Manassas Reckless Driving Lawyer
Reckless driving in Virginia is whenever someone drives a motor vehicle in a way that recklessly endangers the life, limb, or property of someone, including the driver. The level of endangerment is higher than negligence, which is the standard for civil liability but is lower than intentional conduct.
There are many different statutes and scenarios under which one can be charged with reckless driving in Virginia. The most common scenario is reckless driving by speed, but there are also many other types of common scenarios, including improperly passing a stopped school bus, driving with faulty brakes, and failing to use proper turn signals.
If you are facing reckless driving charges, you should seek the services of an accomplished criminal attorney. A Manassas reckless driving lawyer could fight for you and possibly help you reach a favorable outcome.
Reckless Driving Consequences
All reckless driving offenses are Class 1 misdemeanors in the State of Virginia, which can be punished by up to 12 months in jail, up to a $2,500 fine, and up to six months of license suspension. The vast majority of reckless driving sentences fall nowhere near these maximum ranges, but some cases can approach this severity if they involved particularly dangerous or destructive driving behavior. A reckless driving offense also carries the highest category of negative points towards one’s driving record with the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), and will typically stay on one’s Virginia driving record for 11 years.
If the reckless driver is using a handheld personal communication device at that time, then there is a mandatory $250 fine with any conviction. There will also be a small amount of court costs assessed upon conviction. An individual facing these penalties should get in touch with a reckless driving lawyer in Manassas right away.
How is Reckless Driving Different Than a Speeding Ticket?
A reckless driving charge is a criminal misdemeanor, whereas a speeding ticket is a traffic infraction. Crimes stay on a person’s criminal record forever, but infractions only stay on their driving record for a certain period of years and cannot be punished with jail time or more than $500 in fines. Courts also cannot suspend someone’s license for traffic infractions like they can for reckless driving charges. However, the DMV’s administrative suspension can be applied to both infractions in the form of speeding tickets and reckless driving charges independent of what the court orders as punishment.
Appearing in Court for a Reckless Driving Charge
A person must always appear in court after being charged with reckless driving unless the charge is subsequently reduced to a traffic infraction that does not carry potential jail time, or the court and prosecutor agree to not seek any jail time. It is common for a person to hire an attorney that will appear on their behalf for the first court date to attempt a resolution of the case that does not require the defendant to be present. This is especially appealing if the person does not live near the jurisdiction where they got pulled over.
Role of a Defense Lawyer
A Manassas reckless driving attorney’s role is to reasonably inform and prepare the defendant for the likely outcome of their case and to advocate for the most favorable outcome based on the defendant’s particular goals and circumstances. It is beneficial for the defendant to obtain a seasoned lawyer who could negotiate with the prosecutor and judge and advocate on their behalf.
If the case involves aggravated circumstances, a reckless driving attorney’s role will be to mitigate the potential punishments as much as possible, whether that involves a bench trial, a misdemeanor appeal, or a jury trial.
Contact a Manassas Reckless Driving Attorney
If you have been charged with reckless driving, you should get in touch with a lawyer right away. A dedicated Manassas reckless driving lawyer could fight for you and stand by your side throughout the legal process. A local defense attorney is familiar with these cases and how to litigate them. Call today and set up a consultation.