Your Virginia Legal Team

Factors Impacting Fairfax Reckless Driving Charges

Reckless driving is a serious charge in Fairfax that could have a significant legal and financial impact on a person. Individuals that are facing such a charge may need to understand all the factors impacting Fairfax reckless driving charges by speaking with an experienced attorney before proceeding with their case. Contacting a Fairfax attorney could be crucial to building a strong defense.

What is Speedometer Calibration?

The speedometer is a word that is surrounded by a certain amount of confusion for many people. Speedometers are located inside a vehicle while the LIDAR and the radar are used by a police officer to detect the speed of a car. If the driver’s speedometer is not correctly calibrated, they may have no idea how fast they are going.

If a driver was going 80 miles an hour but their speedometer only showed 70 or 75, they would typically need to prove this in court. To do so, a person cannot simply say that their speedometer was not working. They have to have proof from an independent mechanic who can appear for them in court. The person must show the car’s calibration, how it was working, how it was supposed to work, and the difference.

Where to Get a Speedometer Calibrated

The price of calibrating a speedometer typically varies depending on the local mechanic charges. If a person goes to Toyota, Mazda, or other big name dealerships, it may likely be more expensive since dealerships generally charge more money than the local mechanic down the street. Individuals are recommended to look at a mechanic and look for a mechanic shop they trust and believe will do a good job on their car. It may cost a few hundred dollars to check a speedometer. If a driver believes they have a problem with their speedometer, it is worth every penny they pay to get it checked.

Cases of Malfunctioning Speedometers

There is no code that automatically absolves a person of fault if their speedometer is not working. While it could be a defense if a speedometer is showing 70 mph and a person was going 80 mph, it could be a legal problem if the speedometer shows 85 mph and they were going 90 mph.

If the speedometer is showing less than the speed that a person was going, or if it is showing 80 mph and someone was actually going that speed, it does not necessarily mean that it is a complete reprieve to their reckless driving by speed charge. However, it could be a mitigating factor. Individuals should note that this is not a be-all, end-all, and it is certainly not a mitigating factor if the problem occurred after the incident or long before the incident. If the driver knew about it and they already had proof or reason to believe that this was a problem before they were driving that day, it is not a defense. If anything, the court will look at it as worse.

Drivers should constantly check their speedometer, conduct their annual review and an oil change, and get some form of a regular review of their car by a mechanic. It is worth checking it before they get stopped and have to pay a lot of money for lawyers or court costs. It is harder to come back from that kind of issue than it is to fix it before it becomes an issue.

Facing Reckless Driving Charges as an Out-of-State Driver

A reckless driving charge for out-of-State drivers is still a Class 1 misdemeanor that carries up to a year in jail and a potential $2,500-fine. However, there is a significant practical difference between out-of-state and in-state drivers. Given that it is a Class 1 misdemeanor, both out-of-State and in-State individuals must appear in court. It is one of the offenses they have to go to court for and they have to defend. Even if the case ends up getting dismissed, it does not matter. They have to be there when it happens, and the judge needs to see their face.

They cannot pre-pay it or call the court and tell them they are not coming. If a person fails to appear in court, the judge may enter a bench warrant for their arrest to ensure they come to court. This could cause a great deal of inconvenience to out-of-state residents. They will likely face an extra expense to simply for traveling.

It is the same Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by $2,500 or up to a year in jail. Accused individuals should contact a Virginia attorney. It is not advisable to contact one from the local jurisdiction in another state since they may not be as familiar with the local laws. As an example, while a Maryland attorney may not be as concerned about reckless driving since it is not as big of a concern there, a Virginia attorney could explain that reckless driving is as serious as a DUI in the State.

It should be noted that being unaware of Fairfax’s traffic laws does not count as a defense. The courts hold very strictly to their laws, and it does not matter whether a person knew them or not. The person has a driving license, they were driving, and because of that, they should know the driving rules.

How Fairfax County Treats Speeding

All Virginian jurisdictions, including Fairfax, treat speeding in the same way. By code, every city and county has the same rules and regulations. The only difference between Fairfax County and other counties would be how they are handled in the courts themselves. When a person appears in a Fairfax County court, the local judges have a normal way of proceeding while the local prosecutors have normal ways they present a plea offer.

