What To Do After a West Virginia Speeding Ticket

A speeding ticket in West Virginia can raise your auto insurance rates by an average of 26%. After paying your fine, seeking for rates from other providers can help you save.
Written by Jaya Anandjit
Edited by R.E. Fulton
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West Virginia
speeding tickets carry fines of $100 for first offenses and up to $500 for subsequent offenses. You have the option to plead guilty and pay the fine or plead no contest or not guilty in court. If the ticket goes on your record, your
car insurance
rates will increase by an average of 26%. 

How to deal with your speeding ticket in West Virginia

Step 1: Review the ticket fines and penalties. In West Virginia, speeding is a misdemeanor that carries fines of $100 for first offenses and up to six demerit points depending on the type of speeding offense. 
Step 2: Determine whether you will fight or pay the ticket. Paying your speeding ticket fine signifies an admission of guilt, so you will face points on your driving record and higher insurance rates. Alternatively, you can take your ticket to the magistrate court before the ticket’s due date and plead no contest or not guilty. 
Step 3: Take the steps to save on your car insurance before your next renewal. Your car insurance rates will increase by an average of 26% when your policy is up for renewal. Your best options are to shop around and compare quotes, look into a defensive driving course to score savings, and seek car insurance discounts that can help lower your overall insurance costs. 

How to pay your speeding ticket in West Virginia

Payment methods vary from county to county, but you can typically pay for a speeding ticket in West Virginia using the following methods:
  • Online payment: Visit the West Virginia Judiciary's official website and use their
    online payment system
    to pay your ticket using a credit or debit card.1
  • By mail: Send a check or money order along with the payment citation to the address provided on the ticket.
  • In person: Visit the local court indicated on your citation to make an in-person payment. They will usually accept cash, check, or card payments.
  • Phone payment: Some counties may allow you to make payments over the phone, so check with the local court for this option.
Keep in mind that you have 90 days to pay the fine associated with your West Virginia speeding ticket if you plead guilty or no contest. If you fail to make your payment within 90 days after you receive your ticket, the court will assign you a payment plan with late fees and a judgment lien. 2

How to get your speeding ticket dismissed in West Virginia

If you choose to dispute your ticket in the magistrate court of West Virginia, there are a few effective arguments that may aid in the dismissal of your ticket: 
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Police officer error or defective radar: Law enforcement uses technology like radar and LiDAR to determine speed in West Virginia. If you are able to prove that the technology used to issue your ticket was improperly used or malfunctioning, you may get it dismissed.
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Defective speedometer: If you were speeding without knowledge due to a broken speedometer in your vehicle, your ticket may be dismissed.
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Medical emergencies: Speeding due to a medical emergency may be accepted as a valid reason to dismiss your ticket.
You should avoid arguing that you were unaware of West Virginia’s speeding laws when caught speeding. Whether you are a new citizen, a new West Virginia driver, or driving from out-of-state, it is your responsibility to understand the rules of the road before you get behind the wheel in WV. 
Keep in mind: If you have a
clean driving record
with no previous West Virginia traffic tickets, the likelihood of your ticket getting dismissed is higher.

How to fight a speeding ticket in West Virginia

If you plead not guilty to a speeding ticket in West Virginia, you can expect the following process:
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Notify the court: Submit your not guilty plea to the court before the date on your ticket. You can do so in person or by mail depending on your county.
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Post bail: The court will require you to post bail, which will be returned to you if you win the case.
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Pre-trial hearing: During the pre-trial hearing, you or your traffic ticket lawyer will try to negotiate a plea agreement (e.g. a reduced fine). Keep in mind that you must show up to the pre-trial hearing and all other court dates, otherwise you will receive an automatic guilty verdict and your license will be suspended.
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Trial: If an agreement is not reached at the pre-trial hearing, your trial will begin, and you’ll have a chance to make arguments, present evidence, and interview witnesses.
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Verdict and consequences: If you are found guilty, you will be responsible for the ticket fine, legal fees, and administrative fees. You may also face a loss of driving privileges, enrollment in a defensive driving course, community service, and points added to your driving record depending on the severity of your violation.

What are the fines and penalties for speeding in West Virginia?

