There isn’t anything particularly unique about reckless driving in Virginia Beach. The charge for reckless driving is similar throughout most jurisdictions in Virginia. One distinction statewide, however, is that different judges having slight differences in how they punish offenders.
In Virginia generally, reckless driving is a bit different from other states because other nearby states don’t have reckless driving by speed and someone driving at an excessive speed in those jurisdictions won’t be facing a criminal conviction for it if they’re charged.
Virginia considers driving at an excessive speed as more serious than just a pre-payable traffic infraction: it is a criminal misdemeanor. This obligates the driver to appear in court and face harsh penalties, possible jail time, a criminal record, and the loss of the privilege to drive, therefore making contact with a Virginia Beach reckless driving lawyer important.
Their case will be heard in the Virginia Beach General District Court before a judge. The driver also has the option to appeal the decision made in the General District Court to the Circuit Court after it is heard.
Reckless driving usually before a judge, there is no jury in General District Court. If you appeal the case and request a jury in Circuit Court, then you could have it in front of a jury, however, this is not very common.
Judges take reckless driving charges with the utmost seriousness. Virginia Beach doesn’t have prosecutors on reckless driving cases and instead has the officer who issued the summons appear in court. So, law enforcement officers typically don’t do more than just read their police report and then testify as to the driver’s behavior and demeanor at the scene of the incident.
The officers do not make any recommendation for punishment or question the driver; they just go along with whatever the judges decide. The judge is the one who will typically question the defendant and the judges are not very lenient on these types of cases unless the defendant can show good reason for them to be. It is not unusual for the judges to give someone a jail sentence of thirty days or so with most of it suspended, but a weekend or two of active time.
In the long term, a reckless driving conviction remains on someone’s criminal record forever. There is nothing that can be done about this as convictions can not be expunged and do not go away over time on a criminal record the same way that they would on a driving record.
This can have an effect on future job applications and housing applications and may also affect someone’s ability to qualify for certain security clearances or special licenses. Insurance rates also go up and some insurance companies won’t insure somebody with too many convictions as they are considered high risk drivers.
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