There is a common misconception that reckless driving is just like any other traffic infraction. However, that is not the case. If you have been charged with this offense, then you must appear in court to face criminal charges. The good news is that a Caroline County reckless driving lawyer can help you to understand the charges you are facing and represent you in court. What starts as a normal traffic stop can easily escalate into reckless driving charges. Unlike a normal traffic ticket where you can mail the fine, a reckless driving charge is a Class 1 misdemeanor offense. A conviction carries a potential jail term, suspended license and heavy fines. Also, these penalties come with lasting repercussions and untold consequences in your life. Our Caroline County VA reckless driving lawyers are here to help you to navigate the complex legal system. We have your best interests at heart, and we will be with you throughout the process. Having our experienced reckless driving lawyers by your side can put your mind at rest. You know that you have a competent professional by your side, who is there to protect your rights and ensure you get a fair hearing during the trial. The legal system in Caroline County, Virginia can be intimidating and complex, especially for those who have never been in such a situation. However, as long as you have our attorneys by our side, we will make sure you understand everything that happens in the case. We will always keep you updated on any progress that we make in your case. We understand that the situation might be confusing, especially if you have never faced charges in court before. But don’t let these charges create undue anxiety and stress. As long as you have our experienced attorneys by your side, you can rest assured that we will do everything humanly possible to pursue a positive outcome in your case.
Reckless Driving in Caroline CountyIn Virginia, you can be charged with reckless driving for various violations. They include excessive speed, improper control, illegal passing, failing to yield, faulty equipment, driving with an obstructed view, causing an accident, passing a stopped school bus with flashing lights and failing to provide correct signal while turning. Reckless driving by speed is a situation where you are driving at 20 mph above the posted speed limit. For example, if the posted speed limit on the highway is 40 mph and you are caught speeding at 60 mph, then you will be charged with reckless driving by speed. You can also face this charge if you are speeding at 80 mph, regardless of the posted speed limit. With the increasing number of accidents resulting from excessive speeding, law enforcement officers are always on the lookout for anyone trying to break these rules. Driving a vehicle with faulty brakes can also land you in trouble. As much as you take your vehicle for regular check-ups and maintenance, it can still develop mechanical problems on the road. When such mechanical problems lead to an accident, you will be charged with reckless driving for a vehicle not in control. At Joyner Law PLLC, we understand it might not have been malicious or intentional to cause an accident. However, the law considers such actions as recklessness. The above are just a few of the driving behaviors in the category of reckless driving. The line that separates a normal speeding ticket, and reckless driving is quite thin. Some people tend to confuse these charges, due to lack of understanding. Therefore, you need to talk to a traffic attorney as soon as you have been charged. The traffic attorney will help you to understand the charges, the potential consequences and the most appropriate course of action to take. If you have any questions related to reckless driving in Caroline County, Virginia, contact our law office today.
Penalties for Reckless DrivingReckless driving is a Class 1 misdemeanor offense in Virginia. You will, therefore, face criminal charges in court. However, there are certain instances where you may face a Class 6 felony. Whether it is a misdemeanor offense or a reckless driving charge, a conviction comes with significant fines, suspension of driver’s license, and a potential jail sentence.
- Jail Time: Just like other misdemeanor offenses, a reckless driving charge carries a maximum jail sentence of up to 12 months. If you are a first-time offender, then the chances are high that you will not receive a jail sentence. On the other hand, if you have a bad driving history or you have a record of reckless driving convictions, then a jail sentence becomes a possibility. If your reckless driving charge is upgraded from a misdemeanor to a Class 6 felony, then you can face a jail sentence of at least 5 The actual jail sentence usually depends on the court and the judge. If it was a case of speeding, some judges have an informal policy where they will give you a one-day jail sentence, for every mph exceeded above the posted speed limit. Therefore, if you exceeded by 20 mph, then you will spend 20 days in jail.
- License Suspension: Apart from a prison sentence, you can also lose your driving privileges, due to a reckless driving conviction. The suspension usually runs from a minimum of 10 days to a maximum of 6 months, for a Class 1 misdemeanor offense. To have your license reinstated, you will have to meet all the conditions set out by the judge. Such conditions may include things like attending and completing a driver improvement clinic. Also, you will be required to pay a reinstatement fee to the DMV and ensure you have car insurance. A conviction also comes with demerit points against your driving record. Those demerit points remain there for at least 11 years.
- Fines: Whether you are facing a Class 6 felony charge or a Class 1 misdemeanor offense, the maximum fine set by the law is $2,500. The actual amount depends on the judge as well as how well your attorney can argue out your case. With good legal representation, you can even walk away without any fine.
- Other Consequences: In addition to the legal penalties, a reckless driving conviction can also affect your life in various ways. First, there is the increase in insurance premiums. A conviction from these charges will most likely increase your premiums. A guilty plea will also leave you with a permanent criminal record. In Virginia, it is almost impossible to have a criminal record expunged. Therefore, it will stick with you forever, thus denying you various opportunities. A conviction will also affect security clearances. If you are applying for a security clearance, then you will have to disclose your conviction. That criminal record can affect whether you get that clearance or not.