virginia include:

  • Driving with a license that is suspended or revoked. This is a Class 1 misdemeanor, and the involved car can be confiscated for thirty days.
  • Driving with a license revoked for DWI. This is also a Class 1 misdemeanor, and the state can seize the involved vehicle for up to 120 days without the option of obtaining a limited license.

The fines and prison time increase for each repeated offense of driving without a license or with a revoked license.  For example, a third conviction is a class 6 felony in the event that the license is withheld for DWI. The driver will receive a jail sentence of up to five years and face a $2,500 fine.

Call The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt to Schedule a Free Traffic Citation Consultation!

If you are cited for a traffic violation in Smyth County, we urge you to immediately call our office to schedule a complimentary case evaluation.  Firm-founding attorney and Duke Law graduate Mark Hurt can explain your legal options and fight tenaciously in seeking reduced or dismissed charges.  Call us today!

[1] Why Are There Speed Limits?, VirginiaDot.org, http://www.virginiadot.org/info/faq-speedlimits.asp#:~:text=The%20statutory%20speed%20limit%20is%20the%20legal%20speed,a%20maximum%20speed%20limit%20of%2035%20mph%20applies.

[2] VA Code § 46.2-870.

[3] VA Code § 46.2-877.

[4] VA Code §§ 46.2-852-69

[5] VA Code § 46.2-868.

[6] VA Code § 46.2-300.

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