Loudoun County reckless driving defense attorneys help people who fall prey to some of the toughest driving laws in the nation. What would merit a simple traffic ticket in some states can lead to a Class 1 misdemeanor charge in Virginia, a criminal offense that is in the same classification as crimes like DUI, marijuana possession, and assault and battery.
Few people realize that they could be considered criminals for actions including failure to yield or speeding, but a reckless driving conviction can leave a person with a criminal record that can complicate present and future opportunities, such as jobs, security clearances or school admissions. If a traffic stop in Loudoun County leads to a misdemeanor criminal charge, contact an experienced Loudoun reckless driving lawyer at once.
Under Virginia law, there are specific actions that are designated as reckless driving, but there is a general provision (§46.2-852) which allows a driver to be charged with reckless driving based upon the subjective determination of the arresting officer. In general, reckless driving is defined as driving in such a way that it endangers “the life, limb, or property of any person.”
The general statute says that reckless driving is “irrespective of the maximum speeds permitted by law.” This means that a person could be accused of reckless driving in Loudoun County even if he or she abides by the posted speed limit.
Under the Code of Virginia, reckless driving by speed can occur in one of three ways: significantly exceeding the posted speed limit by more than 20 miles per hour, driving at speeds greater than 80 miles per hour, and driving too fast for conditions.
§ 46.2-861. Driving too fast for highway and traffic conditions. A person shall be guilty of reckless driving who exceeds a reasonable speed under the circumstances and traffic conditions existing at the time, regardless of any posted speed limit.
§46.2-862. Exceeding speed limit. 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 80 miles per hour regardless of the applicable maximum speed limit.
Weather, road conditions, and traffic conditions may contribute to a charge of driving too fast for conditions. In these cases, an officer may determine that a driver’s speed is unsafe, even if it falls at or below the posted limit.
Exceeding the speed limit is a “crime” that has been committed by nearly every driver. Out-of-state drivers and those who are driving in unfamiliar areas may fail to notice posted signs and may inadvertently exceed the speed limit to such a degree that they find themselves with a criminal charge.
A Loudoun reckless driving lawyer can evaluate your case to present it in the best possible light. In many cases, an attorney can have a reckless driving charge dismissed or reduced from a criminal misdemeanor to a traffic infraction.
In addition to speeding, there are other traffic violations deemed dangerous enough to warrant reckless driving charges. These include:
Not all reckless driving charges stem from overtly aggressive and dangerous driving. Many times, such a charge can result from simple inattention to traffic signals or one’s surroundings. A lack of attention seldom, if ever, carries criminal intent. A Loudoun reckless driving lawyer can help keep you from being treated like a criminal.
As a Class I misdemeanor, reckless driving carries the same potential penalties as other misdemeanor offenses:
In addition, a reckless driving conviction brings administrative DMV penalties:
With effective defense strategies, a traffic attorney may be able to help a driver avoid a reckless driving conviction and its associated penalties.
If you are pulled over for reckless driving in Leesburg, Hamilton, Middleburg, Purcellville, Bluemont, Lovettsville, Landsdowne or Hillsboro, you will likely appear before a judge at the Loudoun General District Court, located at 18 East Market Street in Leesburg. In some cases, your Loudoun reckless driving attorney may be empowered to appear on your behalf, saving you the time and hassle of a court appearance. To find a Loudoun reckless driving lawyer for your defense, call Karin Riley Porter Attorney at Law.
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