Criminal Speeding Violations in DC
In case you aren’t aware (like most Washington, DC drivers) the speed limit throughout the District is 25mph unless otherwise posted. There are some places like parts of Connecticut Avenue NW where they increase the limit to a blindingly fast 30mph, but for the most part, 25mph is the limit. The police seem aware that if you actually traveled that speed in the K street tunnel or over the Calvert street bridge, you would probably be rear-ended by every car, bus, and truck behind you. It is for this reason that they often pull over drivers for speeding at these locations and other like them.
If the police write a ticket for speeding in excess of 30 miles over the posted limit, this is actually the misdemeanor crime of speeding rather than a standard civil infraction. The driver will be required to go to the traffic division of the DC Superior Court and be arraigned on charges. This does not mean that all hope is lost. A strong defense may lead to the charges being dismissed or reducing the speed to a level that is a civil infraction rather than a DC crime. One way a DC traffic violations lawyer can assist you is by questioning the cops on both the laboratory and on-site calibration of the radar or laser/LIDAR device used to record your speed. There are also issues of operator error that can often be raised if suggested by the facts at hand. The purpose of a radar or laser gun to confirm an officer’s independent judgment, not replace his or her own observation as sometimes happens.
Please note this is general information and may not apply to your specific situation.