You might not realize it, but being charged with reckless driving in Virginia is an extremely serious offense. Indeed, Virginia has some of the most stringent speeding and reckless driving laws in the country, and a conviction of reckless driving may result in you having a criminal record. Given the seriousness of reckless driving charges, you should always hire an aggressive Fairfax reckless driving defense attorney as soon as possible to defend you on your case. One of the experienced criminal defense lawyers at our firm can discuss your reckless driving charges with you and the defense strategies that we may be able to use to help you challenge these charges. In the meantime, the following are five things you should know about reckless driving charges in Virginia.
- Reckless Driving is a Criminal Offense
While it is not the same in other states, reckless driving (Code of Va. § 46.2-862) is a criminal offense in Virginia. Indeed, it is a Class 1 misdemeanor (Code of Va. § 18.2-11), and upon conviction a person guilty of reckless driving will be sentenced according to the Class 1 misdemeanor guidelines: that is, up to one year in jail, a $2500 fine, and up to six months loss of one’s driver’s license.
- You Can Be Guilty of Reckless Driving for Speeding
A person can be charged with reckless driving in Virginia for either of the following reasons related to speeding:
- Speeding at 20 miles per hour or more beyond the posted speed limit; and/or
- Speeding in excess of 80 miles per hour regardless of the posted maximum speed limit.
Accordingly, if you are driving at 81 miles per hour on a Virginia highway with a speed limit of 70 miles per hour, you can be charged with the misdemeanor offense of reckless driving.
- Penalties for Reckless Driving Can Include Jail Time
A Class 1 misdemeanor can result in a penalty of up to 12 months in jail. When the speed is over 100 mph many judges will sentence a defendant to jail, and include a loss of license.
- Out of State Drivers Face Reckless Driving Charges in Fairfax Even If They Are Not Virginia Residents
A number of motorists who are charged with reckless driving in or around the Fairfax, Virginia area are not Virginia residents. Some live in Washington, D.C., some live in Maryland, and many live in completely different parts of the country. Even if you are not a Virginia resident, you can still face reckless driving charges in the state of Virginia. You should know that one of the Virginia traffic defense attorneys at our firm can assist with your case regardless of where you currently reside.
- A Criminal Record for a Reckless Driving Conviction Can Have Long Lasting Consequences
In addition to being considered a criminal offense, the Virginia DMV keeps reckless driving convictions on one driver’s record for 11 years. Also, the conviction carries 6 demerit points, the same as a DWI. Finally, unfortunately, Virginia law does not allow for the expungement of reckless driving from one’s record, no matter how much time has passed.
Contact a Virginia Traffic Defense Attorney
If you are facing reckless driving charges, it is extremely important to get in touch with an experienced and aggressive Fairfax reckless driving defense lawyer as soon as possible. Our goal will be to help you beat these charges against you entirely. If that is not possible, however, our Virginia traffic defense attorneys may be able to get your charges reduced so that the offense will no longer result in a criminal record. Do not hesitate to get in touch with our firm to learn more about how we can assist with your defense. Contact Whitestone Young, PC to learn more about the services we provide to clients facing charges in Virginia.