Courts could be more lenient than in other jurisdictions where they are more likely to dismiss a lot of reckless driving cases, or they are more likely to reduce reckless driving cases down to speeding as an alternative. There is no way to really know unless an individual is commonly and constantly working in those jurisdictions. Drivers may benefit from asking an attorney who is familiar with the jurisdiction for help and to let them know what the likely outcome will be.

Advise for Out-of-State Drivers Who Recieve Speeding Tickets

Before paying the tickets, out-of-State drivers should call an attorney from Fairfax. Even if it is just a consultation, drivers should consult an attorney who knows what code section the person has been charged with, what type of driving is involved with it, whether it is a pre-payable fine, or whether it is something the person wants to go to court for. Hiring an attorney quickly could help prevent other unfortunate things from happening to them even more than just getting a ticket. Legal help in the form of a Fairfax reckless driving attorney could be a crucial factor impacting how a person fights such charges.

Main Things Every Out-of-State Driver Should Know About Speeding Tickets

The beltway, which is an important factor impacting Fairfax reckless driving charges, makes it very easy to get a ticket in Fairfax. I-495, 95, and 270 are classic driving roads around Alexandria. Fairfax goes into all of these networks and there is always an exit where a driver could be pulled over.

In Fairfax County, a person is not always driving the back roads. They are often driving on one of the interstates, the thoroughfares, or the highways, and everyone’s biggest inclination is to drive with the flow of traffic. While it may not be true for every driver, many people charged with reckless driving by speed claim they were going with the flow of traffic and that everyone around them was driving at the same speed.

It does not matter how fast other drivers were going. An individual has to take into account their own driving, and if other vehicles were moving at 85 miles an hour, they need to stay in the right lane driving at the posted speed limit. This is often one of the hardest things for I-495 drivers to do. While they may not wish to stick to the posted speed limit if no one else is, they might likely find themselves in danger of a reckless driving ticket.

An Attorney Could Fight Reckless Driving Charge in Fairfax

While any attorney could give general descriptions of a defense strategy, a Virginia attorney could be aware of the very specific nature and elements of the charge of reckless driving in Virginia as a Class 1 misdemeanor. They know that this is more serious and requires more substantial proof beyond a reasonable doubt. The charge needs to be defended as if it is a DUI, theft, or anything else that most people normally think of as “a crime”. The attorney in Virginia could know what to look for, where to go, where to get it, what to tell the accused to get and how to advise them on defending the case.

Could a Lawyer go to Court on a Defendant’s Behalf?

An attorney may go to court in a defendant’s place only under limited circumstances and only with permission by the court. This could be done if the attorney is able to write to the court beforehand and make a motion asking the court to excuse a defendant’s presence and to have them appear on their behalf. The request must be granted by the court. An attorney cannot simply appear in court without the accused if they do not have approval

It is more likely to be excused if the case is being dropped or dismissed than if a person is actually being found guilty or doing a plea. Defendants may need to note that a lawyer’s presence is required if they are doing a plea or they are being found guilty. This is especially true for a plea since the attorney must make the plea to whatever the charge is that the accused is convicted of. It has to be knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily waived. The court would not have this information unless a lawyer is there in court to say that it is.

Contact Local Counsel When Facing Fairfax Reckless Drivin Charges

The sooner a person contacts a local reckless driving attorney, the better it may be for them, since their counsel needs to start their defense immediately. An attorney could help an out-of-state resident find a way to get their absence excused. This process must be done by order of the court. The lawyer must consider these options immediately before the person simply shows up to court without any advice, driver improvement program, transcript, or anything else that they may need to help themselves. It is typically not a good idea for out-of-State individuals to appear in court without an in-State attorney. Contact an attorney that is familiar with all of the important factors impacting Fairfax reckless driving charges today.

Contact Us

Do not send us confidential information related to you or your company until you speak with one of our attorneys and get authorization to send that information to us.

Copyright 2020 Virginia Criminal Lawyer. All rights reserved. Disclaimer/Privacy Policy