Reckless driving is one of the most misunderstood and underestimated criminal charges in Virginia. This confusion arises because most states in the country treat excessive speed as a simple traffic infraction. Therefore, most drivers assume the same principle applies in Virginia. However, that is not the case. Driving at certain speeds as well as other aggressive driving behaviors can lead to reckless driving charges in Virginia. The law enforcement officers are very strict when it comes to traffic violations. Some acts that might appear small or minor can easily land one in jail. Reckless driving is considered as a Class 1 misdemeanor offense in Virginia. You will, therefore, be facing criminal charges. A conviction from these charges carries heavy fines, loss of driving privileges and a possible jail term. Also, a conviction will also leave you with a permanent criminal record, which can have devastating effects on your future. It is therefore important to understand these charges as well as the potential outcomes, by contacting Richmond VA reckless driving lawyers. If you are facing reckless driving charges in Richmond County following a traffic stop, contact our criminal defense attorneys today to help you in fighting these charges. With Virginia having some of the toughest traffic laws in the nation, you can easily find yourself in jail for engaging in aggressive driving behaviors. As you probably know, reckless driving is not like a speeding ticket, which you can pre-pay via mail, and it disappears. Instead, it comes with the possibility of a criminal conviction, which can jeopardize your future opportunities. Don’t wait until you have appeared in court to start looking for a reckless driving lawyer. It might be too late by then. Talk to us immediately so that we can start working on a strong defense strategy for your case.
Reckless Driving in Richmond VA
In Virginia, you can be charged with reckless driving for violating various traffic rules. Most of these violations would be considered as traffic infractions in other states. However, the Commonwealth of Virginia takes reckless driving charges seriously. A conviction carries some of the harshest penalties you will ever come across in the country. Whether you are a resident or non-resident, the penalties are the same. In fact, if you are a non-resident, you will be required to be coming to attend the hearings in the Jurisdiction where you were arrested. Here are some of the traffic violations that are considered as reckless driving in Richmond, Virginia.
Causing an Accident
Reckless driving by accident is in the category of general reckless driving. It refers to any dangerous driving behavior that endangers life, limb or property. When you have been charged during an accident, the officer alleges that the accident occurred due to your reckless driving behavior. If you have been charged with reckless driving by accident, you need to retain consult Richmond VA reckless driving lawyers right away. In Virginia, there is a case law stating that the mere occurrence of an accident does not prove that you were driving recklessly. Therefore, with the help of an accomplished lawyer, you can argue that your driving behavior didn’t result in reckless driving. You reckless driving attorney can also cross-examine the witnesses and the police officer. The outcome of this case mostly depends on the cross-examination as well as the officer’s testimony. As you can see, it is almost impossible to defend yourself especially if you don’t have legal knowledge, since you might not know the questions to ask during the cross-examination. Failure to ask the right questions is equivalent to throwing away your opportunity of winning the case. A collision can also occur when both drivers are trying to avoid something on the road. However, to prove your innocence and avoid a conviction, you need to hire an experienced attorney who has tried similar cases before.
Reckless Driving by Speed
You can be charged with reckless driving by speed for exceeding the posted speed limit. Driving at 20 mph over the posted speed limit or speeding at 80 mph regardless of the posted speed limit amounts to reckless driving. Reckless driving by speed is also a Class 1 misdemeanor offense, which carries the same penalties as other offenses in that class. You also need to note that reckless driving by speed is different from a speeding ticket. If you are driving at 19 mph and below over the posted speed limit, then you will be given a speeding ticket. You can then pre-pay the speeding ticket by mailing the fine. You don’t have to appear in court to answer the charges. Reckless driving, on the other hand, is a criminal offense. You have to appear in court or hire an attorney to represent you during the trial. If you are an out-of-state driver, then you should hire a local reckless driving attorney to represent you. Once you hire Richmond VA reckless driving lawyers, you will not have to travel from your home county to Virginia to attend the hearing, thus saving yourself time and money.
Reckless Driving for Failing to Maintain Control
Apart from speed, you can also be charged with reckless driving for driving a vehicle that is not in proper control or one with faulty brakes. For example, you might swerve on the road while trying to avoid hitting an obstacle or your brake lights may fail to lead to an accident. In such situations, you will be charged with reckless driving for failing to maintain control. When you have been charged, you need to consult a reckless driving attorney immediately. Reckless driving by faulty brakes or failing to maintain control is very common in bad weather. You might leave home when the weather is fine, only for it to change drastically along the way. If you had not adjusted your brakes accordingly, then you might lose control of your vehicle, leading to an accident. As your Richmond VA reckless driving lawyers, we will defend you against these charges and try to prove to the court that you indeed take your vehicle for regular maintenance and repairs, and it was not your fault.
