Paying vs. Disputing Tickets in Virginia
Are you wondering how to pay a speeding ticket or other traffic tickets in Virginia? If so, there are multiple ways for you to resolve the issue. Your first step is to decide whether you will pay the traffic fine (technically pleading guilty to the charge) or dispute the traffic ticket and go to court. There are different processes, DMV fees and outcomes associated with each option. Learn more about Virginia traffic citations and traffic ticket defense in the sections outlined below.
Paying Traffic Fines in Virginia
Not fighting traffic citations in the state of Virginia means you are pleading guilty to the crime, and agree to pay the accompanying fines, accept whatever demerit points are associated with the infraction, pay increased auto insurance rates and possibly face other criminal penalties. When you accept the charge, you don’t need to appear in court or hire a lawyer. You can pay the traffic ticket (and plead guilty) up to 30 days after the court date printed on the citation without fear of losing your license. Once you have decided to plead guilty to a traffic violation, there are two ways you can pay your citation and accept the charge: online and by mail.
How to Pay a Speeding Ticket and Other Citations Online in Virginia
You can pay traffic ticket online in Virginia through the DMV website. You must know whether your traffic ticket has been processed through the circuit, the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court or combined court systems, first, and be able to provide your case number and local court location. There are slightly different processes for paying traffic tickets online, whether it is pre- or post-court date.
You can pay speeding ticket and other basic traffic violations in Virginia online before your court date (pre-court date payment) to face the least amount of fines and start whatever rehabilitation services you have been prescribed as soon as possible. Payments for traffic tickets and certain other offenses are accepted by the general district court until 3:30 p.m. on the last business day before your court date. If you do not want to fight traffic ticket issuances or choose to appear in court, you have until 30 days after (post-court date payment) your printed court date to pay your traffic fines and accept the guilty plea. After 40 days, you will be issued a Virginia drivers license suspension, and your overdue account will be sent to a collection agency. Download our informative guide to read more about traffic ticket payments in Virginia.
You can pay speeding ticket online in Virginia through the state court’s website. After heading to the website, you can find access to the General District Courts Online Case Information System that allows for case look-up and payment. Choose the type and name of the court that is processing your traffic citation and input your case number, as printed on your citation. If you do not know your case number, you should also be able to locate your traffic violation using your full name or hearing date.
If your Virginia traffic ticket is eligible for online payment, the online system will display a link entitled “Mark for Payment” under the “Action” column. Select “Mark for Payment” for your case, and then click on “Process Payment.” On the next screen, input your payment and contact information, and click “Submit Payment.” If you provided your email address, a receipt of the payment of your traffic fines will be emailed to you. If not, you should print a copy of the confirmation page for your records.
Virginia Traffic Violations Payment by Mail
You can choose to pay traffic tickets in Virginia by mail both before and after your court date. Be sure to read your traffic citation carefully. Paying your traffic fines pre-court date is usually the easiest option. If the officer gave you a “Virginia Prepayable Offenses Information Sheet,” read the description next to your cited offense. In the traffic fines table, calculate your total due by adding applicable fines and fees. Make sure to follow all the instructions under the “Pretrial Waiver and Prepayment Instructions” section. If you were not given the abovementioned information sheet or your traffic violation was not listed on the information sheet’s table, you will need to contact the court at the phone number listed on your traffic citation. If your court date has already passed, you will need to call your local court to find out your reference case number, the total amount you owe, and the correct mailing address for the court.
Once you have calculated the total amount you owe, you can pay the Virginia speeding ticket using a personal check, money order, certified check or credit/debit card. Mail your information and payment to the district court address listed on your traffic ticket. Learn more about by-mail traffic citation payment by downloading our comprehensive guide.
Fighting Traffic Tickets in Virginia
Are you considering how to fight traffic ticket charges in Virginia? Luckily, fighting traffic ticket issuances is not as complicated as it seems. If you disagree with your traffic violation, first make sure you are free to attend your scheduled court date. If you there is no way you can make it, contact your local district court to reschedule as soon as possible. If you are free to represent yourself at the summons, ask yourself whether it is worth your time and energy to dispute the officer’s traffic citation. Do you have the means to prove that you did not commit the traffic violation?
If you are facing criminal charges or high traffic fines in Virginia, you may want to look into hiring an attorney who specializes in traffic citations. Some traffic ticket defense attorneys will agree to take your case and ask for payment only upon a positive outcome, so look around for the right lawyer to fit your needs. If you fight the traffic ticket issuance and are facing incarceration without the means to hire your own attorney, the court will provide one for you.
Your VA traffic citation will provide specific instructions on submitting a “Not Guilty” plea on the backside. On the day of your court summons, you will face either a judge (in district court) or a jury (in circuit court). You may also have the option of a pre-trial conference, in which you can negotiate a pre-trial settlement in exchange for a guilty plea and reduced penalties, instead of the original traffic fine.
If you choose to fight your Virginia traffic ticket in front of a judge or jury, you may win the case and be able to avoid any negative repercussions on your driving record. If you lose the case, you may face a more serious sentence, along with the normal traffic fines and consequences for your driving record and auto insurance. Learn more about traffic ticket defense in VA by downloading our complimentary guide.