West Virginia driving laws highlight two types of speed limits: 
  • Absolute speed limits (or maximum speed limits): Speed limits for school zones, business and residential districts, and on open country highways.
  • Basic speeding law: Speed limits based on existing conditions, such as on railroad crossings, near hazards, on curves, or on hills. 
West Virginia motorists can be ticketed for exceeding absolute speed limits or for violating the basic speeding law. The penalties will be more severe if you were speeding in a protected area, like a school zone or construction zone, or if you were breaking other traffic laws while speeding, like running a red light, DUI, or reckless driving. 3
The penalties are outlined below:4
Speeding violation
Fines
Points
Jail time
First violation within a year
Up to $100
3 to 6
N/A
Second violation within a year
Up to $200
3 to 6
N/A
Third violation within two years for speeding less than 15 mph over the limit
Up to $500
3 to 6
N/A
Third violation within two years for speeding 15 mph or more over the limit
Up to $500
3 to 6
Up to 6 months
School zone violation for speeding less than 15 mph over the limit
$100 to $500
6
N/A
School zone violation for driving 15 mph or more over the limit
$100 to $500 
6
Up to 6 months

Your insurance will go up after a WV speeding ticket—here’s how to lower it

Beyond the initial fines, administrative fees, and potential court costs that result from a speeding ticket, you will also face a car insurance rate hike due to a speeding misdemeanor. In West Virginia, drivers endure an average 26% premium increase after a single speeding ticket. 
Once your fine is paid, it's best to consider some insurance saving hacks that can help you secure a more affordable rate. Here are your top options:

1. Assess your renewal date and compare car insurance quotes

Your car insurance rate will not increase due to a speeding ticket until your next policy renewal date rolls around. First and foremost, you should find out the date of your policy renewal to plan for when your rates will go up. 
When your renewal date comes around, you’ll notice a surcharge on your policy due to your speeding ticket. This surcharge will appear after your insurance provider reviews your updated
motor vehicle report (MVR)
and detects your misdemeanor.
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Once you know your renewal rate, you can begin comparison shopping to evaluate quotes from other providers.
Chances are, you’ll be able to find a lower rate from a company that specializes in high-risk drivers.
To speed up the process, the Jerry app offers personalized auto insurance quotes from various insurance providers within minutes. 
Once you find a policy with a lower rate, be sure to continue comparison shopping on a regular basis. Reshopping for insurance quotes can help you consistently identify opportunities to save, especially as your speeding ticket falls further back on your driving record with time.
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Jerry offers automatic reshops to help you stay up to date with the most affordable car insurance rate for your driver profile.

2. Take a defensive driving course

West Virginia allows drivers to take a defensive driving course to remove up to 3 points from their driving record. By reducing the points on your record, you could avoid a potential license suspension and lower your insurance premiums. 

3. Take advantage of discounts

While you may lose your good driver discount due to a speeding violation on your motor vehicle report, you could save on your car insurance premiums with other discounts. Ask you insurance provider about the following: 
  • Telematics discounts (i.e. tracking your driving)
  • Good student discounts 
  • Paid-in-full discounts
  • Responsible payer discounts
  • Low-mileage discounts

When are insurance companies notified about speeding tickets?

Your insurance provider will be notified that you received a speeding ticket when your policy is up for renewal and they review your motor vehicle report. With this said, your car insurance rate will not go up until your renewal date. 

Cheapest car insurance companies after a speeding ticket in Georgia

Here’s a glance at how major insurance companies typically respond to speeding tickets when a policy is up for renewal:
Insurance company
Average rate increase after a speeding ticket
Allstate
15%
USAA
17%
American Family
22%
Nationwide
26%
State Farm
26%
Farmers
31%
Auto-Owners
36%
Travelers
37%
GEICO
38%
Progressive
43%
While these average rate increases can give you an idea of how much your rate might increase, be aware that each insurance company handles traffic violations differently. If you have an otherwise clean driving record and have loyally renewed your car insurance policy with the same insurer for years, you may see a lower rate hike. Otherwise, if you’ve accumulated a few traffic offenses on your record, your rate will likely increase on the higher side.
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Where’d we get these numbers? To find the average rate increase after a speeding ticket in every state, Jerry’s editorial team researched the average rate increase after a speeding ticket using expert sources from Forbes, NerdWallet, ValuePenguin, WalletHub, Liberty Mutual, The Zebra, and CarInsurance.com. We averaged the rate increase data from these sources and applied it to average rate data derived from thousands of real quotes drivers found through Jerry to determine average premium drivers pay after a speeding ticket in each state.
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FAQs

Will I lose my license if I don’t fight a speeding ticket in West Virginia?

You probably won’t have your license suspended after just one speeding ticket. The West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) uses a
point system
for moving violations, so your license will only be taken away if you accumulate at least 12 points on your driver’s record in two years. A speeding ticket can add three to six points to your record, depending on the severity of the offense.

Should I fight or pay my speeding ticket in WV?

It’s usually recommended that you contest your speeding ticket in West Virginia if you have strong evidence to have it dismissed. If you’re successful, your driving record will stay clean and you’ll save money on insurance.
If you do not have strong evidence to have your ticket dismissed, it's best to pay the fine and avoid the time and money that will result from a court case.

Do I have to go to court for a speeding ticket in West Virginia?

If you choose to plead not guilty for a speeding ticket in West Virginia, you will need to go to court to fight the ticket. Taking the citation to court is typically recommended because if you choose to pay the fine without fighting the ticket, you are pleading guilty and will face fines, a speeding misdemeanor on your driving record, and higher insurance rates. 

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