Pursuant to § 46.2-113 (Violations of this title; penalties. Maximum fine equal to class 4 misdemeanor) the Virginia legislature has decided that there will be preset fines attached to specific traffic infractions. The VA code provides that the maximum fine for traffic infractions is equal to the maximum fine for a class 4 misdemeanor, $250. Court costs are also assessed for these violations.
Distinction Between Fines and Court Costs
When determining how much a driver charged with a traffic infraction will have to pay, it is important to understand the driver will be required to pay not only the fine for the violation, but also court costs. Therefore, when calculating your total costs for your ticket, make sure to factor in both your court costs and fines.
Rule 3B:2 of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia sets forth the requirements for court costs for prepayable offenses in Virginia. Generally, there is supposed to be $52 in court costs for a prepayable charge (if you were charged with one of the 14 reckless driving statutes your charge is not prepayable). However, courts are given the ability to increase court costs in certain instances (§ 9.1-106. Regional Criminal Justice Academy Training Fund; local fee; § 53.1-120. Sheriff to provide for courthouse and courtroom security; designation of deputies for such purpose; assessment.). Court costs are often between $61-67 depending on the jurisdiction your traffic violation is located in. There are additional court costs in some instances (see below). Some judges will waive court costs.
Fines for Speeding Tickets
Generally, in speeding cases there is a $6 fine for every mph over the speed limit. § 46.2-870 (Maximum speed limits generally) is the most commonly charged speeding statute.
The following are other less commonly charged violations, all violations are assessed a $6 fine for every mph over the speed limit:
- Maximum speed limit for school buses § 46.2-871
- Maximum speed limits for vehicles operating under special permits § 46.2-872
- Maximum speed limit in business and residence districts § 46.2-874
- Maximum speed limit on certain other highways in cities and towns § 46.2-875
- Special speed limitation on bridges, tunnels and interstates § 46.2-881
Speeding in Work Zones and School Crossings
The Va Code requires a $7 fine for violations of drivers convicted of the following statutes:
- Maximum speed limits at school crossings; penalty § 46.2-873
- Maximum speed limits in highway work zones; penalty § 46.2-878.1
Speeding in Certain Residential Areas
There is a $200 fine and $8 for every mph over the speed limit for a violation of:
- Maximum speed limits in certain residence districts of counties, cities, and towns; penalty § 46.2-878.2
Speeding in Highway Safety Corridors
§ 46.2-947. Violations committed within highway safety corridor; report on benefits.
- $500 maximum fine
- If the offense is a crime there is a minimum $200 fine
- Fine doubled if the driver does not appear and pleads guilty
Additional Fees for Failing to Appear in Court
The VA Code provides that an additional $35 fee is to be assessed in cases where the defendant does not appear in court. See § 16.1-69.48:1. Fixed fee for misdemeanors, traffic infractions and other violations in district court; additional fees to be added.
Court Costs in Cases Involving Multiple Convictions
If you are convicted of multiple charges, presuming those charges arise out of the same incident, you are to only be assessed the court costs for that case once. However, if you are convicted in a separate trial for a charge arising out of that same incident, and the court costs would be higher for the second conviction, the court will charge you for the difference.
Credit Card Fees
There is a 4% convenience fee assessed per transaction when payment is made by credit/debit card.
Many courts in Virginia will allow the driver to get on a payment plan to pay off their court costs if they believe they will not be able to pay the full amount owed within 30 days of their conviction date. Some courts will require a down payment. Many courts will charge an additional fee to get on this plan, Albemarle county for instance charges a $10 fee. If the payments are not made in full by the final date established in your plan many courts will suspend your license.