Are you charged with Speeding or Reckless? If you pay the ticket you are admitting guilt. Reckless Driving is punishable as a Class One Misdemeanor with punishment available up to 12 months in jail, fine up to $2,500 and suspension of your driver's license or privilege to drive in Virginia up to 6 months. I will not comment on the effect on your insurance. DMV assigns the maximum minus 6 points for a conviction. I will be more than happy to discuss with you at no charge for an initial consult. I would like to see a copy of your summons, DMV record and speedometer calibration. Please call my Legal Assistant Whitney to schedule a telephone appointment. I look forward to assisting you. CPIIII
You are admitting that you are guilty by paying fine. Speak with a VA attorney to see if you have other options.
ANDREW ROBERTS CRIMINAL AND TRAFFIC TICKET DEFENSE ATTORNEY
If you are charged with speeding 20 mph over the limit, then you may face a reckless charge. You cannot prepay a reckless charge, because it is a criminal offense (as opposed to a mere traffic infraction). Check your "Virginia Uniform Summons" (that yellow paper), to determine the charge.
If it is not reckless driving but speeding, then the good news is, you can prepay. See the link I've added below entitled, "GDC Online System," to search for your offense and check if you are able to prepay...but based on your question, I do not think your goal is to prepay.... you would be admitting guilt and the DMV points would be quite substantial.
Your best bet (regardless of whether you were charged with reckless or speeding) would be to hire an attorney to negotiate a deal with the Commonwealth Attorney and police officer before your case is called.
You might have a defense, and if your driving record is not too shabby, you would have a good chance at receiving an offer to plead guilty to something other than speeding 20 mph over or reckless driving.
If you don't hire an attorney, you will not be able to negotiate with the prosecution and/or police officer before your case is called.
Just to put this into perspective monetarily, some Northern Virginia lawyers like me usually charge around $1000 (some even less) for a typical reckless driving case. But a reckless conviction could result in a fine up to $2,500, not to mention the insurance ramifications.
If you face a speeding infraction, then you do not face the high monetary fines associated with reckless driving, but you do face a substantial fine, as well as the insurance ramifications. An attorney might charge a little less if you face a serious speeding infraction as opposed to reckless driving, but it depends on the facts and your unique circumstances and goals.
This is not legal advice: it is intended to be used for general informational or educational purposes only. For a free case evaluation, visit FairfaxCountyCriminalDefense.com.