The legal aspects of reckless driving in Virginia are complicated. A conviction could lead to jail time, thousands of dollars in fines, and a suspension of your driver’s license. It could also have employment consequences and negatively affect your insurance rates.
SS 46.2-853 defines reckless driving as “driving a vehicle on any highway recklessly or at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger the life, limb, or property of another person.” Reckless driving is considered a Class 1 misdemeanor offense.
Speed alone can prove a violation of the reckless driving law
Unlike a speeding ticket, which is typically just a traffic infraction, reckless driving charges are considered criminal offenses. That is why it is important to hire an experienced Virginia reckless driving lawyer as soon as possible after receiving a reckless driving citation.
There are several ways that your attorney can help you get a reduction in the charge or even have it dismissed. One way is to show the court that you have a clean record of driving. Another is to take a driver improvement or driver education course. This can help your case a great deal.
You can also try to have the case reduced from reckless driving to improper driving. This is a less serious traffic infraction than a reckless driving conviction and only results in three demerit points instead of six. The other advantage is that the traffic infraction does not stay on your record for 11 years like a reckless driving conviction.
Speeding is a common element of many reckless driving cases
If you have received a speeding ticket or other traffic violation in Virginia, there are steps you can take to improve your chances of having the charge reduced or dismissed. Obtaining a copy of your driving record and providing it to your Virginia reckless driving attorney before your court date may help strengthen your case. Taking a driver improvement or driver education course may also help. Also, getting your vehicle’s speedometer checked or calibrated could also be beneficial.
In Virginia, it is a crime to drive at any speed that endangers life, limb or property. If the officer can show, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you were going too fast for the current road and weather conditions, then you could be convicted of reckless driving.
The penalties for a reckless driving conviction in Virginia are severe, including large fines, jail sentences and increased insurance rates. These consequences also apply to out-of-state drivers. However, it is possible to petition the court for a restricted license so you can continue driving to work or other essential locations.
Speeding is not the only element of a reckless driving case
A reckless driving conviction is a much more severe offense than a normal traffic violation. In order for an officer to charge you with this crime, he has to have enough evidence to prove that your driving was dangerous and that it presented a risk to life, limb, or property. He also has to show in court that you committed the act and that you knew it was dangerous.
If you are charged with reckless driving, the first step in your defense is to hire a Virginia reckless driving attorney. They can help you fight the charges and possibly get them dismissed.
Many people are surprised to learn that reckless driving is a criminal offense and not simply a traffic infraction. It is a serious crime that can result in jail time, high fines, driver’s license suspension, and a permanent criminal record. There are several ways you could be charged with this offense including speeding, causing or nearly causing an accident, driving over 80 mph, and more.
Speeding is not a defense to a reckless driving charge
If you get a reckless driving charge in Virginia, it goes on your criminal record, which can affect background checks, employment, housing and other things. A first-time offender gets special consideration from prosecutors, but subsequent offenses may trigger stiffer penalties.
Reckless driving is a misdemeanor crime that can be punished by jail, fines, license suspension and demerit points. It covers driving that endangers a person’s life, limb or property regardless of whether it is the legal speed limit, and also includes driving too fast for traffic conditions.
A skilled VA reckless driving defense attorney can try to have the charges reduced to improper driving. The case would still show up on your criminal record, but you’ll only receive three demerit points and the conviction will not stay on your record for as long as a reckless driving conviction does. Your Virginia reckless driving lawyer can also try to have the evidence relating to your speed checked or calibrated, such as a faulty speedometer.