Most people facing reckless driving charges don’t face the severity of these offenses. Most consider it as a mere inconvenience. On the contrary, reckless driving is a criminal offense in Virginia. A conviction from these charges comes with the possibility of spending time in jail, payment of heavy fines or loss of driving privileges. If you have been charged with reckless driving, you will be required to appear in court and answer the charges. That’s why you require a legal expert, who will help you to navigate this complex process. A Petersburg reckless driving lawyer can help you. If it was a case of a normal ticket, you can just mail the fine and move on with your life. However, reckless driving is different. It is considered as a Class 1 misdemeanor offense, and it comes with damaging consequences for those who are convicted. Choosing to represent yourself in such serious matters is equal to putting your future on the line. The chances are high that you will not be in a position to mount a strong defense and you might end up in jail. Contact our experienced Petersburg VA reckless driving lawyers today.
Reckless Driving in Petersburg Virginia
Reckless driving is a serious charge in the Commonwealth of Virginia. In broad terms, reckless driving refers to driving a vehicle in a way that endangers life, limb or property of others. Reckless driving charges can stem from various driving behaviors on the road including, reckless driving by accident, reckless driving by speed, passing a stopped school bus with flashing lights, and failing to give way to an emergency vehicle. Other violations that amount to reckless driving include drag racing, driving too fast for conditions, weaving in and out of traffic, driving with an obstructed view, two cars in one lane, passing while obstructed and driving a faulty vehicle.
Reckless Driving by Accident
No one likes to be involved in an accident. Apart from the stress, you may have to deal with property damage and insurance claims. You may also have to deal with injuries. Furthermore, if you were deemed responsible for that accident, then you will be charged with reckless driving. Most people are surprised to learn they will be facing criminal charges after being involved in an accident. Well, Virginia has some of the most notorious traffic rules in the country. Law enforcement officers are always on the lookout for traffic offenders. A traffic violation such as failing to signal is interpreted as something that can lead to an accident. It is therefore easy to find yourself facing criminal charges, for something you thought it’s a simple traffic violation. At Joyner Law PLLC, we understand the pain that you might be going through after an accident. However, being charged with an accident doesn’t automatically mean you were responsible for the accident. It is not enough for the authorities to prove you were driving recklessly. In fact, the Court of Appeals has ruled on more than one occasion that being involved in an accident is not proof of reckless driving. Also, you should not rush to plead guilty to charges of reckless driving, just because of being involved in an accident. Once you do that, you are simply accepting responsibility for the accident, the injuries sustained and the property damaged that occurred. Furthermore, if you plead guilty to charges of reckless driving, the charges will remain on your record forever and on your driving record for 11 years. The good news is that we can help you to fight these charges and avoid the damaging consequences that come with conviction.
Reckless Driving by Speed
As much as people love speeding on the highways, it can land you in serious trouble. In Virginia, driving at 20 mph above the allowed speed limit or driving at 80 mph over the posted speed limit amounts to reckless driving. However, reckless driving speed is not all about excessive speed. You can also face these charges for driving too slowly on the highways passing through Petersburg, Virginia. Since reckless driving by speed is a misdemeanor criminal offense, a conviction can lead to jail time, heavy fines and loss of driving privileges. The outcome of this case depends on the judge hearing it as well as the circumstances surrounding it. Some of the factors that can affect the outcome include the specific number of mph exceeded over the posted speed limit, your driving history, as well as whether your speedometer was calibrated correctly. Unlike a normal speeding ticket, you cannot pre-pay a reckless driving ticket. In Petersburg, Virginia, you will have to appear in court to answer the charges. You will, therefore, need to confirm the designated court date. Once you confirm the date, you should then consult Petersburg VA reckless driving lawyers to understand how you can proceed with the case.
Reckless Driving by Faulty Vehicle
Most people only think about accidents and excessive speed, when it comes to reckless driving. However, in Petersburg, VA, you can be charged with reckless driving for operating an unsafe motor vehicle. This situation arises when the condition of your vehicle is considered as a risk to road safety. Driving an unsafe vehicle exposes the driver, the occupants and other road users to accidents. Whether your vehicle was safe or unsafe is always a grey area. Driving a vehicle with insufficient or improperly adjusted brakes also falls in this category. Also driving a vehicle that is not in proper control, also amounts to reckless driving by faulty vehicle. However, the burden of proof is upon the prosecutor. The prosecutor must prove beyond reasonable doubt that you were indeed operating a faulty vehicle. The police must prove that your brakes were improperly adjusted or faulty. Furthermore, they must have sufficient reasons to pull you over and inspect your vehicle. Apart from that, since police are not mechanics, proving your vehicle is faulty is not easy. With a reliable criminal defense attorney, you can prove to the court that you were pulled over illegally and the inspection was not done according to the laid down rules.
