Court Process for Richmond Speeding Tickets

If you receive a speeding infraction in Richmond and are interested in fighting the charge rather than paying the ticket, contact a Richmond speeding ticket attorney right away. This has the potential to save you time out of your day and points on your license. For out-of-state drivers who received a ticket while they were simply passing through the area, a lawyer’s help is incredibly beneficial as well.

Richmond Speeding Offense Level and Consequences

In the City of Richmond, speeding is a traffic infraction that can result in a fine ranging from $250 up to $500 depending on the severity.

In addition to fines, speeding tickets in Richmond result in points assessed against your license, ranging from three to six based on the ticket. These can have an impact on your driving record, insurance, and employment if you are required to drive as a part of your job.

Can I prepay a speeding ticket in Richmond?

You can prepay a speeding ticket in Richmond. However, if you do so, it counts as a conviction for which you will be assessed points, a fine, and court costs.

What to Expect in Court

In the City of Richmond, you do not need to show up in court for a speeding ticket. However, if you do not appear in court, you will be convicted in your absence, the court will impose a fine and DMV demerit points will be sent to your state record.

If you receive a reckless driving ticket, you are in fact required to appear in court. Reckless driving is a class 1 misdemeanor. That means that it is a criminal offense and the courts will require your appearance.

Location of Hearing

Speeding tickets in Richmond will be heard in the general district court. That will either be in the John Marshall Courts Building or the Richmond Manchester Building, depending on which part of the city you received the ticket in.

Average Court Process for Speeding Tickets in Richmond

Speeding ticket cases are usually set for 9:30 a.m., and you will have to appear in the court where your matter is assigned with your attorney. If it’s in the John Marshall Courts Building, you’ll take the elevator up to the second floor where they will have the dockets listing where each matter will be heard.

At that point, you’ll just wait for your case to be called. They will typically make an announcement asking anyone pleading guilty to get into a particular line. If you’re planning to request a continuance, they’ll have a line for that as well.

Something to remember is you are not allowed to bring a cell phone into the court. They will not even let you in the building if you have one. Also, you should always remember to bring a copy of your ticket to court.

Upon Arrival at Richmond General District Court

When you arrive at the John Marshall Courts Building, you’ll go up to the second floor into either Courtroom 208 or Courtroom 210, wherever your case is assigned. Outside each courtroom, they’ll have a list of the docket, so you can just look for your name there.

General district court is a court of public record, so it is possible that there will be other people. The police officer, the prosecutor and the judge will be involved in your case. When your case is called, the judge will ask you if you plead guilty or not guilty.

Pleading Nolo Contendere

You can plead nolo contendere in a Richmond speeding ticket case. This means “no contest” and it’s almost the same as a guilty plea. You’re basically telling the court that you are not contesting the state’s case.

Questions to Expect

First, you will be expected to answer whether you plead guilty or not guilty. If you plead not guilty, you’ll then be expected to state your defense. In other words, you will have to explain why you feel you are not guilty. You can cross-examine an officer without a Richmond speeding ticket lawyer. The judges are very strict about the procedure—you can’t harass the officer—but you can definitely ask the officer basic questions about the situation.

You should also have some awareness of what your driving record is. Lawyers usually recommend that you get a copy of your driving record prior to going to court so you know exactly what is on it.

Negotiating Penalties

You cannot negotiate directly with the judge in front of the court and the prosecutor. You can ask for the judge to take into consideration your driving record and you can ask if the court would consider dismissing the charge.

If you have a lawyer, your lawyer can negotiate an advance of your case with the prosecutor to try and get an agreement to get your matter reduced or dismissed.

Officers and Testimony

The officer will testify as to the exact reading from his or her radar device or what brought you to his or her attention—essentially, why you were stopped.

If the officer does not bring his or her report or other information to court, he or she may be required to testify from memory. But in most cases, the case would simply be dismissed. The court hearing will usually only continue if the officer has a valid reason for not having the information.

If the officer isn’t there for your court date, the result will depend on why the officer was not there. If the officer is away on training or medical leave, the case will simply be continued. If the officer has no excuse for being absent, the matter could be dismissed.

Proving Proper Speedometer Calibration

To show that your speedometer was calibrated or tested, you will need to  have documentation from the mechanic who performed service.  That documentation should specifically identify the issue with your speedometer. If you have a Richmond speeding ticket attorney, he or she will be in a position to present this properly to the court so that the court understands exactly what the issue is with your vehicle. Your attorney will also be able to show this information to the officer and to the commonwealth attorney.

Importance of Hiring a Richmond Speeding Attorney

It is important to seek an aggressive Richmond speeding ticket lawyer because they understand how to negotiate with the prosecutors to get your matter reduced or dismissed. You also want someone who knows how to challenge the state’s evidence against you with the idea of getting the matter reduced or dismissed.