Reckless Driving Charges in Prince William County
Reckless driving is a very serious charge, and carries even greater consequences than a speeding ticket. Sometimes, it can be the difference of just one mile that makes what would have been a speeding ticket become reckless driving. A Prince William County reckless driving charge comes with heavy fines, license suspension, and possible jail time. Therefore, it is in your best interests to speak with an experienced attorney so that you can understand all of your options regarding your case if you find yourself charged with reckless driving.
Reckless driving means operating a motor vehicle on a highway in a manner that endangers life, limb or property. The most common type of reckless driving in Prince William County is by speed. Excessive speed reckless driving is when someone is going 20 miles per hour or more over the posted speed limit or 80 miles per hour or more anywhere.
Types of Reckless Driving Charges
In Virginia, there are many ways that reckless driving can be charged, which includes passing a stopped school bus, passing an emergency vehicle with its lights on, driving too fast for the current conditions, drag racing, or driving with faulty brakes. It can even be what they call a general reckless charge, which is almost anything as long as the officer says that you were operating your vehicle in a manner which endangered life, limb or property.
Penalties for These Charges
Someone facing serious traffic charges, such as reckless driving, in Prince William County should make sure that they are well informed about exactly what they are facing. Some of the laws in Virginia can be very confusing and it is not always clear whether someone is charged with just an infraction or a more serious criminal charge. So you should do your best to try to figure out exactly what the consequences and implications of your charges are. The best way to do this is to get an attorney who can help explain your options and opportunities to have these charges reduced or dismissed. Therefore, the first thing you should do is start looking for a good attorney to help you.
Reckless driving is a very serious offense. It is a criminal offense and it is a Class 1 misdemeanor, which means that it is punishable by up to 12 months in jail, a fine of up to $2500 and a license suspension of up to six months. Reckless driving charges include a whole variety of moving violations, one of which is excessive speeding. A Prince William County lawyer can help you understand what this means exactly for you in your own personal situation and can help you build a strong defense to avoid this consequence.
Reckless Driving vs. Speeding Tickets
Reckless driving is different from a speeding ticket because reckless driving is a criminal offense, whereas a speeding ticket is a traffic infraction. The difference between the two is that criminal offenses last forever when you are convicted, and traffic offenses only affect your driving record, which disappears over time. You can tell the difference by looking at your speeding ticket to determine whether it is actually reckless driving or just speeding. There is an area where the officer writes in the charge and if it is reckless driving there will either be an RD next to the speed or simply say reckless. If the charge is speeding, then generally it will have an SP or just say the speed at which you were going over the speed limit.
If you are charged with reckless driving in Prince William County, you are required to go to court, whereas for a speeding ticket, you do not have to appear and you can prepay the fine. For a reckless driving ticket or for a speeding ticket, however, the best thing to do is to go to court so that you have the opportunity to fight the charges and possibly get a better outcome.
Role of a Prince William Reckless Driving Lawyer
The role of an attorney in a reckless driving case is to get you the best results possible for your particular situation. They can do this by presenting evidence in court in your defense and properly cross examining the police officer to try to set reasonable doubt on the allegations against you. There are a number of defenses which an attorney can use to help you in your reckless driving case, such as having your speedometer calibrated or trying to prove that the circumstances which led to your allegedly reckless driving actually were different than what the officer perceived.