Q: I was ticketed by the police for going 45 mph on a highway with a 60 mph speed limit during a snowstorm. Aren't I technically off the hook?
A: No, not really. The issue isn't how fast you were going relative to the road's stated speed limit, it's how fast you were going relative to other vehicles on the road, given the prevailing weather conditions. If the other cars were going significantly slower than 45 mph because of low visibility or a slick road surface, a police officer would be justified in picking you out of the crowd for speeding and weaving through traffic. (This rule only applies if the weather conditions are genuinely hazardous. You shouldn't be penalized for speeding past a convoy of elderly ladies who slow down drastically during a mere drizzle.)
Now that we've established that your citation was justified, the important thing to do is to make sure that it doesn't spiral into a Virginia reckless driving charge. A conviction for such a violation can cost you thousands of dollars in fines and add a whopping six points to your driving record.
You need to hire an experienced Virginia traffic defense lawyer who can argue that although your behavior may have been ill-advised, it didn't rise to the standard of reckless driving—that is, you weren't intentionally, maliciously, or selfishly putting other motorists in danger by your actions. (For example, if there were multiple fender-benders on the road that day because of the weather conditions, and you were aware of this and still drove too fast, a reckless driving conviction may well be in your future.)
Do you have questions about your reckless driving charge or any other driving violation in Virginia? Call the experienced Virginia traffic attorneys at Jarrell, Hicks & Waldman, PC at 888-783-9701 today for a free consultation.