Penalties for Reckless Driving Offenders
Since reckless driving is a Class 1 misdemeanor offense, the penalties include a fine of up to $2,500, a possible jail term, loss or suspension of driving privileges and demerit points. The actual fine amount depends on the local court policy, your driving record, as well as the number of mph exceeded, if it’s a case of reckless driving by speed. In most cases, the fine amount is calculated as if it was a normal speeding ticket. Most jurisdictions apply a fine of $6 for every mph exceeded. Therefore, if you exceeded the posted speed limit by $40, then you will receive a fine of $240. Active jail term is not a common penalty for reckless driving. However, if you were caught speeding at 95 mph and above, jail time becomes more realistic. It is therefore important to speak to Petersburg VA reckless driving lawyers to understand how the judges will handle the case. In Virginia, you will also receive 6 demerit points on your driving record, if convicted of reckless driving. You will also end up with a permanent criminal record. If you are convicted of any crime in Virginia, that crime cannot be expunged from your records. A permanent criminal record can impact on various opportunities such as education, employment, and security clearances. Some property owners will also deny you tenancy, due to your criminal record. Financial institutions can also deny you loans due to your criminal record, even if you meet other requirements. If you depend on your driving license to earn a livelihood, then you may lose your job in the event of a conviction. Commercial drivers may not be able to use their CDL, upon suspension of their normal driving license. Furthermore, if you are arrested driving with a suspended or revoked license, you might be charged with a Class 6 felony, which carries a jail term of five years.
Experienced Reckless Driving Lawyers
At Joyner Law PLLC, nothing matters more to us than a positive conclusion in your case. We are reckless driving and criminal defense attorneys. This is all we do and we are proud to say that we do it well. We are committed to providing our clients with the highest level of legal representation possible. We understand that dealing with the legal system in Petersburg Virginia can be difficult and intimidating. However, with our Petersburg VA reckless driving lawyers, by your side, we will ensure you are comfortable throughout the trial. Our criminal defense attorneys are committed to alleviating all your fears and anxiety, and concentrate on the case itself. If you are looking for aggressive reckless driving attorneys, then we are the right team for you. Most defense lawyers wait until the first hearing to start working on a case. In fact, some may even for the prosecutor to give them the police reports and criminal complaints, before making an effort to look for them. Doing that is equal to ineffective lawyering. Preparation is key when it comes to criminal cases such as reckless driving. Without adequate preparation, there are high chances of losing the case and the consequences associated with a reckless driving conviction are dire. At Joyner Law PLLC, our firm is made up of some of the most accomplished lawyers in the country. We usually adopt a proactive approach in every case. We therefore advise you to consult us immediately you have been arrested and charged with reckless driving. We prefer doing the trial preparation and casework early enough. By the time we attend the first hearing, we already have all the information regarding the case. Furthermore, we use the pre-trial period to go through the evidence presented, evaluate viable defenses and then decide whether we should pursue a dismissal, or reduction of the charges. Every county courthouse has its own way of handling legal matters. For example, the criminal court process used in Sussex County is quite different from the one used in Petersburg, VA. A lawyer’s failure to understand local court rules and procedure comes with many disadvantages, which can significantly affect the outcome. At Joyner Law PLLC, our criminal defense attorneys are allocated specific courthouses. Since we handle criminal cases on these courts almost every day, we have established good relationships with the judges, administrative clerks and the prosecutors. While these relationships may not have significant outcomes in the case, they come in handy especially when it comes to plea negotiations. By knowing the individuals to approach, we can ensure a favorable outcome in your case, based on the circumstances. A positive outcome may refer to a reduction of the charges, a dismissal, or a favorable plea bargain.
Why Joyner Law PLLC
At Joyner Law PLLC, we understand the seriousness of the charges you are facing. We also know that these charges might be putting you under an undue amount of pressure. That’s why we are here to reassure you that we will be with you until this process has been concluded. Once you retain us as your criminal defense attorneys, we will give your case the individualized attention it deserves. Having represented numerous clients facing reckless driving charges, we know the best path to follow to secure a positive result. We will also ensure you are well aware of the bottlenecks you might face during the trial. However, we will ensure you are adequately prepared to handle anything that comes along the way. At Joyner PLLC, we are your best chance when it comes to defending reckless driving charges.
Contact Us Today
As you probably know, a reckless driving conviction carries severe consequences for those who are convicted. Apart from fines and jail term, you will have to live with a permanent criminal record. Most of the attorneys you will find are just after your money. However, at Joyner PLLC, we are here to represent your best interests. We aim to ensure you retain a clean driving record and you don’t end up with a criminal record. Contact us as soon as possible and schedule a free appointment with our reckless driving attorneys.