Penalties for Reckless Driving
The penalties for reckless driving range from fines, jail term, and suspension or loss of driving privileges. You will also accumulate demerit points against your driving record. The maximum fine imposed on Class 1 misdemeanor offenses is usually $2,500. However, it is rare to receive the maximum penalty. If it was a case of reckless driving by speed, most courts use the mph exceeded to determine the applicable fine. There is also the possibility of spending time in jail, for up to 12 months. If your charges are upgraded from Class 1 misdemeanor to Class 6 felony charges, then you can spend up to 5 years in jail. A conviction also carries a suspension of driving privileges, for at least six months. The impact on CDL holders is even greater. If you are convicted of reckless driving, then you can be disqualified from being a CDL holder. CDL holders who receive two convictions within three years end up with a disqualification of 60 days. Once your driving license is suspended, it is illegal to drive or operate a commercial vehicle. As you can see, a conviction can seriously affect your livelihood as a commercial driver. Also, a conviction carries a permanent criminal record. Most institutions conduct a background check before offering an opportunity. If your criminal background comes up, then the chances are high that you will not get that opportunity.
Experienced Reckless Driving Attorneys
Despite a common misunderstanding, reckless driving is treated as a criminal offense in Virginia. It carries the same penalties as driving under the influence, theft, and assault, among other serious crimes. If you are facing these serious criminal charges, our Richmond VA reckless driving lawyers can help you navigate the complex judicial process. What starts as a routine traffic stop can quickly escalate into reckless driving charges. As noted earlier, reckless driving is a criminal offense in Virginia. Apart from the legal penalties, you will also suffer from untold repercussions as well as lasting consequences in your life. A reckless driving attorney can help you understand what you are up against and protect your interests throughout the process. Having our reckless driving attorneys by your side can help ease your anxiety, stress, and fears. With our experienced legal professionals by your side, you give yourself a better chance of fighting these serious charges. Having represented numerous clients facing reckless driving charges in the local courts, we understand the system can be quite overwhelming, especially if you have never been in that situation before. However, our reckless driving lawyers will make sure you are thoroughly informed of everything that is going on in your case. We always consult our clients to ensure they are comfortable with whichever course of action that we seek to pursue. We don’t just argue on your behalf. Instead, we will ensure your rights are protected during the trial.
Why Joyner Law PLLC
A reckless driving case can leave you with a permanent criminal record. It also stays on your driving record for at least 11 years. The good news is that our Richmond VA reckless driving lawyers can help you to avoid this situation as well as the penalties that come with conviction. Whether we are pursuing a favorable plea agreement or we are challenging the evidence presented in court, we will always be working in your best interests. Some attorneys may advise you to plead guilty to the case since they don’t want to go the extra mile to defend your rights. At Joyner Law PLLC, we believe that you are innocent until proven guilty. When defending clients facing reckless driving and other criminal offenses, our main aim is to have the charges dismissed. If that is not possible, then we will explore other alternatives, which can give you a positive outcome, based on the circumstances.
We offer a free, no-obligation initial consultation to help you in this complex process. During that appointment, we will evaluate the case, the evidence gathered, and the circumstances that led to your arrest. We will also explore the possible outcomes in the case. Our attorneys will explain to you how our firm can help, and what you need to do as a client during the case. As your legal representatives, you can rest assured that we are not doing this for the money or as a means to boost our reputation. Instead, our clients come first. We will treat your case with the seriousness it deserves as if we are representing a colleague, friend or family. The moment you walk in through our doors, you immediately become our family – and we don’t abandon the family. As much as we can’t guarantee results or any outcome, we can promise to use all our resources, skills, expertise and experience to present a strong defense strategy during the case. We are determined to secure a positive conclusion in your case. At Joyner Law PLLC, we believe that you deserve the best legal representation and we are ready to offer that and even more. We will only rest when we are sure that you are happy with the results in your case.
Contact Us Today
When you have been charged with a serious offense like reckless driving, you need to act fast to make sure you are prepared by the time you are arraigned in court. Most people lose cases due to unpreparedness. When it comes to a Class 1 misdemeanor offense, you need to have the best legal team by your side, to give yourself a better chance of fighting these charges. Even if you are yet to be formally charged, it doesn’t hurt to contact us. The sooner we start working on your case, the more time we have to come up with a formidable defense strategy. Don’t let reckless driving charges give you sleepless nights or leave you with anxiety. We are here to help you and ensure you can navigate the criminal justice system with ease. As you already know, a conviction can land you in jail or lead to suspension of your driving privileges. Secure legal representation today by contacting Joyner Law PLLC.