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Virginia Reckless Driving Charges

In Virginia, reckless driving is taken extremely seriously and can carry severe consequences. You do not have to face these charges alone. Contact a Virginia reckless driving lawyer. They will stand by your side and protect your future.

Common Reckless Driving Charges in Virginia

The most common type of reckless driving is reckless driving by speed. This includes any speed that is over 80 miles per hour or 20 miles or more over the posted speed limit. There are also different varieties of reckless driving relating to the manner in which somebody drives. Reckless driving could be driving with a willful, wanton disregard for the life or property of another, but most cases involve reckless driving by speed.

Consequences of Reckless Driving Convictions by Speed

Reckless driving is a Class 1 misdemeanor, like DUI, but the possible penalties are up to twelve months in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500 dollars. The court can suspend the person’s driver’s license for up to six months, and then they may be granted a restricted permit to drive to work.

It does have substantial potential consequences, and for most clients the main concern is having the criminal conviction on their record. It is not necessarily the fines or the potential license suspension; it is just having that on their record. It is a concern for a lot of professionals.

Long-term Consequences of Reckless Driving Convictions

A reckless driving conviction could impact your ability to get automobile or life insurance. It also stays on your DMV record for eleven years and has six demerit points in Virginia. If you are convicted, that will stay on your record forever. It cannot be expunged.

The Arrest Process for a Reckless Driving Case

You can be pulled over by the officer and released on a summons. A release on a summons means that you sign a promise to appear in court; that is what your ticket is for reckless driving. People refer to it as a ticket, but it is actually a legal summons that replaces custodial arrest. An officer could take a driver into custody if they deem that the driver of the vehicle would not come to court. For instance, the person could refuse to sign the summons indicating their promise to appear in court or the person might not have identification on them, which would give the officer cause to arrest them and book them on the charge.

Expectations in a Reckless Driving Case

A person should be prepared to go to court. The court will advise them of the potential penalties including jail time, license suspension, and significant fines. The facts will dictate what one can expect to happen to them if they are convicted. It is wise to seek the advice of counsel. One of the things that the attorney is going to ask for is the person’s driving history. This is a major indicator of how the case might be handled by the prosecutor and the judge when they go to court. In other words, they should expect their case to be taken fairly seriously as compared to a normal moving violation.

Evidence Presented in These Cases

The evidence depends on the type of reckless driving the person was charged with. Generally, evidence would include the testimony of the police officer as to what he saw that gave him cause to either pull the driver over or to issue the summons in the first place.

If it is reckless driving by speed, the officer is going to present testimony as to how they calculated the driver’s speed. What device did they use? Did they use their own speedometer and chase the vehicle to determine the speed that the person was driving? Did they use a radar device? Did they use a laser? What type of equipment did they use? Was that equipment properly calibrated and tested prior to the offense?

If it is an accident case, then witnesses would be required to come to court to testify against the defendant or the driver in the case. Photographic evidence would be relevant as well. The type of evidence depends on the type of reckless driving charge the person is facing.

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