Most people facing reckless driving charges in Virginia don’t understand the seriousness of the matter. They assume that it is just another traffic infraction, which will be dismissed with a simple fine. However, you need to know that Virginia has some of the toughest traffic laws in the country. Something that can earn you a simple fine in your home state can lead to a jail term in Virginia. A reckless driving charge is one of those things that you need to take seriously.
If you have received a traffic ticket and it reads reckless driving, then you need to talk to Emporia VA reckless driving lawyers as soon as possible. An experienced lawyer will assess the ticket and then explore the most viable option. If you fail to do this and opt to go for the trial without an experienced reckless driving attorney, then you may end up with severe consequences that are irreversible.
A reckless driving conviction carries a fine of up to $2,500, a jail term and loss of driving privileges for a certain period. In addition, it comes with a permanent criminal record. If you are seeking employment, potential employers may decline your application based on your past criminal record. Educational institutions may also decline to admit you, fearing your tainted past. It is clear that a reckless driving charge is not something you can afford to take lightly. Once you have been charged, contact the competent reckless driving lawyers at Joyner PLLC, for the best legal representation in Emporia.
Reckless Driving in Emporia
So, what amounts to reckless driving in Virginia? Well, you can be charged with reckless driving in Emporia, Virginia, for engaging in various driving behaviors. They are 14 in total, although some appear similar to the others. Something that appears as simple as failing to signal properly when slowing down, turning or stopping, can lead to reckless driving charges. They include reckless driving by speed, reckless driving by accident, failing to yield to an emergency vehicle, drag racing, driving a vehicle not under control, and passing a stopped school bus, among others. Most of these driving behaviors revolve around speed and vehicle control. In fact, reckless driving by speed remains the most common violation among them. In Emporia and other areas of Virginia, you can be charged with reckless driving by speed for driving at 20 mph over the posted speed limit. You can also be charged with reckless driving by speed for driving at 80 mph and above, beyond the allowed speed limit. Such speeds are considered dangerous and reckless. Reckless driving by accident is also common. However, this violation mostly happens due to faulty brakes or distraction. At Joyner PLLC, we understand it’s normal to be distracted on the road. We also understand it may not be your intention to cause an accident or destroy property. With that in mind, we want to defend your rights and defend you in court. Whatever the circumstances that led to your reckless driving charges, our experienced Emporia VA reckless driving lawyers can present a strong defense against the charges and mitigate the damaging consequences.
Penalties for Reckless Driving
Unlike simple traffic infractions where you can end up with a simple fine, reckless driving comes with severe penalties. In Virginia, reckless driving is considered as a Class I misdemeanor offense. It is grouped in the same category with driving under the influence, theft, and assault, among other criminal cases. The penalties for a reckless driving conviction are both legal and personal. They include:
Suspension of Driving Privileges
If you are convicted of reckless driving, your driving license may be suspended for at least six months. You will also receive 6 demerit points on your driving record, which stays there for at least 11 years. Imagine maintaining a clean driving record for ten years, only to be caught speeding above the allowed speed limit. As much as it appears unfair, the law applies equally. That’s why you need an experienced lawyer who can build a strong defense strategy and defend your innocence. Loss of driving privileges can also be inconveniencing, both personally and career-wise. If you rely on your vehicle to drop your children to school, run errands or go to work, then your schedule will be heavily affected. If you are a commercial driver and your license is suspended for at least 6 months, then you may also lose your job. Your employer may decide to replace you, considering that you are not in a position to deliver the services.
A reckless driving conviction also carries the possibility of a jail term. The number of days or months you will spend behind bars usually depend on the extent of the offense. If it was reckless driving by speed, then some judges will use the number of mph exceeded to determine the jail term. Others will sentence you to a weekend in jail, some up to ten days while others will apply other penalties instead of a jail term. However, if you were speeding at 90 mph and above, then there are high chances that you will end up in jail. Speeding at those speeds is considered dangerous to the driver, the occupants in the vehicle and other road users. A judge may, therefore, decide to put you in jail for a long period to teach you a lesson. You also need to note that if your reckless driving actions resulted in the death of another road user, then the charges change from misdemeanor to felony. Such a conviction might land you in jail for at least five years.
Increase in Insurance Premiums
Every insurance company uses certain criteria to determine insurance premiums for their clients. Some use the number of years on the road, while others will just consider your driving record. However, those convicted of a serious offense like reckless driving should expect increased insurance premiums. Your motor vehicle insurer will consider you a high-risk client. Due to those circumstances, it is likely they will increase your insurance premiums to protect their investment. Some may even decide to terminate your insurance policy. Once you have been charged with reckless driving, you need to talk to your insurance provider immediately, so that you can understand their policy when it comes to such issues.
