So, you got caught speeding. What are your options?
The easiest course of action is simply to pay the ticket, the cost of which could be relatively low if the speeding violation was only an infraction. Pay your ticket online via one of the following resources.
- Circuit court: https://eapps.courts.state.va.us/fmsOnline/#/searchHome?fips=000C
- General district court: https://www.vacourts.gov/caseinfo/tickets_dc.html4
If you can’t afford the ticket, Virginia offers the Fines Options Program, which lets you perform community service instead of paying court costs and fines. For each hour you work at a recognized charitable organization or government facility, like a library, you’ll earn $15 toward your fines. Email the following form to GDCMail@fairfaxcounty.gov to see if you’re eligible: https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/generaldistrict/sites/generaldistrict/files/assets/documents/pdf/fop%20form%20(1).pdf.5
With an infraction, you can plead either guilty, not guilty, or nolo contendere (no contest). The easiest option is to enter a guilty plea in writing so you won’t have to make a court appearance. The judge will hear the case without a jury. Even if you don’t enter a written plea or make a court appearance, the case will move forward in your absence, but the judge won’t issue a warrant for failure to appear, unlike in some other states.
A misdemeanor is a criminal charge, unlike a traffic infraction. If you plead not guilty, you’ll have to appear in court or have an attorney appear for you so you can present the case in front of a judge. If you don’t show up, the judge will hear the case in your absence.