Though most of us have received a parking citation or even a speeding ticket at one time or another, once we have paid the necessary fine, those incidents tend to be quickly forgotten. Though nobody enjoys the financial hit such events represent, there typically are no lasting consequences to the imposition of these fines.
By contrast, individuals who are charged with and convicted of reckless driving in Virginia face a series of potentially serious effects which may catch some by surprise. Reckless driving is considered to be a misdemeanor crime in the Commonwealth, bringing with it possible jail time, hefty fines and the prospective loss of driving privileges.
Clearly, anyone who has been charged with this offense would be well-advised to seek the guidance and advice of a Portsmouth criminal defense lawyer who will work hard to reduce the lasting impact such charges can yield.
As characterized by Virginia Code Section 46.2-852, a motorist can be charged with reckless driving if he or she operates a vehicle in a particular manner or at a speed deemed to endanger the life, limb or even the property of another. Charges can be levied regardless of the posted speed limit in the area at issue.
Law enforcement officers are afforded wide latitude in determining whether to cite a motorist for reckless driving and can do so at any time they believe that the safety of the public is in jeopardy. However, some of the most common circumstances triggering charges of this nature include:
Because reckless driving is a misdemeanor crime rather than an ordinary moving violation, it is important for individuals to realize the potentially severe penalties that follow a conviction. According to Virginia Code Section 46.2-868, reckless driving is categorized as a Class 1 misdemeanor, with potential penalties of up to one year in jail and up to $2,500 in fines. Reckless driving done by someone with a suspended or revoked operator’s license who also causes the death of another is considered a Class 6 felony offense.
Not only will those convicted of reckless driving face the sanctions listed above, they will also likely be given six points on their license by the Department of Motor Vehicles, face possible license suspension, and pay greater amounts for auto insurance going forward.
Furthermore, such individuals will be saddled with a host of other ripple effects, which could include difficulty obtaining or keeping employment, issues with professional licensing boards, a permanent criminal record, and the social stigma criminal convictions inevitably bring.
Though there may be situations in which a Virginia reckless driving attorney can achieve full dismissal or perhaps even a not guilty finding following these types of charges, it is often the case that the best possible scenario involves reducing them to a charge which brings far less serious consequences.
In order to obtain such desirable outcomes, however, the assistance of a Reckless driving attorney in Portsmouth who is well-versed in defending such charges can prove invaluable.
If you have had the misfortune of being charged with reckless driving in Virginia, time is of the essence when it comes to mounting the best possible defense. To begin the process of working towards a favorable result, contact a Portsmouth reckless driving lawyer with our firm today.
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