Do I Need a Lawyer for Reckless Driving in Virginia?
If you are charged with a reckless driving ticket, you should immediately contact a reckless driving lawyer in Virginia. He/she will guide you in mitigating the hefty fines.
Understanding Reckless Driving in Virginia
If you are charged with a reckless driving ticket, you should immediately contact an experienced Virginia's reckless driving lawyer who can guide you in mitigating the hefty fines. In Virginia, reckless driving is a serious and sensitive issue. The drivers in Virginia are penalized for their careless act or they are even rewarded in terms of positive points. Virginia is known for being the 6th strictest state in the United States, the law enforcement authorities claim that this is to ensure road safety in Virginia. According to Virginia code section 46.2-852, reckless driving is defined as:
“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.”
What Are the Acts of Driving which Are Deemed as Reckless Driving in Virginia?
There are almost 14 reckless driving acts punishable by the law enforcement authorities, however, the most commonly convicted acts are:
1. Reckless driving by exceeding the speed limit:
a. There is a difference between getting a simple speeding ticket or a reckless driving ticket for speeding. In Virginia, the drivers are not allowed to go beyond the absolute speed limit and they even have to maintain the speed according to the traffic conditions irrespective of the speed limit. If they are found violating this law, they are handed over a speeding ticket. However, if they are found violating the speed limit with a huge difference and recklessly driving their vehicles, they are given a reckless driving ticket.
As per the law of Virginia code, section 46.2 – 862:
“A person shall be guilty of reckless driving who drives a motor vehicle on the highways in the Commonwealth (i) at a speed of twenty miles per hour or more in excess of the applicable maximum speed limit or (ii) in excess of eighty miles per hour regardless of the applicable maximum speed limit”
2. Reckless driving, generally:
a. Apart from reckless driving by exceeding the speed limit, the court even forbids to drive in a manner which can endanger the life of any person or which can cause any damage to a public or private property.
What are the penalties for reckless driving in Virginia?
As reckless driving is treated as a criminal offense and is categorized as class 1 misdemeanor, the penalties differ with the level of criminal offense. The common penalties for reckless driving in Virginia are:
1. Hefty Fines of maximum $2500 along with the court’s fee
2. Maximum 6 Demerit points in your driving records
3. Suspension of the driving license for a period of 6 months
4. Imprisonment for a maximum period of 12 months
Long-term disadvantages of reckless driving:
1. Hiked insurance premiums due to demerit points
2. Permeant record of committing a criminal offense
3. Record of demerit points and reckless driving ticket in the driving license for a maximum period of 11 years
4. Loss of job in case of imprisonment
5. Dependency on public mode of transport in case of suspension of license
How Can a Lawyer Help in Mitigating These Charges?
Contacting an experienced lawyer should be the very first step of every individual dealing with a reckless driving ticket. As Virginia judges and prosecutors are very harsh with all the offenders, only an experienced lawyer can help you in adopting defensive strategies to mitigate the reckless driving penalties.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Atchuthan Sriskandarajah
Mr. Sris has defended numerous clients charged with this offense. He is a former prosecutor and has over 20 years of experience.
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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.