Fredericksburg Reckless Driving Lawyer
Unlike citations for most moving or traffic violations in Virginia, reckless driving is a criminal offense that is punishable with much more than a fine. It is not possible to pay a ticket to avoid going to traffic court but rather requires that the driver report to the court, in the jurisdiction in which they were charged, and plead guilty, not guilty, or no contest.
If the driver does not plead guilty, they are scheduled for a hearing. Further, unlike traffic court, in the criminal case, the driver has the right to legal counsel and, under some circumstances, may be entitled to have a criminal lawyer appointed. If you are charged with a reckless driving offense in Fredericksburg you should seek out experienced local counsel who can communicate well with you and address your concerns.
In Virginia, driving on any highway in a manner or at a speed that endangers life, limb, or property of the driver or another person constitutes reckless driving. There are multiple driving infractions that meet the threshold of reckless driving. The most common form of reckless driving within the state is reckless driving by speed.
Driving in excess of 80 miles per hour or driving 20 miles per hour or more over the posted speed limit constitutes reckless driving.
In addition to speeding, passing a stopped school bus, failing to yield to the lane that has the right-of-way, and racing also may result in a driver being charged with reckless driving, and in need of a Fredericksburg reckless driving lawyer.
Reckless driving is a Class 1 Misdemeanor in Fredericksburg and throughout Virginia, which is the most serious misdemeanor offense. It is punishable by incarceration for up to one year, fines up to $2,500, or both.
While incarceration is not usually a part of the sentence for the first reckless driving offense, the sentence may be imposed based on the totality of the driver’s driving record. A reckless driving conviction also subjects the driver to administrative penalties. A driver will accrue six points on their driving record that is maintained by the Department of Motor Vehicles and the charge remains on the driver’s record for 11 years.
The driver’s license(s) can also be suspended for up to six months if they are a Virginia resident. They can lose the right to drive in Virginia if licensed by another jurisdiction. The revocation of a driver’s driving privileges in Virginia are reported to the licensing state and that state or jurisdiction will often suspend the driver’s license for the period in which they are legally prohibited from driving in Virginia. For those that are required to travel to Virginia or pass through Virginia for business purposes, this could jeopardize employment, in addition to the criminal and administrative penalties.
Consulting an Attorney
It is always in a driver’s best interest to work with an experienced Fredericksburg reckless driving lawyer after being charged with reckless driving in Virginia. A skilled and knowledgeable attorney will investigate the issues leading to the charge and work to get the driver the best outcome possible, considering both the circumstances of the case and the driver’s driving record. If you have been charged with reckless driving in Virginia, contact an attorney today.