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Loudoun County Attorneys > Blog > Traffic Violations > Virginia’s Super Speeder Law

Virginia’s Super Speeder Law


Several states, including Virginia, have a super speeder law. Virginia’s version of this law is in Section 46.2-862. This law hasn’t been significantly updated since the early 1990s, and it shows, as outlined below. Basically, super speeder tickets combine ordinary speeding tickets with reckless driving offenses. So, the short and long-term consequences could be very serious.

Because super speeding is a misdemeanor, the traffic school option may be unavailable. Furthermore, this offense has a “super” effect on your auto insurance rates and driving record (sorry, we couldn’t resist that). So, to avoid these and other consequences, a Leesburg traffic violation attorney must aggressively attack the state’s evidence in court. This approach usually allows a lawyer to successfully resolve a super speeder or other criminal matter.

Nuts and Bolts

Super speeders travel more than 85mph (subsection ii) or more than 20mph above the speed limit (subsection i), on any road.

In the 1990s, 85mph was a Speed Racer velocity. Nowadays, engines are much more efficient and less noisy. Other times, as is usually the case with a muscle car, the engine is always noisy, regardless of the velocity. Therefore, many people travel 85mph and hardly know it, especially on straight, open freeways.

That point brings us to the second anachronistic feature of this law. The provisions are internally inconsistent. Some Loudoun County freeways have 70mph speed limits. So, if Mark drove 85mph on such a freeway, he violated subsection ii but not subsection i. Go figure.

Proof Issues

The internal inconsistency could enable a Leesburg criminal defense lawyer to get a super speeder ticket thrown out of court. The charging instrument must refer to the proper subsection. If not, the instrument is invalid and the judge must dismiss the case.

All speeding tickets, including super speeder citations, have proof issues, usually depending on the method the officer used to determine the defendant’s speed:

  • Laser Gun: The most reliable, and rarest, enforcement tool is a hand-held gun that shoots a laser beam at the license plate and registers its speed. Laser devices are very advanced and accurate. They also require extensive, regular maintenance.
  • Radar Gun: These gadgets use radio waves, not radar waves, to register speed. Furthermore, the device shoots an expanding cone of radio waves. So, the gun is very accurate at very short distances. But at long distances, the results prove one vehicle in a cluster of vehicles was speeding. The results don’t prove which one was speeding.
  • Pacing: Quite simply, “pacing” means “guessing.” An officer estimates another vehicle’s speed based on his/her own speed. Pacing a moving vehicle from a stationary position is nearly impossible. Furthermore, some cars, such as muscle cars, sound fast, as mentioned above.

The state must establish speeding beyond any reasonable doubt. This burden of proof is difficult to meet if the officer is inexperienced.

Resolving the Case

The simplest, and most common, resolution in a super speeder case is a reduction to ordinary speeding. The defendant faces fewer consequences, prosecutors put another conviction notch in their belt, and officers don’t have to spend a day off testifying in court. Everybody wins.

Alternatively, pretrial diversion may be available. The defendant must get no more tickets for perhaps three months. The defendant must also complete other program requirements, such as performing community service. After all that, prosecutors dismiss the case.

Rely on a Tough-Minded Loudoun County Lawyer

There’s a big difference between an arrest and a conviction in criminal law. For a free consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney in Leesburg, contact Simms Showers, LLP, Attorneys at Law. The sooner you reach out to us, the sooner we start working for you.

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