When a person is facing a traffic infraction in Virginia they may not think it’s a big deal. I mean, everyone gets a ticket at some point in their driving career, right? Not all driving tickets are created equal and one such serious charge is reckless driving. What does reckless driving mean in Virginia?
What is reckless driving?
If a person is facing reckless driving charges in Virginia they should understand what penalties they could be facing. A person can be facing reckless driving if they exceeded the posted speed limit by 20mph or above or if they exceeded 85mph regardless of the posted speed limit. This is a class 1 misdemeanor offense in Virginia and the potential penalties include:
- 6 DMV points
- Fine of up to $2,500
- 6-month license suspension
- Jail sentence of up to 12 months
The best option a person facing reckless driving charges has is to contact an attorney who specializes in criminal defense. An attorney can review the charges their client is facing and offer a defense strategy that makes sense. An attorney can offer defensive strategies such as their client having a good driving record, speedometer reading incorrectly, radar calibration issues, or a legitimate emergency.
How courts look at reckless driving
A traffic court in Virginia has substantial leeway in determining a person’s reckless driving punishment which can be a good thing for a defendant who has a good lawyer. An attorney can have their client’s charges reduced, dismissed or the punishment lessened. A defendant’s charges may be dismissed based on the facts of the case, a prior driving record and attendance at driving school. The charges may also be reduced to improper driving which is just a traffic offense with a maximum fine of $500 and 3 DMV points which are removed from the record after 3 years.
Those who are facing reckless driving charges in Virginia should understand how serious these charges are and what their options may be. An attorney who specializes in criminal defense can help their client understand their legal rights.