In Virginia, reckless driving is not a simple traffic ticket. Instead, it is a Class 1 misdemeanor which makes it a criminal offense. As such, it is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $ 2,500. Also, a reckless driving conviction adds six DMV demerit points to your driving record. Reckless driving is considered a criminal charge, so you may need to hire a reckless driving lawyer to help you fight these charges.
What is Reckless Driving?
Reckless driving is defined as driving a vehicle in a way that endangers the life or property of others. But as any reckless driving Lawyer can tell you, the most significant difficulty in cases of reckless driving sometimes from the ambiguity of what actions are considered dangerous. This ambiguity is a consequence not only of the vague definition of reckless driving but of the wide latitude of discretion given to the application of the law in determining whether someone’s actions constitute reckless driving. In fact, if someone’s driving is considered “reckless” it is almost entirely depending on the area in which they are delivered and the officer who threw them.
Despite the elusiveness or ambiguity of its definition, some actions are categorically considered “imprudent” under the Code of Virginia § 46.2-852, including:
Drive 20 mph over the speed limit or drive over 80 mph;
Fast weaving through traffic;
Do not give in to an emergency vehicle.
For a more detailed discussion of the different ways in which a person can be accused of reckless driving and the possible defenses of every form of reckless driving “Defenses to Reckless Driving in Virginia.”
How a Reckless Driving Lawyer Can Help
When someone is penalized for a traffic infraction, they can solely pay the ticket without having to appear in court. With reckless driving, however, you are being charged with a misdemeanor crime. As such, your most prudent move would be to consult with a reckless Driving lawyer as soon as possible. When you contact a reckless driving lawyer, they will take some of the following steps to help fight the charges:
You will obtain your driving record to determine your driving history. If your reckless driving lawyer determines that your driving record is relatively clean, you can make a better argument to the prosecutor that charging you with a crime for an uncharacteristic mistake would not be in anyone’s best interest.
Your reckless Driving Lawyer can ask you to enroll in a driver improvement course as a precautionary measure to not only mitigate potential points off your license but to show the prosecutor and the court that you are taking active steps to correct the mistakes.
Your lawyer can also suggest that you have your car checked by a mechanic to determine if your speedometer is inaccurate. Any reckless driving lawyer will tell you that if your speedometer was even vaguely incorrect, it could very well turn a reckless criminal driving charge into a simple and minor traffic offense.
Finally, your reckless Lawyer driving lawyer will try to obtain calibration records for the radar that measured your speed. If the device has not been recently used or has not been correctly checked, that alone justifies the court dismissing the charge of reckless driving.
Consequences of Conviction through Reckless Driving
The conviction for reckless driving is a Class 1 misdemeanor that carries a punishment of up to one year in jail. The reality is that people are almost never sentenced to more than a few days, if any, in prison. However, Virginia has shown a clear commitment to punish those who violate their laws of reckless driving.
Although a short jail sentence is likely to be the small penalty a person will receive after being convicted of a simple reckless driving charge, it is essential to hire a reckless driving lawyer not just to keep him out of jail, but to avoid a conviction to remain in your file. What many people do not understand is that a reckless driving conviction can stop on their record for 11 years. Similarly, depending on the behavior that formed the basis of the careless driving load, you could have your license suspended from anywhere between 10 days and three years. During that time, a conviction for reckless driving and suspension of the license may very well interfere with your ability to get a good job or to receive a reasonable rate for motorist insurance. And the younger a person is, the more likely that conviction causes these kinds of problems. To be sure, there have even been cases in which a person was denied a license to practice law in Virginia because of his driving record.