Parks Zeigler Experienced Reckless Driving Attorneys in Virginia
If you have recently been charged with a reckless driving offense, you may be wondering how different it is from a simple speeding ticket. Contrary to popular belief, reckless driving is not considered a moving traffic violation in Virginia; it is a criminal offense with tough consequences. It’s an offense that can build a criminal record for the driver.
Because the Hampton Roads area is a hotspot for vacationing and tourism, highways and other roadways are heavily patrolled by law enforcement looking out for reckless driving. As soon as you are charged with reckless driving, it’s crucial you connect with an experienced Virginia reckless driving attorney to help you through the sticky process of a reckless driving charge.
What is reckless driving?
The reckless driving policy in the Code of Virginia is as such:
“Irrespective of the maximum speeds permitted by law, any person who drives a vehicle on any highway recklessly or at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger the life, limb, or property of any person shall be guilty of reckless driving.”
Reckless driving is defined under Virginia law as driving in a way that endangers yourself, others, or property. Excessive speeding is a common example of reckless driving. If you are driving 20 miles per hour above the speed limit, or above 85 miles per hour regardless of the speed limit, you could be charged with reckless driving by speed.
Though the law clearly states what is considered to be reckless driving, whether or not your ticket will be a reckless driving offense or not is ultimately up to the police officer that stopped you. There are several different behaviors that could be classified as reckless driving, which is why seasoned legal counsel is a must if you find yourself in this situation.
What is considered to be reckless driving in Virginia?
Behaviors that are considered to be reckless in Virginia are (but are not limited to):
- Failing to yield right-of-way
- Failing to give proper signals
- Passing a stopped school bus
If you were ticketed with reckless driving but you feel like you were wrongly accused, contact the traffic violation attorneys at Parks Zeigler for the strong legal representation you need in your case.
What to expect in your reckless driving case
The first thing to understand in your reckless driving case is that you must appear in court, and this charge will appear on your criminal record. Failure to appear in court may result in a fine or even jail time, but your attorney may be able to appear in court on your behalf. You can expect a hearing (officer testifies, you testify, judge decides penalty). The next step would be to address the fine you are required to pay and pay the court costs. Additionally, the DMV will assess 6 demerit points on your license.
Consequences of a reckless driving charge
Because reckless driving is a criminal charge, there are more consequences than a traffic violation. Reckless driving punishments are similar to those of DUI/DWI consequences in Virginia. Reckless driving is considered to be a Class 1 Misdemeanor; under Virginia law you can by punished by up to 1 year in jail, or a fine up to $2,500. Additionally, you may face a driver’s license suspension up to six months.
Due to the seriousness of the charge, enhanced penalties may be assigned for certain situations like if death or injury resulted from the reckless driving, or if there were subsequent offenses. In some counties in Virginia, you could spend a day or more in jail based on the level of your offense.
How an experienced reckless driving attorney can help you
It’s a common misconception that you can just pay a reckless driving ticket off over the phone or online like you would with a regular speeding ticket. As stated above, this isn’t the case with reckless driving. You cannot pre-pay reckless driving citations in Virginia; you must appear in court. Because of your required court date, you truly do need an attorney to help you understand the consequences you will face and find defenses for you in the courtroom. Additionally, a dependable attorney may be able to attend your court date on your behalf and save you the trouble of physically appearing in court.
Since reckless driving is considered a criminal offense in Virginia, there are long-term consequences that will occur that will impact your criminal record. Regardless of your case’s circumstances, you do not have to plead guilty; it’s in your best interest to prepare for your trial with a trusted attorney to ensure your case is in the best hands possible. This is especially important if you are not a Virginia resident—you need legal counsel that is experienced in the Virginia jurisdiction.
Contact Us Today
If you or a loved one have been recently charged with reckless driving, the experienced attorneys at Parks Zeigler can advise you regarding the legal process you will face in the coming weeks. Call 888-691-9319 or fill out this short form today.