You might be surprised to discover that in addition to the $6/mile fine for each mile over the posted limit you’ll pay for a Virginia speeding ticket you’ll also face a hefty administrative fee that can make an expensive ticket even more painful. Those fees can stack up to more than $60. In this day and age of instant electronic transactions, one has to wonder where money goes. That’s exactly what Roanoake Times columnist, Dan Casey decided to figure out.
Puzzling it out meant a call to the Virginia Supreme Court. Casey asked exactly what went into those “processing fees” that add up to more than someone making minimum wage earns in a day. Turns out the “process” isn’t much more than opening the payment envelope and depositing the check. Why so expensive? According to Paul DeLosh, the Virginia Supreme Court’s director of judicial services the fees are mandated by the Virginia legal code.
Now you’re getting the picture. About 16 years ago the Virginia General Assembly established the processing fee, which has increased in cost over the years and had additional fees added as time went on. According to Casey, here’s how the current $66 fee breaks down by the actual parts of the ticket paying process:
Of the total, $39 is for the clerk to open the envelope and so on. But speeders or other drivers nabbed by police are also getting nicked:
- $3 for the Virginia Crime Victim-Witness Fund;
- $1 for the Regional Criminal Justice Training Academies Fund;
- $2 for the Courthouse Construction/Maintenance Fund;
- $4 for the Intensified Drug Enforcement Jurisdiction Fund;
- $2 for the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Victim Fund.
That’s $51 so far but the fees aren’t over. According to Casey there is a separate state law that allows for a “local option” fee, which for folks in Roanoke County adds another $15 for a grand total of $66 in “processing fees” on traffic tickets. By contrast in Fairfax County we get off a little easier with a processing fee of only $62 for traffic violations.
I highly encourage you to check out Mr. Casey’s full column at Roanoke.com as this post has barely hit the highlights of his adventure in Virginia’s state bureaucracy.
I’d also be remiss if I didn’t mention that if you find yourself on the wrong side of speeding ticket or reckless driving charge, we can help. In particular, reckless driving is a serious charge in Virginia requiring a court appearance. We’ve helped thousands of people in Northern Virginia get these charges reduced and I know that we can help you too.
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