Other Consequences of Reckless Driving
A conviction for reckless driving also comes with fines of up to $2,500. The actual amount of the fine usually depends on the judge. Most judges will use the mph exceeded as a basis for determining the amount of the fine. Apart from fines, a conviction also carries a permanent criminal record. Since reckless driving is a criminal offense, a conviction comes with a criminal record, which cannot be expunged. As you probably know, security clearances are a requirement in most institutions. If you are applying for a job position, your potential employer will conduct background checks, to determine the sort of person you are. During those checks, your criminal record will always show up. That criminal record will determine whether you get the job. Apart from that, educational institutions also carry out background checks for all applicants. Therefore, a university or college may decide to deny you that opportunity because of your criminal past. If sentenced to jail for a long period, there are high chances that you will lose your job. Unlike a normal speeding ticket, a reckless driving conviction comes with severe penalties. The best way to defend yourself against these charges is by hiring experienced Emporia VA reckless driving lawyers.
Experienced Reckless Driving Lawyers
Our experienced reckless driving attorneys know what you are facing. We also understand the amount of stress and anxiety that you are under. Having handled thousands of reckless driving cases in the local courts before, we understand that each case is treated on its own. Due to these reasons, our Emporia VA reckless driving lawyers know the importance of treating each case with personal attention. When it comes to reckless driving cases, you need an attorney who has handled cases in the local courts before. These courts can be intimidating, especially if you have never been in such a situation before. The good news is that our experienced criminal defense attorneys can help to reduce the stress and anxiety while putting your mind at rest.
Most people facing reckless driving charges have never had an encounter with the Virginia criminal justice system. Therefore, they don’t know what to expect or even how to defend themselves during the investigation and trial. Preparedness is, therefore, crucial when it comes to cases of such a huge magnitude. At Joyner PLLC law firm, we will do everything we can to help you immensely. We will harness our skills, expertise, and resources to try and obtain a positive result depending on circumstances in the case. We will also ensure you are fully aware of the potential obstacles that you might face during the trial. As your attorneys, it is our duty to ensure you get a fair hearing and top-notch legal representation. Emporia VA reckless driving lawyers are here to help you get the most favorable outcome during the trial and ensure your constitutional rights are always protected.
As previously noted, a reckless driving conviction carries a jail term of up to 12 months, a fine of up to $2,500 and loss or suspension of driving privileges for at least 6 months. It can also put your future opportunities in jeopardy, due to the criminal record. Since we understand these damaging consequences, we will work tirelessly to mitigate these consequences. We will work hard and develop a formidable defense strategy. We will also keep you updated on the progress of your case throughout the process. When you are looking for a reckless driving lawyer to handle your case, you need someone you are comfortable dealing with. You also need someone you can trust and confide in.
At Joyner PLLC, we treat you as part of our family. We will treat you just as we would treat our family and friends. You can, therefore, retain us as your reckless driving attorneys with confidence, knowing that our legal team will always have your back, throughout out the trial and beyond. You can trust us to handle your legal matters, and we will not disappoint. If you have been arrested and charged with reckless driving in Emporia, Virginia, reach out to our office today so that we can discuss the case.
Why Joyner PLLC
If you have been charged with reckless driving in Virginia, contact our experienced attorneys immediately. Contacting us early gives us enough time to evaluate your case, examine the evidence presented, and then strategize on how we will build a strong defense. As your legal representatives, we will remain by your side from the start of the process to the end. The criminal justice system in Virginia tends to be complex, especially for someone without legal knowledge. However, we cannot all be attorneys, and that’s why we are here to help you navigate this complex process. Regardless of the nature of your reckless driving charges, we believe that you are innocent and we will explore all the legal options available to maintain that status. If you have any questions, concerns, or inquiries, contact our legal team today.
Contact Us Today
Being convicted of reckless driving can seriously affect your life. Apart from the penalties that come with conviction, you might be forced to part with huge amounts of money to pay court fees, while wasting valuable time, fighting charges that you might not have committed. Furthermore, if convicted of these charges, you could face severe penalties, ranging from jail time, driving restrictions and heavy fines. It could mean losing your current employment and make it even harder to land another stable job, owing to the permanent criminal record. Don’t let something like reckless driving ruin your life. Whether you are innocent or it was a case of a bad call, we can help you fight these charges, protect your rights, and defend your innocence. We will examine your case as well as your driving history, to build a solid defense strategy. Contact our office today and schedule a free appointment.